The troubling thing many catholics don't realise is how much God loves the world... And if we truly believe in the 4 last things, we would understand why things happen as they do.
To disregard a pandemic as just nature... is in a way disregarding God.
God wants the world to turn to Him. Not because He needs us, because the world will be lost without God.
God wants to save the world... and it is sad that many Catholics believe that their non Catholic friends and neighbours, don't need to be Catholics.
Worst is when shepherds don't believe this, or don't have the zeal of charity to share the Good News, so that others may share it also... Will it be back to business as normal?
The absolute worst thing that could ever happen in this world, is not turning to Christ.
For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~ John 3:16
Ad Orientem: Are we really waiting for Christ's return? Let's hope so...
Let's make a simple case for Ad Orientem, and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit.
"For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be."
"Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life."
"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;"
"Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks."
[Let us be honest: when we are eagerly waiting, we are more likely to be facing the door, than sitting together facing each other. This sense of eagerness for Christ to return should be most relevant at Mass than any other times in our daily lives; for we are together as part of the Mystical Body of Christ. So why does the priest and the people need to face each other and not to the east? Has our sense of eagerness been lost for Christ's return? ]
Catechism of the Catholic Church
III. CHRIST OFFERED HIMSELF TO HIS FATHER FOR OUR SINS
Christ's whole life is an offering to the Father
606 The Son of God, who came down "from heaven, not to do [his] own will, but the will of him who sent [him]",413 said on coming into the world, "Lo, I have come to do your will, O God." "And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."414 From the first moment of his Incarnation the Son embraces the Father's plan of divine salvation in his redemptive mission: "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work."415 The sacrifice of Jesus "for the sins of the whole world"416 expresses his loving communion with the Father. "The Father loves me, because I lay down my life", said the Lord, "[for] I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father."
[Yes - it's the offering of Christ TO the Father, NOT to us but for us. Notice with ad orientem we face "to" the Father (eastwards) not "to" the people. That is the focus - to the Father.
Too many people who do not like ad orientem say they want to see the priest, to see Christ. So if the priest is Christ would Christ not want to look to the Father? After all the offering is to the Father, not to us but for us.
So why is it not suitable for us to face along with Christ to the Father? Let us appreciate the Mass for what it really is - the offering of Christ to His Father, for our salvation. Appreciate the significance of Christ's love, His offering to His Father.]
If we are to wait, let us wait eagerly, and if we are to "look forward" (Nicene Creed), let us look forward to the east. If we are to celebrate Christ's glory, let it be the offering of Christ to His Father and not to us, but for us... Let us not look to each other but to the east, to the coming of Christ, to where God is.
This is the Prayer that was taught by the Angel of Peace to the three children at Fatima in 1916. How fitting is this prayer for us to pray for those who do not believe in God, and even more so do not believe in the Eucharistic God. For the Eucharist is sole means of Salvation. How thankful are we who believe and receive our Lord. How much reverence is due to Him at Holy Communion.
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You!
I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe,
do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.
Jesus Is On The Floor
Is the First and greatest commandment - Love God equal to the second commandment - love your neighbour as yourself?
Let us find out what the Catholic Church teaches ... Note: The text I highlight are my comments.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
2196 In response to the question about the first of the commandments, Jesus says: "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these. (Source) [Here the CCC states there is two commandments and in no terms says that we are to love God and to love ourselves equally with God. God clearly states we are to love Him with much more devotion.]
These two commands really do sum up everything. For love of neighbor means to will good to another for the other's sake. Love of God cannot be precisely that, for we cannot will good to God. But we do know that Scripture pictures Him as pleased when we obey, displeased when we do not. He cannot gain anything from our obedience, but He is pleased for two reasons: 1) His Holiness loves everything that is morally good: goodness says creatures must obey their Creator, children their Father; 2) In His generosity He wills to give good to us, but that is in vain if we are not open to receive. (Source) [Loving our neighbour is NOT the same as loving God. Our neighbour loving us is the same thing. We are commanded to love neighbour and God.]
“Whatsoever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did it for Me.” [Many people do good to others, however it is not the same as doing good to others for God. Even then do we not need to adore, worship and love God directly? Why have two commandments?]
1 John 4:19-21
We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. [By loving God we must "ALSO" love our neighbours. It is NOT the same as love as for God.]
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple." [This verse says it all: God comes first. (We are always second compared to God.)]
Matthew 10: 35-38
For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law - a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. [God first!]
There are two thing that can be observed 1) We must love God and we must love one another as ourselves. These two commandments are inseparable. 2) There is the first (the greatest) and second commandments; it is NOT 'this' and 'this' commandment. We do not love man equally as we love God, everything has it's place even in love.
Let's make this case: However much we love God in others, we must love God much more than others, much more than ourselves. What about the Eucharistic God? All our heart, all our soul, all our mind, all our strength.
Al: Catholic, learning and thankful.