Yesterday, I took my soon to be seventy-year-old mother to Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Mo. She wanted to go on a pilgrimage to go through a Holy Door of Mercy. The Cathedral Basilica is a beautiful church that was made into a Basilica during the visit of Pope St. John Paul II to the United States in 1999. If any enter this building one cannot help but feel they are standing on Holy Ground. We arrived shortly after the Ordination of Priests had concluded, and the church was filled with the scent of incense. One walked through the Doors of Mercy as the natural light subtly entered the main part of the Cathedral. It’s a stirring effect as the shadows in the Basilica give it an ancient feel, as well as it provides a beautiful effect that allows the mosaic ceiling–The largest mosaic in North America– that is mostly gold to glitter across telling the story of Catholicism in St. Louis, the story of Christ, and the last judgment. During my visit, as I let my Mother to her prayers, I entered the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament to pray the rosary. I felt the need to offer prayers of praise to God for all of his glorious creations and to pray for his aid for his creations as they experience the trials of the world.
After this experience, my Mother and I decided to drive home and attend the evening Mass, which was also the Baccalaureate Mass for our community’s Catholic High School. It was great to help fill the Church to show these young graduates the importance of their Catholic education in a world that continues to discriminate against Catholics as being products of superstition and anti-Science. I pray that they either continue their Catholic education at a legit Catholic University or if they choose a more secular path that they learn from it, but do not allow it to destroy their faith in God.
I attended Mass again this morning to celebrate, the now the 2nd annual, Procession of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) with Bishop Paprocki. My actions to take part in such celebration are all a part of a call I have felt in my heart to publically acknowledge my faith as a way to evangelize and stand up for my faith in the current Spiritual war that is taking place for the hearts and soul of humanity. During the liturgy, Bishop Paprocki had an inspiring homily as he discussed the history of the celebration of Corpus Christi from a bleeding host to Pope St. John Paul II in 2004 demanding to kneel during the procession of Corpus Christi when he could no longer walk.
The part that struck me as the most important message of Bishop Paprocki’s homily is when he was discussing coming to the parishes to confirm the school children. He said that he has them fill out a questionnaire, in which, one of the questions he asks them is how they intend on living out their faith in Christ. Bishop Paprocki said that most of the answers he gets is, “I will try to attend Mass every Sunday.” The Bishop informed us that as Catholics we have an obligation to our faith and that we should stop treating it as the world treats the word “obligation.” It is not a negative feeling, but rather as living and choosing Christ, we should desire to worship him and be a part of his body and blood at Mass every Sunday. The part of the lesson that was the most intriguing is that the Bishop reminded us of a scene in Star Wars where Yoda requests Luke to raise the X-Wing out of the swamp with the force. Luke responds, “I’ll give it a try.” Yoda replies to Luke, “Do or do not, there is no try.”
In our faith, we must do, or we do not. What does this mean?
It means that we pray, believe in the sacrifice of the Mass, and openly reject the world’s insistence on sin. It means that we take part in the sacraments including Confession. It means that we honor the traditions of our faith by participating in things like the Procession of Corpus Christi—no matter if the world finds us superstitious. It means that we defend life, the dignity of being both woman and man, and what marriage truly is in accordance with God.
Always remember that the Truth is not relative as the city of man has accepted as its doctrine. If we do not put our faith into action, if we do not stand up for what is moral according to the doctrines of faith. The Truth is not in us, and our faith is ash.
13 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. Mk 13:13