Skip to content

The Happy Priest: Finding True Freedom through Obedience to the Lord

By Fr. James Farfaglia
3/7/2011 (6 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Obedience is a difficult virtue because sometimes the truth really does hurt

Obedience is a difficult virtue because sometimes the truth really does hurt.  But, we need to conform our lives to God's will, not our own.  I for one will continue preaching the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church, even if there are five people left in the pews.  The Catholic Church is not running a popularity contest.  The truth must always be explained with kindness and patience, but we can never compromise that which is true. 

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
3/7/2011 (6 years ago)

Published in Lent / Easter

Keywords: Obedience, rebellion, freedom, fidelity, Magisterium, Lent, discipleship, Fr James Farfaglia


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - The word obedience comes from the Latin word ob-audire which means to hear or to listen to.  As baptized Catholics we are obligated to obey God and to obey the teachings of his Church.  Obedience to God and obedience to his Church is the most liberating experience known to the human person.

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.  The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.  But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock" (Matthew 7: 24).

Obedience gives us total freedom because we do not wallow in sin, opinion, doubt and error.  Let us recall what Jesus said elsewhere in the Gospels:  "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8: 32).

We all know that we live in a time of chaos.  There is chaos in the Catholic Church, there is chaos in society and there is chaos in family life.  Why is there so much chaos?  Disobedience.  People are not listening.  People are doing their own thing. 

Let's take a look at one example that comes to us from the news media.  During the time when John Paul II went on to his eternal reward and Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as his successor, the news media gave us a clear window into the open rebellion still going on in the Catholic Church.

A CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP Poll found that seventy-nine per cent of the Catholics polled said that the new Pope should change the Church's teaching on birth control.  Sixty-three percent said that priests should be able to marry.  Fifty-nine per cent want a change on the Church's ban on embryonic stem-cell research. Fifty-five per cent said that women should be able to be ordained as priests.  Thirty-seven per cent want a change on the Church's stand against abortion.  In addition, forty-nine per cent believe the Church should change her teachings on divorce.

As a Catholic priest I am continually criticized by some and ignored by others because I stand firmly and confidently with the Pope and all of the Church's teaching.  I hear comments from people who say that some people do not come to my parish because they are being told what to do or because I am too strict.  We live in an age of rebellion, disobedience and apostasy. Most people do not want to hear the truth and most people do not want to be told how to live their lives, even in the most fundamental aspects of the Christian way of life.

Actually, we can turn to another part of Sacred Scripture and find a perfect description of the times that we live in.  St. Paul, in his second letter to Timothy says: "The time is sure to come when, far from being content with sound teaching, people will be avid for the latest novelty and collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then, instead of listening to the truth, they will turn to myths.  Be careful always to choose the right course." (2 Timothy 4: 3-5).

The time is sure to come.I believe that we are living in the time that Saint Paul predicted. 

Do you remember Cardinal Rat zinger's famous homily before the Conclave that elected him as Pope Benedict XVI?   He spoke to us about the dictatorship of relativism.  This is the present situation in the Church and in our society. 

Let us recall the words of Cardinal Ratzinger: "We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. An "adult" faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceit from truth."

Today, we all know that the Church, society and families are all in a state of chaos because most people are not listening and most people are doing their own thing.  What are you supposed to do in this present and on-going crisis?  Be faithful and persevere. 

"Take these words of mine into your heart and soul.  Bind them at your wrist as a sign, and let them be a pendant on your forehead" (Deuteronomy 11: 18).

Live and defend the Ten Commandments.  Live and defend the Bible.  Live and defend all of the teachings of the Catholic Church. 

We all know that today anyone can find a priest that will tell them whatever they want to hear.  We have the great gift of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  If the priest is saying something that isn't there, move on.  Find a priest that is faithful, speaks the truth and has the courage to take a stand.

Obedience is a difficult virtue because sometimes the truth really does hurt.  But, we need to conform our lives to God's will, not our own. 

Sadly, today, most Americans do not want to hear the truth.  In my life as a parish priest I have seen people walk away from the truth for a simple bowl of lentils.  Most of the time, all they wanted to do was to continue with their immoral life-style.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church brilliantly explains the connection between sexual immorality and the loss of faith with these words: "The sixth beatitude proclaims, 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God'.  Pure in heart refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God's holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity; chastity or sexual rectitude; love of truth and orthodoxy of faith" (#2518).

