Your friend in Christ,
Praised be Jesus Christ! “Iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17) – this was a favorite Scripture passage for Saint Thomas Aquinas. He firmly believed that the truth comes to the surface through discussion and argumentation. Aquinas was charitable enough to always honor his opponents by knowing their arguments better than they did; this also allowed him the necessary insights to be able to refute them. More often than not, the goal for an argument is to win, and to do so at any cost. Not so for Aquinas – he rightly believed that the goal of argumentation is that the truth will come out so that all will benefit. We’re witnessing some argumentation these days around who can and who cannot receive Holy Communion. Such discussions are as old as the Catholic Church and are necessary so that none of us will take this remarkable privilege for granted. Every time we attend Mass we begin with the penitential rite so as to examine whether we’re in the state of sanctifying grace. This means that we can only receive Holy Communion if we are not aware of having any mortal sins on our soul. Briefly, mortal sin means that we’ve done something gravely disordered (e.g. missing Mass on Sunday without a serious reason, sexual sins, drunkenness or drug use) and that we knew it was wrong and freely did it anyway. What helps more than anything is regular confession, as it both removes the stain of sin and further refines our conscience so that we will more readily choose the good while refraining from the many temptations that we must fight day by day. All of this is a simple refresher to challenge us to honor God by sincerely preparing to receive His Son in Holy Communion. The aforementioned argumentation at the highest level of Church life has to do with couples who went through a divorce, then remarried without an annulment. What is at stake is the indissolubility of marriage – Jesus said “What God has joined, let no man put asunder,” (Matthew 19:6). When a marriage ends, the Church’s presumption is always in favor of the bond; an annulment claims that the bond was defective from the very outset and that it was always lacking one or another of the components that comprise a valid, sacramental marriage. When a person divorces and remarries without an annulment, there is the distinct possibility that the first marriage is valid and that the person is presently living with someone with whom he is not married. This compromises our communion with God. To allow divorced and remarried couples to receive Holy Communion substantially changes either what we believe about Holy Communion or what we believe about the indissolubility of marriage. These are significant realities and we should pray to the Holy Spirit, that He will guide the Holy Father and all Bishops so that they will both understand and obey the will of God. Sometimes people manipulate such situations to justify what they want to believe, but we should be patient and trust that the truth will prevail in the end (Jesus promised that even the gates of hell could never prevail over the Church). In the meantime, let’s examine our consciences and prepare humbly to meet and receive our God in Holy Communion. And if you’re in an irregular situation (e.g. married civilly but not in a Catholic Church or divorced and remarried without an annulment), please let me help you so you can receive Holy Communion again. May God guide all arguments so that we come to know the truth and so have our hearts free to love!
Your friend in Christ,
Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM
Saturday: 8:00 AM
Saturday: 4:30 & 7:00 PM
Sunday: 7:00, 9:00 & 11:00 AM
Tuesday–Thursday: 6:30 - 6:50 AM
Friday: 6:30 - 6:50 AM & 7:00-8:00 PM
Saturday:3:45 -4:15 PM & 6:15 -6:45 PM
PERPETUAL ADORATION: The Marshfield Deanery has the John Paul II Adoration Chapel located in the basement of St. John the Baptist Parish, at 201 W. Blodgett St. The chapel is accessible from the rear parking lot. For more information or to sign up:
contact Dale at 715-383-2262 or Jean Kaiser 715-387-0571. Click on the image below for more information.
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Welcome From Our Pastor
Welcome to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church! Ever since 1877 this parish has been assisting souls in their quest for deeper union with God. Pope John Paul II called the parish a “school of prayer” and St. John’s is committed to promoting growth in holiness in every state in life. Each of us is called... Read More
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