I write to you today from my heart because I don’t understand what you are doing or why. You are not my biological father, and yet you are my Father (“For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” 1 Cor. 4:15). I look at you as a daughter watching her father…watching to see the work you do, recalling Christ’s commission to his priests through our Holy Mother Church to …
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world.” [Matt. 28:19-20]
I also recall the beloved words of my Savior to Saint Peter… [When I read this, I can almost hear Jesus’ voice TRYING to convey more to Peter than His words might have sounded to the others.]
“When, therefore, they had breakfasted, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, dost thou love me more than these do?”
He [Simon Peter] said to Him, “Yes, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.”
He [Jesus] said to him, “Feed my lambs”.
He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, dost thou love me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.”
He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
A third time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, dost thou love me?”
Peter was a grieved because he said to him for the third time, “Doust thou love me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.
He said to him, “Feed my sheep.” [John 21:15-17 Challoner-Rheims Catholic Bible Version]
What an amazing commission our Beloved Lord has given to you my Father in Christ. A commission I am sure is not an easy task in our corrupt world. The cross of our clergy is indeed a heavy cross to carry as you follow Christ. Please know, in my plea to you here today, I do not for a moment forget the weight you are under to follow Jesus while carrying that heavy cross. Yet still I must bring my concerns to your ears because only you can answer them.
Our Holy Mother Church is what to the world, Father? Is She not the Ark upon the earth which mankind finds salvation in the Sacraments and graces our Lord gives through Her? Salvation from Christ through His Holy Catholic Church, is that not so, dear Father?
Catechism: #845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.334 (30, 953, 1219)
845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.334 (30, 953, 1219)“Outside the Church there is no salvation”
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: (161, 1257)
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336
You Father, know our Church, and matters of salvation and Jesus Christ’s commission to you as a priest to teach and bring salvation to others far better than I, so please forgive me for asking you, “Have you forgotten your priorities?”
You see, I watch you closely, not to criticize, but to learn from you. To see how you handle situations, events and most of all to see your salvational work in progress. Not just when you stand behind the pulpit, but also when you are out in the world. I see you Father and I hear what you say.
My confusion comes, when I hear you talk constantly about social issues, like immigration reform or when you take photo ops with political figures or even other 'liberal' clergy who publicly reject Christ and Holy Mother Church’s official teachings by saying they support gay 'marriages' and unions.
I am well aware that our Lord ate with sinners. I am also well aware that when He met with such sinners He told them to their face “Now go, and stop sinning.” I don’t mind you dining with sinners Father, but I truly wish you would pass along Christ’s message to them after dessert.
You see Father, the words of Jesus to His priests are very clear to my simple mind, “…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…”(Matt.28:20) I don’t see Jesus commissioning his priests to work out immigration issues or sort out which political party is best. To my simple mind, Jesus’ focus was always on helping people reach eternity in heaven. Salvation. Am I wrong Father?
I don’t understand why my Fathers, be they parish priest or Bishop, spend so much time, money and energy working on immigration when souls are being lost. Why are you so worried with our temporary life, instead of our eternal life?
Please tell me how you justify it Father, because I honestly do not understand and I honestly do not want to think badly of my Fathers who answered Jesus’ call to the priesthood. Jesus chose you all for a reason, and I can’t think it was immigration reform.
Jesus said over and over “Feed my lambs.” And “Feed my sheep.” He knew we would be starving for Spiritual guidance and help on our journeys to eternity. All of us, are going to end up in either Heaven or Hell and a lot of that responsibility falls on the cross you my Father picked up when you became my Father through the Gospel. You chose that cross and with it comes the priority of saving souls. Let the politicians and people work out immigration, they can do it Father, but what the laity cannot do is what you were called to do.
1564 “Whilst not having the supreme degree of the pontifical office, and notwithstanding the fact that they depend on the bishops in the exercise of their own proper power, the priests are for all that associated with them by reason of their sacerdotal dignity; and in virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, after the image of Christ, the supreme and eternal priest, they are consecrated in order to preach the Gospel and shepherd the faithful as well as to celebrate divine worship as true priests of the New Testament.”46 (611)
1565 Through the sacrament of Holy Orders priests share in the universal dimensions of the mission that Christ entrusted to the apostles. The spiritual gift they have received in ordination prepares them, not for a limited and restricted mission, “but for the fullest, in fact the universal mission of salvation ‘to the end of the earth,’”47 “prepared in spirit to preach the Gospel everywhere.”48 (849)
Yes, we all work out our salvation in “fear and trembling”, but you Father were commissioned to “teach” us and our Holy Mother Church was given the commission to bring the Sacraments and graces to us from our Savior. That’s the entire reason She exists and you have become a Father through the Gospel. If we, the laity didn’t need Holy Mother Church or the priesthood Jesus wouldn’t have created and commissioned either.
But we do need you Father and our Church. We need you to TEACH. We need you to GUIDE us to salvation, not political reforms. We THIRST for spiritual direction, not political dinners and photo ops. Where are the Church's priorities in the United States? Is salvation still the priority for the Church here? Please tell me Father, because I don't know any more.
Has the Church in the United States forgotten Her mission?
Catechism: Mission—a requirement of the Church’s catholicity
849 The missionary mandate. “Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be ‘the universal sacrament of salvation,’ the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men”:339 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age.”340 (738, 767)
850 The origin and purpose of mission. The Lord’s missionary mandate is ultimately grounded in the eternal love of the Most Holy Trinity: “The Church on earth is by her nature missionary since, according to the plan of the Father, she has as her origin the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit.”341 The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love.342 (257, 730)
851 Missionary motivation. It is from God’s love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, “for the love of Christ urges us on.”343 Indeed, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”;344 that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in God’s universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary. (221, 429, 74, 217, 2104, 890)
Father, I love my Catholic Faith, I love my Holy Mother Church and I love my Fathers who answered the Call to become priest, but far too often I do not understand what I see happening today. I honestly ask you Father, has our Church forgotten Her mission? Have her priests forgotten Christ’s commission to them to bring salvation to nations?
I understanding wanting to help the plight of the less fortunate in our world, our Church has always been a beacon of light to the poor and suffering. I am not saying we should not help others in their sufferings on earth, I am saying what are our priorities? Is it more important to help people find a temporary home on earth or an eternal home with our God?
And what about correction? Is it not the obligation and duty of our Fathers and Mother Church to correct us in our errors?
890 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium’s task to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms: (851, 1785)
Help me understand Father, why so many priests and Bishops have stopped correcting Christ’s lambs? We have “nuns on the bus” demanding birth control and legal abortion and now they've jumped on the immigration reform bus, we have other “nuns” demanding someone make them “priests” and then we have good parish Fathers who rightly deny the Eucharist to openly gay couples only to be reprimanded for it. They should be supported and encouraged!
What’s happening to Christ’s Church and the priesthood that He commissioned to teach and guide for the salvation of souls? We are STARVING Father, because there are too few Fathers left to “feed Christ’s sheep”.
Denying the Eucharist to ANYONE IN mortal sin is an act of GREAT LOVE. To allow someone in mortal sin (gay sexual relationships are of course grave mortal sin) to have Holy Communion is HELPING in the DAMNATION to a person! [1 Cor.11:29] Priests must NEVER participate in anyway with a person's soul being damned. Priests are to correct and help guide the person away from sin and to repentance. We need these things... our souls depend on them.
Christ’s lambs are starving for guidance, correction and instruction…why aren't our Father's working harder to FEED us as Christ instructed?
Please tell me Father, what is going on?
Julie, one of our Lord's Lambs