From the Pastor’s Archive
First Published October 22, 2017
Even though you probably can’t remember it, your baptism is one of the most important moments in your life. In that moment you were freed from the tyranny of sin, claimed for God through the sign of His Cross, and filled with His Holy Spirit. Just before the baptism of an infant, the priest or deacon turns to the parents and godparents and tells them, “See that the divine life which God gives them is kept safe from the poison of sin, to grow always stronger in their hearts.”
Holiness is not just for priests and nuns. Everyone is called to a life of holiness. It may be intimidating at first, but it simply means that God wants us, with the help of His grace, to strive to follow Christ. It’s not always easy, but, with God’s help, it is possible. So, how do we do it? How do we answer God’s call to live a holy life?
First, go to Mass. What happens to your body when you don’t eat enough good food? First, you start to get weaker. Next, you start to get sick. Then, you die. Exactly the same thing is true in the spiritual life. If you don’t eat spiritual food (that is, the Eucharist) you won’t have the strength to live a spiritual life. You won’t have the life of God within you. Think I’m exaggerating the importance of Mass? Well, listen to what Jesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day” (John 6:53-54).
Second, pray every day. How do we know what Jesus wants us to do? How do we know how to follow Him? We have to get to know Him, and we get to know Jesus the same way that we get to know anyone else: through spending time with Him, talking to Him, and listening to Him. People often ask me to tell them how to pray, but the “how” of praying is easy. Just talk to Jesus and listen to Him. The hard part is actually doing it.
Finally, go to confession. All of us, every one, sometimes fails to follow Jesus, to listen to Him, and to love Him. That’s why He gave us the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That is where we repair our relationship with God when we’ve damaged or broken it through sin. When we read the lives of the saints, we see that all of them went to confession regularly. Let’s try to follow their example.
Fr. Bryan was pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes from July 3, 2017 to June 2022.