My friend, Fr. Bill Peckman, recently wrote something that really resonated with me. It lays it all out...and you can clearly see that satan is trying to divide us. Let us not be his pawns.
Here is what he wrote:
Jesus compels a very simple choice: You are with me or against me. There is no middle ground. The fence belongs to the devil. We are either building up the Kingdom of God or we are seeking ways to tear at it. The division born of sin (rebellion) is born of the divider, the devil and those in league with him. It is he who tempts us towards squandering our inheritance given at baptism. At baptism, we were brought into the Body of Christ, in the Eucharist that bond is strengthened, but sin and the fruits of sin break these bonds.
The only fruit sin can bring is division. How is sin introduced into the Body of Christ? First, it is brought into the Church by the tribalism we bring. I will be honest, the tribalism all comes from the same divisive pride: What I like is what we should do, that you don't like what I like makes you bad. The Church has told us what she wants. She does allow for various rituals (TLM, the Ordinary Form, the various Eastern Rites for example) and asks us to do these rituals as she asks (and has the right and authority to ask) and not to see it as a empty canvas on which to paint our own desires.
Division comes from those who see the ritual they use as the only valid form. It is not. If the Church has spoken and says the ritual is valid, then it is done. Because it is not your cup of tea does not give you the right or authority to disparage a licit and valid rite that others do. If you do this, you invite division...and that is of the devil.
Furthermore we divide along other lines: those who have been lifelong members of the parish and those newbie interlopers for example. How on earth can we be the light to the world when what we show to others is an array of division and backbiting? Do we not understand we WILL stand before God and give answer to the seeds of division we sowed in HIS field? There are some who will say , "What about what he or she does?" "What about what this bishop or that priests does?" For which are you responsible...them or you? Does their sin become justification for your own sin??!!
Our answer to the seeds of division is to make sure we are not only not sowing our own seeds of division but are calling for fidelity and union. This can be done without compromising what the Church asks of us. This can be done without inviting further division. Fidelity does require we stand our ground., that we fight for truth, but when it comes to conquering the enemy...the enemy is the devil and his demonic minions...the enemy isn't our brothers and sisters in Christ. Those who have fallen are to be called back to fidelity and truth, not consigned to eternal damnation by us...that belongs to God alone. We must see even the most fallen as having the possibility (however unlikely) of redemption. We must sow seeds of redemption and not further division.
So, each of must ask whether we are agents of the union Christ gives us through His Church or agents of division that seek to rip apart the Body of Christ...who seek to purge not sin but those who do not like what I like, who just don't measure up to my own personal definition of orthodoxy and orthopraxy? Let me be clear...there are levels of orthodoxy and orthopraxy! Holy Mother Church has set them based on the teachings of Christ and His Gospel. If your definition of orthodoxy or orthopraxy is different than the Church...I got news for you...it isn't the Church that needs to change.
Some might be cheering this and others might be grinding their teeth in anger. I don't care. The truth is the truth and does not change based on my personal criteria. I am not saying there is not severe abuses being done within the context of the Mass in so many places...there are...and they must stop. However, in doing so, my sinfulness will not bring about a positive change. Using sinful pride and the tools of sin to stop sin only produces the fruit of sin.
Either we are helping fulfilling Christ's "Father, may they be one as you and I are one." or we are using sinful pride and arrogance to undercut that union. Remember, you cannot change any person other than yourself...you have no capability to make others do what you want...you do have such an ability with yourself. So as you approach the altar this weekend, what gifts do you bear...the fruits of division or unity. If any of us have been a provocateur of division within the Body of Christ...then get thee to a confessional before you dare receive the Body of Blood of Christ. , it is mortally sinful to work against what the Body and Blood of Christ seeks to strengthen.
Love and Blessings, Wendy C.
"Healing Mind, Body & Soul"
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