Strengthening the Church

Jan. 22, 2023

When I was going through RCIA, I read the entire Catechism, as I devoured everything I could to learn more about our faith. I came to an understanding that the more holy things that we do, as the body of Christ, the holier the Church ultimately becomes. For example, every time we pray the Liturgy of the Hours, which is the prayer of the Church, holiness is deposited into the Church’s treasury. Every time we pray the rosary, especially as a family, but even individually, holiness is deposited into the Church’s treasury. So, think about that for a moment. The same happens when we go to confession, only this time, it’s double, because the priest is making a deposit also. And when we attend Mass, think about all of those deposits. Each time we perform an act of mercy; a deposit is made. Every time we read scripture; a deposit is made. There are so many more holy works that we can do to make deposits, I can’t name them all, but you certainly get the picture here. This is how we participate in strengthening the Church.

I have been listening to recent interviews with exorcists after reading several books written by the late Fr. Gabriel Amorth, who was the chief exorcist in Rome for about 30 years. One of the questions that keep coming up in these interviews is why does it take so long to exorcize a demon from a person? The simple answer is that the authority of the exorcist to cast out demons comes from the Church through his bishop. Therefore, the stronger the Church, the stronger the exorcisms.

This is the point that we have to reckon with. We make the Church stronger through faithfully living what we profess to believe. This is a fact, not an opinion. What we do and what we don’t do actually matters, even individually. Each of us, through our baptism and again in our confirmation, are members of the Body of Christ. Think about all the parts of your own body that don’t work right. The more parts that don’t work right, the weaker you are, right? It’s the same thing with the Church.

To fix the spiritual dysfunction in your life, start by going to confession. Make an appointment so you don’t have to feel pressed for time. The priest will make time for you and help you make a good confession. This is so important because this is your first step in spiritual guidance. Your spiritual and physical lives are inseparable until you die. Many of the maladies that you experience may even be caused by demons or generational curses. Confession is always a great place to start.

It’s so easy to blame others for what is wrong with the Church. The truth is, if we want holier deacons, priests, and bishops, a holier Church, then we need to actively live our faith. This means we need to learn and accept what sin really is and intentionally make changes in our lives to avoid sinful behavior. We need to pray regularly; in fact, it needs to be a part of your everyday life. Attending Mass every Sunday and every Holy Day of Obligation is the very minimum. Do not allow yourself to miss, and if you do, you must bring that to confession. That is a requirement, because missing Mass is a mortal sin. Don’t look for exceptions. Every time we make these changes in our lives, we make another deposit of holiness into the Church’s treasury.

The Church is not made holy through money, it’s made holy through its members cooperating with God’s will. Jesus told us to go out there and be the light of the world. The truth is, how can we be the light of the world, when we’re so dim? With God’s help, we can be that bright light that He created us to be. The question is, what is stopping you?

Ms. Renee Valenzuela, OP

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