“I can love Jesus without going to Church.” -any wishy-washy, spineless, pseudo-Christian teenager, adult, etc.
-by Fr. Dwight Longnecker, a former Evangelical Protestant, graduate of Bob Jones University, turned Anglican priest, turned Catholic priest.
Fr. Dwight enjoys movies, blogging, books, riding his motorcycle and visiting Benedictine monasteries. He’s married to Alison. They have four children, named Benedict, Madeleine, Theodore and Elias. They live in Greenville, South Carolina with a black Labrador named Anna, a chocolate Lab named Felicity, a cat named James and various other pets.
“No. Because the Lord Jesus Christ–the only begotten Son of the Father–took human flesh. He therefore sanctified the physical realm. Because He took human flesh; human flesh matters. Because He took on physical matter; matter matters. My body matters for it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. My Church matters. The physical church building matters. The One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church–the Catholic Church with all her institutions and history and paperwork and bureaucracy and canon law and dogma–all of it matters. The incense and the candles and the books and the bells. They all matter.
The saints and their suffering matters. My rosary and my books of theology and my Infant of Prague and my plaster St Therese and my Our Lady of Lourdes–soiled and with a hole in her head because a nun from the convent where I got her dropped her once–that matters, and so does my starving neighbor and my friend with a headache and my child who needs a hug and a listening ear. They matter.
And so does the Blessed Sacrament which is the focus of the presence of God in the physical.
…and because of this I kneel to adore.”
To connect and correct
Servant of God, Fr. Isaac Hecker, CSP, was a 19th-century convert to Catholicism who became a priest and founded the American religious order known as the Paulists. He summed it up best. Religion, said Hecker, helps you to “connect and correct.” You are invited into a community to connect with one another and with a tradition. At the same time, you are corrected when you need to be. And you may be called to correct your own community — though a special kind of discernment and humility is required in those cases.
Endurance: A Hecker Reflection
“Jesus our Saviour fell oftentimes with the excessive weight of His cross, in order to show us that He has not called us to enjoy success but to support adversity; to show us that as long as our cross does not exceed our strength, self-centeredness will always find room to conceal itself and live. It is in the death of our self-centeredness that gives rise to God’s love in our hearts. As Blessed John of Avila writes, “for it is its (love-of-self’s) life that has given death to the love of God.”
Jesus Christ not only enjoined upon us to sell all that we have and give it to the poor, if we would be His disciples, but He said also, “take up your cross and follow Me.” Everyone is therefore supposed to have a cross. To get rid of it is not what the Saviour asks, but to take it up and follow Him. Ah My Lord, it is not the work of a moment, not that of a child to take up your cross the weight of which surpasses our strength; to bear it and fall under it, and bear it again, and finally to be mercifully crucified on it. This is what God asks us to do, for this is what Jesus did and to follow Jesus is to accept God’s invitation to do the same. It requires much more courage to follow Jesus Christ to the conquest of heaven than to follow Caesar to the conquest of the entire universe.”
Our crosses MUST exceed our own strength. It is God’s will. To show us how utterly dependent we are on Him. Yes, Lord, yes. Thank you for my sweet crushing crosses. They that show me how much I NEED YOU!!!! Amen. Amen. Praise Him!!!!