On the night of last Monday, 22nd May 2017, many innocent people, including several young ones, were victims of a brutal attack by a terrorist who would, doubtlessly, had he not died in the suicide attack, have claimed to have carried out these murders ‘in the name of God’! The children of Fátima, two of whom have been recently declared Saints, were warned by Our Lady that evils perpetrated around the world were going to lead to war. Indeed, the First and Second World Wars followed in the ensuing decades, being sure signs of what happens when God is denied and free will is abused. God calls us to live holy lives and, thereby, attain Heaven, but the end of our earthly life’s journey depends on our choice:– to do God’s Will or fundamentally, and knowingly, to oppose Him in grave sin.
Frequently, in the news, we hear of outrages committed against fellow humans and, quite rightly, we unite, even with those with whom we might have been at odds, to aid the victims and condemn the murders. We need to pray that these terrible acts may serve as alarm calls to wake up a world which, although claiming to be ‘advanced’ and ‘civilised’ and frequently and loudly proclaiming human rights, is very selective in the application of those rights. Through wars and terrorist outrages it is being driven home just how deeply the human race is affected by Original Sin. Because of one’s fallen nature, it can, as has been consistently demonstrated, be very difficult not to espouse the ‘causes’ of those who either deny God altogether or, certainly, deny His absolute right to decree how we live our lives. Through God’s grace, lovingly and freely accepted, however challenged we may feel in doing so, we can turn the tide of evil.
So, what do we do? We start at the very roots, in our families, where new life and formation for life begins; ensure that our families are, indeed, seed beds of truth and love. We must strenuously oppose what is often described as the Culture of Death. Sadly, although very rightly expressing our disgust and horror at the carnage perpetrated against human beings around the world, many can overlook the daily denial of life to the most vulnerable humans, the unborn and, increasingly, the denial of the right to life, at the other end of the scale, to the old and terminally ill. These lives are being placed in jeopardy, partly because contraception and abortion have denied God His prerogative to create, through the love of husband and wife, new generations of children who would have grown, generated new demands for goods and services, reached adulthood and, in time, have further contributed to the economy, maybe become carers and perhaps married and had their own children. One risks unpopularity and mockery for opposing the culture of death.
If we buy a household appliance, we might read the manual, then decide to follow only those instructions we happen to agree with, while ignoring others, assuming that we know better than the maker. Then, when it breaks down, and we expect the manufacturer to replace or repair it, we should not be surprised to find our request refused, since we committed a breach of contract by knowingly failing to use the appliance ‘in accordance with the maker’s instructions’. Applying this scenario to life, we wish to get to Heaven, but we place our eternal happiness in jeopardy if we subscribe to what has been called ‘cafeteria Catholicism’, in which one selectively and knowingly obeys or rejects God’s laws, presuming that God will, in the end, ‘overlook’ our errors, or that we will, anyway, repent before we die. If we are to be ‘salt and Light’ in this world, all of us need to start by taking a long hard look at our own lives.
From St. Bart's
Thoughts on the traditional teachings, devotions, seasons and matters of the Catholic Church
Accessibility - St. Bartholomew's does its utmost to accommodate those with additional needs. Whilst the main body of the church is wholly accessible to people with mobility disabilities, the choir gallery is both approached by stairs and the seating is then stepped by design. The church has a wheelchair-accessible toilet, and baby-changing facilities. There is a Loop System (AFIL) in place in the church.
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