Praised be Jesus Christ! When Luis Martinez became the Archbishop of Mexico City in 1937 one of the first things he told his people was “I give you my life.” Martinez was wise in the ways of God and lived a heroically simple and sacrificial life – it’s no wonder that his cause is open and moving forward toward what one day will be his canonization as a saint. I “met” him the first time when I read his powerful book on the Holy Spirit titled The Sanctifier. This is hands down the best book I’ve ever read about the third Person of the Trinity! This weekend our confirmandi will be receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a powerful way and we will be supporting them with our prayers as they become full members of the Catholic Church. As they receive these gifts it’s important for them to meditate on an insight that comes from Martinez’s book, namely “It’s better to know than love things that are inferior to us; it’s better to love than know things that are superior to us.” Many times we get this mixed up: how many people take the approach that because they cannot understand God, they therefore refuse to trust Him (in His defense, He told us repeatedly that His ways are not our ways and that we wouldn’t always see the wisdom in the way He runs the universe). And we also frequently err in loving things that are below us and cannot save us (e.g. inordinate attachment to money or possessions or fame or cigars). Worthy of prayer and meditation is Martinez’s insight: loving God leads to proper use of the things of this world; trying to figure out God or thinking we know better than Him leads to discouragement and a weakening of our faith. Receiving the Holy Spirit gives us the grace necessary to spend our life fruitfully loving God and His people – and wisdom comes from living this way. For this reason Jesus said that it was not to the wise and learned that He revealed Himself, but to the childlike. Worldly people are anything but childlike. They adopt an air of sophistication and haughty self-reliance. The childlike spirit of God is one of awe and wonder, not to mention acceptance of our limitations as crosses that bring us closer to God and His people. One of my classmates is a priest and has had a stutter for all of his life. He told me some years back that his stutter has inspired more people than anything else – he said countless people have thanked him for not allowing his weakness to define him or keep him from serving God. When our young people receive the Holy Spirit, it’s not to make them more powerful and self-sufficient. To the contrary, they are asked to accept their struggles in a spirit of faith: God only allows trials to help us grow and learn to love others who struggle too. In my life Psalm 119 has haunted and defined me all at the same time: “Before I was afflicted I strayed.” When things were going well for me as a newly liberated college student, I felt indomitable and lived as if I hadn’t a care in the world. But the struggles began and they really shook my self- confidence and lead to some pretty dark places. Somehow the prayers of others must have kept me from turning my back to God – it was in those struggles that I began to truly experience God’s love for me, even though I hardly deserved it. And wouldn’t you know, retrospectively I can see that His love for me began to free me from the compensatory behaviors I was engaging to find some peace in this world. Our Confirmation students will go through many tough times in their life. But receiving the Holy Spirit is a pledge by God to help them find wisdom at the foot of their crosses. Someday when these young people stand before their spouse or before the altar they will say words similar to Martinez’s all those years ago: “I give you my life.” And that will be proof that the Holy Spirit is alive and working in their hearts and souls.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Your love!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin
Tuesday - Friday: 8:00 AM
Saturday: 4:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM & 10:00 AM
Saturday: 3:15 - 3:45 PM
Monday - Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
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Welcome from Our Pastor
Welcome to Christ the King Catholic Church! Ever since 1938 this parish has been assisting souls in their quest for deeper union with God. Our mission statement is essentially found in the stained glass window above the main altar: “For Christ our King.” Insofar as God made us and we belong to Him, we have come to... Read More