mercredi, juillet 22, 2009

They come in the clothing of sheep

Sermon for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost
(Without the story of the bottle of wine and the drop of gazoline)
By their fruits you shall know them! With these words Our Lord warns us against the false prophets. They come in the clothing of sheep. We shall not recognize them by their appearances or their looks but by their fruits. It usually takes time before you can see the first fruits of a tree. It is a process that takes several years. So, Our Lord asks us to be patient and to not succumb immediately to the enthusiasm of novelty or to the appeal of extraordinary facts. “I have heard about this priest or this minister, what does he do! He is amazing, and so nice! He is a man of God for sure, he can heal people and he performs miracles.” Then you leave your church and change your habits to follow this new shepherd who will lead you to Christ… until you find another one that you find more attractive.
This kind of behavior is unfortunately not rare in a country where religion has become a business and with its market. Thousands of Christians are simply the victims – more or less consenting – of the false prophets against whom Christ precisely warns us. They come in clothing of sheep. Saint John Chrysostom explains that they are neither the Jews nor the Gentiles, but the heretic Christians who have the clothing, the look of the sheep. The clothing is the appearance of Christianity, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. They pretend to give you God but in fact they devour your soul.
Of course we think first about all the different Christian denominations that are so flourishing in the U.S. especially here in the South. They all look good. After all it can not be a bad thing to speak about Jesus Christ, especially in a corrupted world that returns to secularism and paganism. Many would tell you that it is better to be a Christian, whatever is your denomination, rather than an atheist or a pagan. They would add that there are different ways of worshiping Christ; you just have to find the one that is the best for you, according to your preference, to what you like.
The problem, brethren, is that we do not have – in fact we cannot – choose between two evils. I do not care if it is a better to be a Christian of whatever denominations rather than a pagan, because unless you belong to the true Church founded by Christ, being a Christian is not a good thing. Being a heretic is a very grave sin that leads to hell! Who is not with Christ is against Him. The fact is that all the false religions that pretend to be Christian are in the same side as the atheists and pagans. They are together against the truth.
Until a recent time, this was the clear teaching of the Catholic Church that has always warned and defended her sheep against the wolves. And it is still the teaching of the Church today, because it cannot change. There is no salvation outside the Church. It is a dogma and it will remain a dogma until the end of times. But today, this truth is tainted and dissolved in an insipid soup, because many wolves have put on the clothing of the sheep, and they are within the Catholic Church. They officially belong to the Church of Christ but they do not give the doctrine of Christ.
We recognize a tree by its fruits. What are the fruits of these false prophets? An abandon of the true doctrine and spirit of the Church for a kind of universal humanism! A loss of missionary zeal – if everybody is saved, why would you make some efforts to convert other? A loss of the preaching of the truth for an exaltation of tolerance as if it were the highest virtue! The absolute rule is now to not offend people and to respect their beliefs and behaviors, whatever they are. A loss of spirit of penance and of mortification! A loss of the sense of sin! A loss of the sense of reparation! A loss of the true meaning of the priesthood and of the hierarchical dimension of the Church! A loss of the sense of the sacredness which has for horrible consequence the fact that the churches are now social halls where people spend a lot of time to chat instead of being the sacred temple where we adore with humility the King of Kings hidden in the tabernacle! A loss of many things which are so characteristic of the Catholic Church! Is it the prelude to the great apostasy? It might be, but we shall see.

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