Fr. Pecchie's Message 09/19/21

The life of every Christian is like the Eucharist. On the outside, the Eucharist looks entirely worthless.
It is flimsy, pale, plain, and fragile. Yet, beneath those unimpressive appearances is God himself, Jesus Christ, the creator and redeemer of the Eucharist. When God reigns in our hearts, we may look plain and fragile on the outside, but on the inside we are filled with everlasting treasures. And just as through the centuries the Eucharist, whose appearance is so humble, has inspired some of the most magnificent achievements of mankind: towering cathedrals, breathtaking works of art, exquisite music and literature, and heroic self-sacrifice.
In a similar way, when we allow God to rule our hearts from within, we become powerful forces of inspiration in the world. Not because we are beautiful, eloquent, or talented in some kind of exterior way, but because we are full of God's grace, a super-natural influence that works in hidden ways, like radio waves.
Think for example of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She was only a tiny, frail, humble Albanian nun, and yet Christ reigned fully in her heart, and she continues to inspire the world. Or think of for example of St. Therese of Lisieux. She was a young, middle-class French girl who entered the convent at 15 years old and died before she was 25. She lived such hidden lives, that when she did die, her companions didn’t even know what to write in the convent diary. Such an uneventful life, from the outside, but gradually the richness of her interior, spiritual experience of God became known. Now her autobiography has become one of the best-selling books of all times, in dozens of languages, and she has been named a Doctor of the Church.
Christ's Kingdom is spiritual, not political. But this doesn't mean that Christ's followers have nothing to say about politics. This is a common misunderstanding in today's world. We hear a lot of talk about the separation between Church and state. But that phrase can be taken in two different ways. In the first place, it can mean that the government of a country doesn't try to run the Church, and that, in turn, the Church doesn't try to run the government. That is the right way to understand separation of Church and state. But there is also a wrong way to understand it. The wrong viewpoint says that religion is just a private hobby, like butterfly collecting, and so has nothing to contribute to the public life of a community or country. But in fact, there is one area of life where politics and faith do overlap: morality.
Governments, in order to do their job well and make just laws, have to respect the natural moral law - the Ten Commandments, for example. This natural moral law is built into human nature. It exists prior to politics and provides healthy parameters for political activity, just like the laws of physics existed prior to the invention of rockets and provided the parameters for space travel. Governments need clear knowledge of the natural moral law to do their job as much as engineers need clear knowledge of natural physical laws to do theirs. God has made the Church a sure teacher and guide on questions of natural moral law. So, we as Catholics have a lot to contribute to the discussion of public affairs; it is up to us to be conscience of our country.
We should ask God to grant us the grace not only to allow His spiritual Kingdom to spread in our hearts, but also to give us the wisdom and courage to be His messengers to the world around us, which is in such dire need of moral guidance.


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