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The Duty of the Apostolate October 7, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, religious, Tradition, Virtue.
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From Divine Intimacy Day 318, continuing a catechesis on zeal for souls. Please contrast the sentiments below with the very worldly, materialist, and indifferent sentiments expressed by the canon lawyer in this post.

…..“and if any member suffer anything, all the members suffer with it; or if one member glory, all the others rejoice with it” (1 Cor 12:26).  So, every Christian is bound to be concerned with the welfare of others.

…….no Christian can be unconcerned about his brother, but is obliged, according to his ability, to work for the good of his neighbor’s soul, and this by reason of his Baptism, which constitutes him a member of the Mystical Body, making him one with the other members, so that the good of others is his good, the suffering of others is his suffering.

The cause of all evils lies in the fact that we consider as alien the things that concern our own body [the Mystical Body of Christ]. No one is fulfilling his own duty if he ignores his neighbor’s salvation. If you dare to contend that you have nothing in common with your fellow member; if you think you have nothing in common with your brother, then neither have you Christ for you Head.” These strong words of St. John Chrysostom remind us that the apostolate is not an extra, it is not something optional, left to the free will and generosity of individuals; it is the express duty of every Christian, a duty which comes from the very nature of Christianity, a duty so binding that one cannot be a true Christian without complying with it.

As St. Paul to the early Christians and St. John Chrysostom to the Church at Antioch, so today the Vicar of Christ raises his voice to inculcate in the faithful throughout the world the great duty of the apostolate. Jesus by His death on the Cross merited Grace for us, and “It was possible for Him personally, immediately to impart these graces to men; but He wished to do so only through a visible Church that would be formed by the union of men, and thus through that Church every man would perform a work of collaboration with Him in dispensing the graces of Redemption.  The Word of God willed to make use of our nature, when in excruciating agony He would redeem mankind; in much the same way throughout the centuries He makes use of the Church that the work begun might endure” (Venerable Pius XII: Mystici Corporis). The Church is the society of the faithful……..therefore it is incumbent on each one of us to cooperate in the diffusion of Grace in souls. Unquestionably, the first place in carrying out this work belongs to the bishops and priests, but next to them and under their direction, every Christian is called upon to take part in it.

Jesus wills to make use of His members, that is, all Christians, to continue His redemptive work in the world.  Being infinite omnipotence, He can sanctify souls without help from anyone, should He so will, just as He created everything out of nothing; but He wills to need us and our poor works, and He invites us and begs us to sacrifice ourselves with Him for the salvation of others. “A tremendous mystery,” exclaims Pius XII, “and one which can never be sufficiently meditated upon: that the salvation of many depends on the prayers and voluntary mortifications undertaken for this end by the members of the Mystical Body of Christ and on the cooperation of the pastors and of the faithful” (Mystici Corporis). To be apostles means to l end Christ our talents and activity, so that He may continue to redeem and sanctify souls through us. [think how this relates to the mentality that says bishops and priests should leave souls ignorant, or not correct them for the gravest of sins (sacrilege), because they might lose some influence in that manner.  Why don’t we just become episcopalians, then, following the cultural currents to determine what “truth” is?]

St. Catherine of Siena, that great, great Saint, says:

O Lord, turn Your merciful eyes upon Your people and upon Your Mystical Body, the Holy Church, since You will receive more glory from pardoning many souls than You will by pardoning only me, a wretched creature who has offended You so often. I beseech You, therefore, Divine Eternal Charity, to avenge Yourself on me and be merciful to Your people; I shall never depart from Your presence until I see that You have shown mercy to them. How could I be happy if I had eternal life and Your people were condemned to death? Therefore, I wish, and as a favor I implore You, to show mercy to Your people by that same charity which moved You to create man to Your image and likeness, so that He might have a share in You and in Your life.

O Lord, I offer You my life now and forever, whenever it shall please You to take it, and I offer it for Your glory, humbly beseeching You, by the merits of  Your Passion, to cleanse and purify Your Spouse, the Church, from every defect; delay no longer! I turn my gaze in another direction and I see the lost souls of countless sinners[And yet the canon lawyer in the link above seems to think everyone has a right to Communion, that everyone is in a state of Grace regardless of what they believe, that hell doesn’t exist and souls aren’t damned. If 95% of Catholics cannot receive the Blessed Sacrament right now, what a catastrophe that is and what blame that lays at the feet of our shepherds, but is it then right to allow or encourage them to add more sin to their souls?]  My heart is broken at the sight of them, or rather, it is dilated by the force of bitter regret. I am overcome with compassion, and I cannot help weeping for their misery, as if I found myself – like them – soiled with the mire of their guilt.

Lord, during Your mortal life, You bore the weight of two crosses by carrying in Your Body the heavy burden of our sins.  In order that I may be conformed to You, You have burdened me with the weight of two crosses: one crushes my body with infirmities and other distresses, the other transfixes my soul which grieves for the perdition and blindness of so many poor, obstinate sinners.