Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Pastoral Letter: Our Greatest Threat is in Abandoning the Practice of our Catholic Faith

Dear Catholic Parents,

I write to you in charity as a family that has been at one time, or is now, associated in any way with the Lord’s faith family at Saint Francis de Sales Parish.

We are in the midst of a terrible crisis. It is not one of wars or terrorism that threaten only our bodies and it is not an economic one, for we are able to eat and find shelter for which we thank God daily. The crisis of which I speak is one of a failure of faithful leadership on the part of many of our parents, those to whom Almighty God has entrusted our children, His greatest treasures.

We are saved by grace through faith. Our most terrifying thought should not be inspired by fear of anything in this world, but rather of losing our Catholic faith and, with it, our salvation. No one can replace parents in the role of educating our children in the faith and no one is given more power by God to serve as witnesses for our young people. This role cannot be abdicated or delegated to anyone else.

“We have here no lasting city” and the worst sort of idolatry by which the Evil One separates us from God and destroys our souls is the placing of idols in our lives where only God should be. This is what happens when we choose to replace worship of God on the Lord’s Day at holy Mass with anything else. If we do this we lose the state of grace imparted for the first time at Baptism and built up by reception of the Eucharist because if we break any one of God’s Commandments we break all of them.

To the many families who do not believe they can commit to anything beyond what is absolutely required for their children to receive Baptism, Communion or Confirmation we say with Christ, “Put out into the deep.” What are the signs of a soul open with hope for conversion and new life in Christ? Surely this means doing more than the mere minimum that others can see such as attending Sunday Mass but it is certainly a start.

Certainly there is the daily walk of faith than includes personal prayer but there is also the Sacrament of Confession so as to return to a state of grace after mortal sin and receive the Eucharist worthily, parish community life which offers learning and prayer beyond Sunday through adult faith formation, daily Mass and Eucharistic adoration to deepen personal faith formation.

Together we can bring an end to the widespread phenomenon in which, by default, Confirmation becomes in effect a “graduation” from full practice of the Catholic Faith.

Will you begin to take the steps today to stop the scandal of so many of our young people falling into mortal sin after Confirmation? I see them as they sadly walk away from Christ at Christmas and Easter unable to receive the Eucharist, unable to rely even on the loving encouragement of their parents to attend Sunday Mass weekly. We need prayer and action. If you or your children have indeed been away from Sunday Mass please help: be a true “friend” to your children by being a parent first through supporting and accompanying them to Sunday Mass weekly.

Jesus Christ is the sole savior of the world. The worst kind of climate change is that of the soul when we lose the state of grace through mortal sin. But God is ever merciful and through infinite love forgives us when we return to Him once again through the sacrament of Confession.

Thank you for reading my letter.

In prayer through the Lord’s saving mercy and infinite love,

Father Kevin M. Cusick
Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Church
Benedict, Maryland

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