Wednesday, February 1, 2012

More Ad Limina...

Early this morning, I joined the other Bishop of Michigan and Ohio for the celebration of Holy Mass at the tomb of St. Peter in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica. Archbishop Schnurr of the Cincinnati was the main celebrant for the Votive Mass of Sts. Peter and Paul. I'm always struck to the core when I hear chapter eight of the Gospel of St. Mark proclaimed when Peter makes his confession of faith: "You are the Christ, the son of the living God." There, right in front of me, are the earthly remains of St. Peter surrounded by numerous other successors of St. Peter. The Holy Mass this morning was a powerful time of prayer and thanksgiving for all the good gifts of God which He has bestowed on the diocese of Gaylord. My prayer was especially for an increase of vocations so that like St. Peter others may hear the call and drop their nets to follow Christ.

I also took a moment to pray at the tomb of Pope Paul VI who guided the church through part of the 1960's and 70's. Sometimes he gets lost in the shuffle of the other great popes of the 20th century. Nevertheless his great letter, Dignitatis Humanae, on the dignity of Human life was prophetic. I look around at so many of my peers and I want to just run up to them and say: "God has made you for so much more than cheap and meaningless love. Freedom isn't endless options, but True Freedom is a gift from God. God isn't simply a lawgiver from afar, but a loving tri-personal God who chose to lift us out of the dirt of our own abuse of freedom to give us true love in true freedom. I know from bishop's letter on the HHS ruling about Conscience protection that he planned to pray for these very issues. The Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago has been quoted saying, "I plan on dying in my bed, my successor he will die in jail and his successor will die as a martyr in the public square." How I pray that it won't come to a general persecution anywhere in the world, but surrounded by the early martyrs of Rome, I can't help but pray that I will have the courage to stay steadfast in the faith.

I also made it to the Pope's Wednesday audience today. I sneaked into back just before it started. The Holy Father taught today on the importance of praying like Jesus did in the Garden on Holy Thursday. We must abandon ourselves to the will of God.

Oh. Wish me luck, only one more exam!

More Ad Limina updates forthcoming.

No comments:

Post a Comment