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"Jesus Loves You as You Are But Will Not Leave You as You Are"--St. Augustine

Daily I peruse a dozen websites for Catholic thought and reflection, to keep my finger on the pulse of the faith as well as to foster my own growth in holiness. Regularly I want to echo articulate points made by salient authors but hold back—I am not an editor, but merely an amateur contributor, as others say things so much better than I do. Though I will break silence when something profoundly affects me, as from the post today by Fr. Perricone at Crisis Magazine: “Does Jesus Love You Just the Way You Are?”

Fr. Perricone echoes a sentiment which I deeply share: that justice is frequently misperceived and Catholic truths are improperly stated too often by those professing to be informed. We are sinners, rather wretched at that, if you want my gut feeling, highly favored by the Divinity for no reasons of our own but for His own glory and mysterious purposes. When I hear a fellow priest eulogize the deceased at a funeral, “they’re in heaven now,” I get queasy at his ill-timed presumption. My fond hope is that, at my funeral, friends, family and associates would get down on their knees and plead with God for mercy on me, a sinner!

What does our faith teach? That we “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12-13). Again, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" (Mt 7:21-23).

Way too often, we excuse one another’s moral faults and failings out of misguided compassion if not from a spirit of complicity, lest we ourselves be judged. But judged we will be, and if I do any good here on earth, it will be to help all I know prepare themselves for that great and glorious day when the Lord judges you worthy of himself (or not—God forbid!).

Read Fr. Perricone’s article that is short enough and worthy, in my estimation, of intruding on your thoughts with a word of invaluable humility and true charity. And please, remember me in your prayers! Rightly, then, would you expect me to remember and pray for you.

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