Saturday, July 7, 2012

Feast of Saint Maria Goretti
Directors' Meeting
Theological Institute for the New Evangelization
What can send us to hell?
An absolutely dreadful question, especially at 8:30 in the morning, but one which the Church answers in a definitive way on the feast of Saint Maria Goretti.
What can send us to hell?  The Lie.
Martyrdom is the exact opposite of the lie.
The truth for which Maria Goretti died is dignitatis humanae, it is the truth of the very meaning of human existence: that we were made for love, to reflect the very image and likeness of God.
And when Alessandro Serenelli threatened the eleven year old Maria with death if she would not let him rape her, she chose to die rather than to tell the lie that violence is love, that pleasure is truth, and that we can change the definitions which God has divinely revealed.
The Lord Jesus preaches truth.  He is the truth.
In all things, veritas.
The Second way to go to hell is not to love.
To seek to “destroy the poor of the land!” To diminish the containers for measuring, to add to the weights, and fix our scales for cheating!”
We will buy the lowly man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!"
Now, none of us would ever do that.  Purposefully cheat the poor.  Indeed, most of us would feed the poor man, give the coat off our backs to the shivering bum, and occasionally bring a group of parishioners to a soup kitchen.
But, isn’t it funny, we professionally religious folks tend to see the poor in places others miss, but often forget the poor in places others see.
Read the religious blogs written by people just like us.  The snide snarkiness, the gossipy pettiness, the insecurity and jealousy.  All while writing about religion..  A religion that teaches us to pray, forgive us as I forgave her.  Love me as I have loved him.
The Lord Jesus preaches love.  He is love.
In all things caritas
And the third paving stone to hell is despair.
Here are the Pharisees, professionally religious like you and me (with pay checks from the RCAB to prove it) and they encounter the Christ, the Son of the Living God.  And how do they react?  Can’t possibly be the Messiah, because he eats with sinners!  God couldn't’ possibly work through someone like that.  Unless he looks like me, and talks like me, reads the same blogs and clings to the same presuppositions as me, he can’t possibly be of God!
It’s the despair so prevalent among us today, that laments, It’ll never get better,  they will always disappoint and we preach in a dark valley..
But The Lord Jesus preaches hope.  He is hope.
In all things spes.
Verritas, caritas and spes.
What is this Theological Institute, these degrees and certificates, or even this seminary in the end.  What’s our real purpose.  What really sets us apart?
It’s kinda simple really.  The whole purpose behind all of this is simply to help people to go to heaven.  And we do it by teaching veritas, caritas and spes.
We teach it by all the courses in the catalog.  We teach it by encouraging people to be good Catholics.  We teach it by the pastoral experiences we provide them.
But most of all we teach it by the way we live.  By the way we treat our students.  By the way we treat our families and our friends.  By the way we treat each other.
In all things veritas
In all things caritas
In all things spes.
It’s like Chaucer wrote of the good parson:
First he wrought, and afterward he taught.
Christe’s lore and his Apostles twelve he taught.
But first he followed it himself.
Monsignor James P. Moroney