Our Lord went up to the Mount and preached the Sermon which is considered the fundamental norm of Christian life. It was on the 7 beatitudes. Each beatitude can be summed up in one: Blessed are those who are faithful to Me and My doctrine!
We live in a world where these words do not ring true in the ears of so many of our contemporaries.
Alas, they do not even ring true in the ears of many of our fellow Catholics.
And it is, dare say, not unexceptional to find that they do not even ring true in the ears of those who should be studying the words and teachings of the Lord.
Yet, it is a wonderful truth, and one worthy of every belief, that you are only blessed and will only be blessed if you be and remain faithful to Jesus Christ.
Let us thank God, therefore, for His Grace, which have made so many faithful.
Faithful to their Baptismal promises, in that they have not set their heart or devoted their career to the pursuit of the world, the flesh or the devil.
Faithful to their devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament, in that they never omit to attend Sunday or, more so, daily Mass, where Alone they can enjoy the physical and spiritual embrace of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful to the grace they received in being Confirmed, in that they have followed His light and not contravened a properly Catholic conscience, seeking always to be more faithful to the Lord of Grace, day after day.
Faithful to the grace they received in their priestly Ordination, in that they have never compromised and have remained true to the Magisterium of the Church, the rubrics of the mass, the morals taught by Our Lord, to their duty to preach in season and out etc..
Faithful to the grace of a religious vocation, in which they have put God before and above all else, even to the cost of everything else.
Faithful to a true Catholic Hope, which seeks first the Kingdom of God, not the friendship of this world, keeping thus, their eyes on the Prize, Life on High with Christ Jesus.
Such fidelity is the opposite of pragmatism.
And in the name of pragmatism so many lose their immortal souls. Because they say that it is easier
To be unfaithful to their Baptismal promises, easier to follow after the world, the flesh and/or the devil.
To be unfaithful to the pact they made with Christ at their first communion, and to forget that He descends from Heaven just to meet with them and be their daily sustenance.
To be unfaithful to the grace of their Confirmation, and live like their pagan contemporaries do, refusing nothing even if it offends God.
To be unfaithful to their vocation, whether to the priesthood or religious life, because they wanted to get ahead, get a promotion, be friends with everyone, and not take Religion too seriously.
To be unfaithful to Hope itself, and to despair, so as to sustain the excuse to wallow in their love of this world.
And you know, they are right!
It is always easier to be unfaithful.
And fidelity always costs… it in fact leads to the Cross!
But let us remember that the God who created us, who redeemed us, and who calls us to eternal life is not merely the God of Love, the God who is Love.
He is the God of faithful love.
In fact that is His proper name. The reason why the Apostle St. John does not call God “Faithful love” is because in Greek the adjective would give the phrase another sense, something like “opinionated love”. Yet in Hebrew, what St. John is saying is , “God is faithful love”…
That does not mean He is always there to excuse…as so many false prophets of our day say…rather He is there always to accuse us of our sins, to recall us to fidelity, and to strengthen us when we turn to that path.
For this He has given us not only a conscience, a guardian Angel, but the opportunity to know and accept the One and Only True Faith; and the good example of so many Saints throughout history.
If we could sum up the spirit of the faithful catholic we could say it in one pean, one profound, joyful and heart shaking song:
O God, o Faithful Love, how I have loved Thee!
The decades I have traveled, the continents I have passed, the towns, nations, friends, family, career, inheritance, opportunities I have forsaken for Thee! all these are nothing,
All that I have forsaken is but dust in comparison to Thee; nothing have I in fact lost, but in forsaking all, I have gained Thee, who even without Thy many gifts and blessings are infinitely worthy of my love.
Thou are my great Reward: O God of faithful love!
Thou art sufficient enough for me!
Be mine forever!