Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Do you love me?

St. Peter with "the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven"
"Simon, son of John, do you love me?"
 – John 21:17
I was thinking about Fatima again. And I was trying to understand the desire of Francisco Marto (one of the three shepherd children of Fatima) to console Jesus. I found it so strange, that I thought that he must have -- because of his young age and immaturity -- misinterpreted the visions.

And yet that seemed like too simple of an answer. There must be something to Francisco's  desire to console Jesus that I did not understand. After all Francisco and his little sister have been beatified by the Church and so he couldn't be totally mistaken on this very important point.

The answer came to me -- somehow, I don't remember exactly how -- that Francisco was responding to the many insults hurled at Our Lord. Just think about the multitude of insults hurled at Jesus and the Church daily in our modern society that denies the very existence of God.

And yet Our Lord is forgiving and only desires for us to come to him in a sincere and humble act of faith.

I'm not saying that we should think of Jesus as being sad and therefore in need of consolation, but I think we should consider that He is being crucified again and again. And in that spirit we can offer our prayers for Him. Actually, I had an image in my mind of His Sacred Heart receiving multiple wounds -- like arrows.

He gladly suffers to redeem our sins, but these are like rocks thrown at Him by the very ones that He is trying to save from eternal damnation. I'm reminded of the words of Jesus to St. Paul, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

Tonight as I was reciting the Our Father slowly and deliberately, I heard a new meaning in the words, "forgive us our trespasses".

I had been thinking in terms of offenses that I might have committed against others -- especially since this is followed by, "as we forgive those who trespass against us". But I now think of this more clearly as offenses against God Himself.

When we ask God to "forgive us our trespasses", we recognize His authority. And this is one way that we can console Our Lord. We can also offer prayers as Jacinto did asking that we may bear the suffering of others, for their "trespasses" against the Lord. We can make small sacrifices in our lives and offer them as a consolation to Our Lord, to help heal His wounded heart.

Jesus asked Simon Peter three times, "Do you love me?" And after Peter's replies Our Lord responded:
 – "Feed my lambs."
 – "Tend my sheep."
 – "Feed my sheep."

If we truly love Jesus -- as we say we do -- then we must be willing to sacrifice ourselves for others. This is what the "good shepherd" does for his flock. And like Peter we are called by Christ to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others.

2 comments:

  1. I think that if you don't love your brother, you cannot love God . And it's sometimes hard to love those who you don't necessarily like, but it is not impossible sometimes is a matter of letting your pride away.

    Michael. I found this;

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2011/06/01/west%E2%80%99s-aids-strategy-is-a-failure-says-new-report/

    God bless you!

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  2. Hi Ride.

    Here's a quote from the article you linked to.

    "West’s Aids strategy is a failure":
    "Evidence shows that rates of infection have risen most sharply in those countries which have been flooded with condoms, says the report, because they encourage promiscuity. But rates have fallen in the few places that have encouraged monogamy and fidelity among married couples, it says."

    This has been confirmed by comparing AIDs rates in Catholic Philippines, with Thailand which fully implemented the measures recommended/demanded by Western agencies. In Philippines there are less than 12,000 AIDs cases; in Thailand there are over 500,000. And yet International Planned Parenthood (IPPF) and others are still trying to force Philippines into adopting condom promotion under the guise of "reproductive health".

    The question one has to ask is, "Why is the West promoting promiscuity?" The latest PR campaign uses the slogan of "sexual rights". IPPF claims that children have sexual rights which trump the rights of parents. For instance, they should be able to use contraception and get abortions without having to seek approval from their parents.

    My answer is that there is a Secular Humanist component to this strategy which seeks to undermine the established religious order. Since most religions place restrictions on sexuality, this is an effective way of leading people away from their religious beliefs.

    Another component is a eugenic/population-control agenda. People are enticed into accepting various forms of population control such as contraception, sterilization, abortion with the lure of promiscuous sex. For men the appeal is obvious, and for women this is touted as providing "sexual freedom" or "control" over their bodies.

    Underlying all of this is a satanic element. It is an appeal to our fallen, selfish nature which says that there are "too many people". It comes back to that love of neighbor. If we truly love each other, then we will not try to kill off the next generation.

    The population control advocates look at people as pests. They therefore use whatever "pesticides" are available to kill off as many people as possible. In this case, the pesticides/humanicides used are the hormones in contraceptive pills. It would be more effective to just spray poison from planes, but how could anyone justify that?

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