08 Jul 2017

This Week Letter – July 9, 2017

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Dear Parishioners and Friends.


“Johnny, do not take yourself so seriously,” wrote Pope John XXIII to himself in the “Diary of the Soul.” Anxiety, high self-esteem, or even morbid self-obsessive tendencies are quite common personality disorders; people seek approval from others. Thus, self-acceptance is also needed. At the same time, however, it is necessary for people to know the truth about themselves. This must be defined and subjected to the healing power of Christ and to constant self-improvement. Otherwise, it leads man to pride and narcissistic self-praise and self-admiration. One sins against God when he considers himself to be the embodiment of wisdom, an infallible oracle and his own judge. Nobody matters to him; he even despises others. At the same time, he loses ability to see his ties with God, and loses his faith in God. He becomes a god for himself.
Only Jesus was truly God among Mankind, yet in His humanity He worshiped the Father in full honesty, saying “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.” By being the eternal Son of the Father, He fulfilled His will and became human for our salvation. By sacrificing Himself on the cross, He took the place of the sacrificial lamb – the animal. This sacrifice was immortalized in bread and wine. The humility of the Eucharistic miracle also brings together the whole humility of the earthly existence of Christ. His birth was humble, His way of life simple and His death on the cross humiliating. The prophet Zechariah has already seen such a humble Messiah: “Behold: your king is coming to you, a just savior is He, humble, and riding on a colt, the foal of a donkey”. God does not want a man to lose his humility, to lose the essential likeness of the most humble God. God in His humility opens to man a source of grace: “God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.” (1 Peter 5: 5). Man cannot realize himself any better than through humility.
Christ’s lesson of humility is not attractive to modern people. It can be thought that this contempt for humility has its source in a certain departure from God, from the Church and from one another. Religious life is in its essence a humble life. Only humble people are able to bend the knee before God, to accept His will and His precepts. Only a man of childlike humility can honestly call God “Father.” The examination of conscience calls for profound humility, and, as a consequence of its absence, so many go to confession without it. Without humility, there can be no real conversion or acceptance of the invitation to experience the Eucharist.

The lesson of humility has to be taken on anew. I think we often corrupt pre-Communion children when we deprive them of the humble communion with the Eucharistic Christ, through beautiful costumes, elaborate feasts and expensive gifts. For once, may they be able to discover the One whom we so cruelly hide.

Please mark in your calendars the date of our parish picnic – Sunday, August 27, Bunker Hill in Niles, Lot No. 4. As usual, we will begin Mass at. 11am and later there will be games, fun and delicious food. Let us be thankful, but not too proud, that this time is not like it was 30 years ago. Come and let us all feel like one family.

God bless!.