Posted by: Thomas Richard | May 23, 2022

An Open Letter to Part-Time Catholics

Do you know the Presence of the Holy?  If you do, you have received a gift given by God and only by God, for only He (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) can give this gift.  No human person can take, or make, or fabricate or assimilate or simulate or duplicate this gift because the gift is Himself, His own Self-gift within the blessed human soul.  When the chosen human person then enters the Presence of the Holy, there is aroused in him the due response of holy reverence.   This reverence is God within acknowledging, affirming, recognizing to the blessed human soul the divine Presence of the Holy then and there.

This reverence, springing up by no human effort or reasoning, is entirely the work of God – yet a divine work received within the human soul without any obstruction or interference by man.  It is in a sense undeniable because of the sublime delight it brings to the soul – how can it be resisted?  How can it be refused?  How can it be set aside for lesser occupations?  It is too beautiful to draw forth any response but love.

This reverence is itself prayer, prayer in its highest expression, prayer that is truly a dialogue of self-gift and divine gift.  St. John Vianney said it beautifully, “Prayer is nothing other than union with God.”  Prayer may begin seeming to be much different – a monologue – a soliloquy of man speaking to himself, really, in hopes that God is listening and hearing his heart-longings and felt needs.  But prayer is a living relationship that is to grow and mature to such a quiet resting in holy reverence with the Holy One – a blessed prayer of contemplation in the Presence of the Holy.

I entered the sacred space of the sanctuary, my local church, last Holy Day for the celebration of the Mass.  Immediately there, raised in a golden Tabernacle near the Altar, is resting the Holy Eucharist: the Resurrected, Glorified Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The entire sanctuary is illuminated by the glory streaming forth from His Presence there before us, and for us.  There must be myriads of angels filling that sacred space praising His Presence in song, invisible and inaudible to us, rising like incense in silent testimony to His glory, bowing before Him in perfect angelic reverence, bathed in the flood of His invisible light.  All the angelic choir is gathered into the holy communion of love and fidelity to Him, Lord of heaven and earth.  Into this prayer we, who enter the sanctuary, are called!  Into this reverence we, who enter His sanctuary, are called! Dare we enter and not tremble ?  Dare we enter with no thought of who we are – and who He IS – and where and what we have in fact entered?

People of God – Brothers and Sisters – do you know where you are, this moment, in His loving Hands?  Do you know where He is, every moment of your life?  How close He is?  How near?  How gently He touches your soul moment by moment, to awaken you… How He longs to gather you in His arms in deep and profound embrace!  Will you awaken?  Are you awakened yet, do you hear Him yet, in your busyness about so many other things…..  How He wept gazing at Holy Jerusalem, where even then men were gathered in agreement to kill Him that He might be forever excluded and rejected from their precious superior lives.  How He longed to gather them into His arms, and they would not.

These are dark times, Brothers and Sisters, and they threaten to grow darker still.  Will you yet return to Him?  Will you awaken, and remember – and in repentance in the heart – return to your first love, in Him?


Responses

  1. Dear Thomas,

    Thanks for this beautiful “Letter to Part-Time Catholics”. As you wrote: “These are dark times…” It is sad to see Catholics who left the Church, confused and forgetting their Baptismal Gifts of Supernatural Faith, Hope and above all Charity, given to them by God, for them to grow in Holiness. Often I’ve sent your words to some in the hope they will begin to remember what they once believed, and begin again to hold fast to that Faith in Him Who is Love.

    It is so important for all of us to pray to God Who created and redeemed us. Let us pray especially for the Church which is His Body, through the intercession of Mary, The Mother Jesus gave to us from His Cross, who by the power of the Holy Spirit conceived Him in her womb saying: “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your Word”.

    Come Holy Spirit, fill the Hearts of Your Faithful. Fill us as you filled Mary with Jesus, our Way, our Truth, and our Life. Amen.

  2. Dear Thomas, with the world as it is today, I want to only be drawn to God. How could I not be? I love God and want to be loved by Him! He gives me peace, hope, love, comfort, safety, joy, truth. Thanks for your blog. I pray everyone will read it and seek our one true God!


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