December 21, 2007 - Lay Ministries Must Be Holy
Oh mighty Priest, your hands, most beautiful hands for blessing, heaven awaits your words through the Sacraments (outward signs, instituted by Christ, to confer grace). Will this sinner be forgiven or not? You pronounce the Judgment, Go in peace your sins are forgiven. This sinner leaves the confessional white as snow and his baptismal promises are renewed. Satan, you no longer own him; he has been with our Lord's mighty Priest. The congregation looks intensely at the Altar, heaven awaits the mighty words from the Priest, Angels look and wait intensely to see heaven come to earth or earth come to heaven. The Priest blesses the common bread and wine. The time approaches slowly, the mighty Priest holds the bread and looking up to heaven pronounces the words of consecration, This is My Body, Jesus is now present physically on earth as He is in heaven and under the species of bread. The mighty Priest takes the chalice with common wine and looking up to heaven pronounces the words, “this is My Blood, which was given up for you, do this in remembrance of Me.” Under both species our Lord is now physically present, Body Blood Soul and Divinity, on the altar of sacrifice. Time no longer exists. Calvary is present for all to experience. No matter what state the soul of the priest may be, even if he is in mortal sin, the Sacrament still takes place, grace is brought to the world. This is not the same with the lay ministries of the world; grace is brought to the world when we live out our baptismal promises. Any lay ministry is bound to fail when its members are not living holy lives. Yes, we indeed need these ministries with the shortage of Priests in the world, but without holiness and proper spiritual direction, this is easy prey for Satan. Large numbers are not the answer, plenty of money is not the answer, and big buildings are not the answer. It is through Him, with Him, and in Him, that these ministries will find Godís perfect will. Lack of obedience to Church authority is the first sure sign that holiness is missing and failure will be sure to follow.
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