Tomorrow, August 8th is the feast day of St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) prompts me to ask this simple question: 'What happened to the zeal for the salvation of souls'?
CANASTOTA, NY - In 1946, Pope Pius XII warned us that 'The sin of the century is the
loss of the sense of sin'. Similar sentiments have been expressed by
many, including Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, Saint John Paul II, Pope
Emeritus Benedict XVI, and our current Pope Francis. Their observations
are verified by the simple and undisputed fact that relatively few
Catholics go to confession anymore. Heaven or Hell, which path are you on?
Current polling data suggests that Catholics are just as likely as their non-Catholic friends to support, among other things, cohabitation, contraception, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, in-vitro fertilization, sex between unmarried men and women, gay or lesbian lifestyle, and so-called 'gay marriage'.
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Yet the truth is that there is a hell and those who engage in or support any of these practices would objectively be in a state of mortal sin and subject to the loss of their immortal souls should they die unrepentant and without Sacramental confession.
Sadly, the majority of those calling themselves Catholic do not attend Sunday Mass and a substantial majority of those that do, no longer believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacred Eucharist or in the existence of hell. Far too many Catholics reject these and other Truths of their Faith. Their eternal souls are in danger.
Years ago, the late Father Winfrid Herbst, S.D.S. clearly addressed the issue of sin and its eternal consequences when he reminded his readers, "After death comes the particular judgment; and with the judgment comes the sentence that can never be changed. It will either be heaven or hell.There will be no appeal."
When have you last heard any of these Truths preached in your parish? The proclamation of Matthew's Gospel (13:44-52) provides an ideal time to do so since verses 47 through 50 clearly speak to the eternal consequences of sin. What a great opportunity to discuss these Truths and to encourage regular use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Why then, I must ask, are parishes given the option of not reading those verses?
When this Gospel of Matthew was last proclaimed in you parish, were you blessed to hear this Scripture in its entirety? Did the accompanying homily address these Forgotten Truths?
Yes, Our God is a God of infinite Mercy. But He is also a God of Justice. Both of these Truths must be preached and understood. When we speak of one, we should also discuss the other. "Now," St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us, "is the time of mercy; then, there will be only the time of justice. This is why we have to live in the present moment and transform it into the moment of God."
Will our ears ever be blessed to hear these Truths from our Church's pulpits?
It is said that Saint Dominic spent many a night in prayer asking the Lord he loved and so tirelessly served, 'What will become of sinners?'
Should we sinners not prayerfully ask the same question as well?
Light a virtual candle for those you love
Heaven or Hell, which path are you on?
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