“I will go peaceably and firmly to the Catholic Church for if faith is so important to our salvation. I will seek it where true faith first began, seek it among those who received it from God Himself. – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Sometimes, if I meet new people, I might invite them to meet my friends, family or even take a big jump and invite them to mass with me. It is not an easy task because I find many people skeptical and resistant to many opportunities. The words, “No, thanks,” are all too common. This week, I read at mass, and I was fascinated to read again how Paul stood up for the Gentiles. During the homily, the priest talked for a few minutes about how St. Paul was instrumental in opening the early Church to everyone. It has not always been so clear.
“The Church is a hospital, and not a courtroom, for souls. She does not condemn on behalf of sins, but grants remission of sins.” St. John Chrysostom
This week marked the memorials and feasts of three interesting saints. Bartolo Longo was an interesting person. Smart, talented, and full of enthusiasm, he quickly fell astray. Despite his beginnings in a pious family, his fallen away professor moved Bartolo Longo from indifference to Church teaching to openly ridiculing it. The faith of his family and friends brought him back to the Church. He used his talents to help the poor and did a great job. Unfortunately, he was subject to gossip. This is the price saints pay for their steadfast faith in God. He built a shrine and miracles were reported. He helped youth find their way but even with all this he suffered at the hands of malicious attacks. He is an example of how we need to stand firm in our faith.
Rosary in hand, Blessed Bartolo Longo says to each of us: “Awaken your confidence in the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary. Venerable Holy Mother, in You I rest all my troubles, all my trust and all my hope!” a homily from Pope John Paul II during the beatification of Blessed Bartolo
Another example for us is Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. He was a student of St. John Neumann. As a Redemptorist, he was a preacher and witness. His sermons drew crowds, and lines of people went to him for confession. He served in parishes around the US. In the end he succumbed to yellow fever while working with victims in New Orleans. He is a recent example of someone we can look to with faith.
“Sustained by God’s grace and an intense life of prayer, Father Seelos left his native Bavaria and committed himself generously and joyfully to the missionary apostolate among immigrant communities in the United States.”
St Faustina gave us the devotion to the Divine Mercy. We have seen this picture many times of Christ showing a red and white light shining from His Sacred Heart. She was canonized in 2000 by Pope John Paul. She became a great saint and encouraged devotion to Christ. The Sunday after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday. She gave us something great; recently, my mother has found solace in the Divine Mercy Chaplet since we lost my dad.
These saints remind me that Christ promised never to leave us abandoned. We really are His children, and we are loved. It is a great sign that Christ raises up for us many saints in every age of the Church. It is these signs that continually show us God’s goodness.
“Oh, how great is the goodness of God, greater than we can understand. There are moments and there are mysteries of the divine mercy over which the heavens are astounded. Let our judgment of souls cease, for God’s mercy upon them is extraordinary.” The diary of St. Faustina