St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

Make Me an Instrument of Peace                                         -Homily August 17, 2014

 

Some people may wonder what we can do for peace, or even if there is anything to do. Let me share some reflections about that.

 

Peace is a gift of God.

War is the consequence of injustice, and injustice is a consequence of sin. The only one who can take away the sins of the world is Jesus. Without him we can do nothing (cf. John 15:5), let alone to purify our hearts. If there is no forgiveness of sins, there is no hope for peace. If there is no forgiveness among men and women, there will never be peace. We need to ask God for forgiveness and the ability to forgive each other, for us first and for others as well.

 

What can we do?

In order to prepare ourselves to receive the gift of peace there are many things we can do. Ask for forgiveness; forgive a person who did wrong to you; stop doing something that you know it is unjust, even if it seems a little thing; try to help those who suffer any kind of injustice; teach children to be just, for example not to lie. Our prayer for peace will be heard if we work for peace. There is something only God can do, but he also wants us to do our part.

 

Things do not change when structures change, but when people change. People change one at a time. The first person who has to change is myself. Then I may help another one.

 

If we want peace, we have to make peace first in our heart: peace with God. We need his forgiveness first. Then we can be an instrument of peace. Only then we will be able to turn the other cheek, to forgive as we ourselves have been forgiven. We will share with others the peace we have received from God.

 

An army or a bomb will not produce but the peace of death.[1] Only forgiveness, justice and education will do. We all can do something about that. Let’s do it, before it is too late for us. –Fr. Andrew

 

 

3 minute                           Food-for-Thought                       August 2014

Holy Matrimony

August is the most popular month for weddings. In the US, 2.3 million couples wed every year, which breaks down to nearly 6,200 weddings a day. In Canada 49% of weddings will occur between July and September. One can easily conclude that marriage is still a popular institution.

Consequently, it is appropriate at this time of the year to recall our understanding of marriage. Genesis teaches us that male and female He created them. Then God said that it is not good for man to be alone and so woman was created. The Catechism teaches that the vocation of Holy Matrimony “by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”

It is most fascinating that scientific research seems to prove the soundness of the precept of our faith: the good of the spouses. A recently published study concluded that marriage helps keep the heart healthy. Love can sometimes break a heart, but marriage seems to do it a lot of good! A study of more than 3.5 million Americans finds that married people are less likely than singles, divorced or widowed folks to suffer any type of heart or blood vessel problem. This was true at any age, for women as well as for men, regardless of other heart disease risk factors they had, such as high cholesterol or diabetes.

Another study concluded that men and women who are in stable marriages have better bone density. In addition, patients who were married tended to live 20 per cent longer than others and the researchers concluded that the benefits of happy marriage are comparable to–or better–than chemotherapy. Based on these results, marriage would qualify as a wonder drug! However, investigators are still working to elucidate the mechanisms of these clinical observations, but it remains that the quality of a marriage is an important predictor of a person’s overall happiness.

It was suggested that working on one’s marriage with some simple exercises could be better for the spouses than a trip to the gym. In England the government envisions tax allowances in order to encourage married couples. However, the argument here is based on public health concerns and not moral values, but still . . .   

Moreover, it was also scientifically established that regular churchgoers seem to do better in terms of their daily positive well-being experiences. This accentuates other findings in which those that practise their faith do better across numerous dimensions of well-being than do those who are less religious or not at all religious.

Practical implication of all these is that the living of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony combines the benefits of married life and the active living of faith. This is proven to be the secret of a happy, healthy and productive life.

St. Paul tells us that marriage bears witness to the indissoluble love of Christ for his Church. Thus, husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the Church, and wives are called to love their husbands as the Church loves Christ. Jesus restored the beauty of matrimony. He grew up in a family, participated at a wedding, he consoled the bereaved family of his friends and, in joy, he welcomed his reception into the families of his disciples.       At a general audience Pope Francis said, “When a man and a woman celebrate the sacrament of marriage, God, so to speak, is ‘mirrored’ in them, He marks them with His features and the indelible character of His love.”

Prepared by Laszlo DeRoth, Lecturer, Knights of Columbus Council 1970

 

 

                                                           

 

Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto has released a statement, August 7, 2014, regarding the Iraqi Christians.

 

Also, Cardinal Collins issued a letter to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, re: consultations on the policy “Physicians and the Ontario Human Rights Code”.

 

Hard copies of these are available at the back of the Church or from the Parish Office, and will also be uploaded on our website.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              



[1] Cf. II Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 82.