I for one will continue preaching the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church, even if there are five people left in the pews.  The Catholic Church is not running a popularity contest.  The truth must always be explained with kindness and patience, but we can never compromise that which is true.  I am excited by the fact that young people and young families are hungry for real Catholicism.  I am very excited to see so many young people and young families at my parish.  They provide great hope for the future.  They really get it and they are making heroic choices in order to live out the Gospel in a very challenging world. 

"I set before you here, this day, a blessing and a curse: a blessing for obeying the commandments of the Lord, your God, which I enjoin on you today; a curse if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord, your God, but turn aside from the way I ordain for you today, to follow other gods, who you have not known" (Deuteronomy 11: 26-27). 

-----

Father James Farfaglia, the Happy Priest, is the pastor of Saint Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas and is a member of the Board of Directors of Human Life International.  Father has a hard hitting blog called Illegitimi non carborundum.  He has also published a book called Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life.  You can click here for the audio podcast of this Sunday homily.  His second book, Get Serious! will be available soon.  You can visit Father James on the web at www.FatherJames.org.     

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for JULY 2017
Lapsed Christians.
That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.


Comments



More Lent & Easter


'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead'

Luke 24:46

Lent Event

Importance

Ash Wednesday

March 1, 2017

Image of Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting... continue reading

Palm Sunday

April 9, 2017

Image of Palm Sunday Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels... continue reading

Holy Week

April 9 - 15, 2017

Image of Holy Week On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by... continue reading

Holy Thursday

April 13, 2017

Image of Holy Thursday Holy Thursday is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover... continue reading

Good Friday

April 14, 2017

Image of Good Friday On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week... continue reading

Easter Sunday

April 16, 2017

Image of Easter Sunday Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I calls it the greatest feast, and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter... continue reading

Stations of the Cross

Every Friday

Image of Stations of the Cross Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion... continue reading

Fasting and Abstinence

Every Friday

Image of Fasting and Abstinence For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the... continue reading

Image of What did you give up for Lent? From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year... continue reading

Ascension of Our Lord

Thursday May 25, 2017

Image of Ascension of Our Lord The Ascension of Our Lord, a Holy Day of Obligation, celebrates the day that Christ, in the presence of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven. The Ascension occurred on the 40th day of Easter, a Thursday... continue reading

Pentecost

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Image of Pentecost Pentecost Sunday is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church, celebrated early enough to be mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (20:16) and Corinthians (16:8)... continue reading

Image of Lent FAQ's Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple... continue reading

Mardi Gras

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Image of Mardi Gras In France, the people feasted on foods that would be given up during the forty days of Lent. Meats, eggs, and milk were finished off in one day, giving the holiday its French title of 'Mardi Gras' which means Fat Tuesday... continue reading

Image of Transformed by Easter The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community... continue reading

Image of Appearances He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. - Matthew 28:6. Learn more about the Post-Resurrection Appearances of Jesus Christ... continue reading

Image of Easter Gifts CatholicShopping.com offers a variety of Easter gifts & Easter treats for all ages! Choose a gift for someone special and celebrate the joy of Easter... continue reading

Easter / Lent News

Inspire: Easter Beyond the Octave. Why Do We Celebrate for Fifty Days?

Image of Christ my hope is risen, and he goes before you into Galilee.

While Easter is a Solemnity and an octave feast, it is also a 50 day season until Pentecost.The Season of Easter is not just about His ... continue reading


Reflecting on the Resurrection: Why did Jesus Rise with Wounds?

Image of The empty tomb and the neatly folded burial cloths point to us that Jesus is physically alive.  His crucified body has been transformed.  What lesson is he teaching us by keeping his wounds intact?

What lesson is the Lord teaching us by keeping his wounds intact? Perhaps we can better answer this question by turning to our own wounds. ... continue reading


I Am Dismas and This Is My Story

Image of

As a teenager I ran into someone who introduced me to the finer points of the occupation. We fell into the tried and proven method of ... continue reading


HOLY SATURDAY: The Whole Earth Keeps Silence Watch

Image of The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence ... continue reading


On the Friday We Call Good, the Whole World Stands Still Watch

Image of

Today as we contemplate the Passion we also plumb the mystery and meaning of the Church. We are members of His Body. She was born ... continue reading


The Lent and Easter Season... by CatholicOnline.shopping

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.