Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Means to Renew the Face of the Earth

The Lord said, I have come to light a fire on the earth and how I wish it were blazing. How can priests light the world with the fire of the Holy Spirit and so be instruments in renewing the face of the earth? St. Anthony Claret has this to say:

"The prophet asked the Lord: Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur, et renovabis faciem terrae. Lord, send your spirit upon your priests, and they, filled with this Holy Spirit, will hasten everywhere, like the apostles, and the face of the earth will be changed completely. For the moral earth does the same thing that the physical earth does: if it is well cultivated it yields abundant fruits, but if it is not cultivated it yield nothing but weeds and thorns. Thus people, if they are well cultivated, produce choice fruits of virtue, but if they are abandoned to themselves, they produce nothing but errors and vices. Hence we must work to form good clergy, who are the laborers in the Lord's fields, and we must ask the good Lord of the harvest to send good laborers to his inheritance.

The means assigned to change the face of the earth promptly and easily are the following:

The 1st means is to form good, virtuous, and well-educated priests, and we have no doubt that this will be achieved if we put into practice the means indicated in the present little work.

The 2nd means are missions, which should be repeated every three years in parishes great and small, lasting for a varying number of days, according to the needs of the people.

The 3rd means is that on all Sundays and Feast days of the year, the pastors should preach or read some talk, and teach Christian doctrine and the way to make mental and vocal prayer.

The 4th means is instructing girls and boys in catechism, morals, and religion. Radical reform must begin with the children.

The 5th means is not to allow boys and girls to receive the Eucharist without making a First Communion, preceded by a preparatory retreat, and followed by enrollment in a confraternity, so that they may continue receiving the sacraments monthly or every 2 or 3 months.

The 6th means is to revive those confraternities that are already established in parishes but have fallen off, and have them fulfill their statutes exactly, beginning with a few good and more fervent souls.

The 7th means is to keep Sundays and Feast days holy, not only because God commands it, but also that they may be devoted to spiritual gatherings, frequenting the sacraments and pious reading, so that everyone may keep God's law and pray.

The 8th means is to strive to spread good books.

The 9th means is to practice the 14 works of charity or mercy.

The 10th means is to exhort those who can do so to attend Mass daily, to say a 3rd part of the Rosary, to direct all they do to the greater glory of God, to suffer all afflictions with patience, to walk always in the presence of God, and to receive the holy Sacraments frequently.

St. Anthony Claret, The Well-Instructed Seminarian, Vol 11, Chap. III, 5.

No comments:

Post a Comment