Dominican Fathers
Sunday - May 06, 2001
Closer to God on the Mountain Top
What have we to say to those who claim; :I feel closer to God when I am closer to nature, climbing a mountain, walking along the seashore, gazing into the starry sky at night. I never feel that kind of intimacy in Church. Religion is something personal between me and my God.; At the outset I wish, not only to honor these religious sentiments, but to identify with them. God is as truly present in nature as he is in heaven or in Church. We cannot tie God down. God is everywhere. While it is true that I may feel closer to God on the mountain top than in the Church pews that, only approach to intimacy with God, is definitely not the christian point of view. Never once did Jesus give encouragement to the idea of lone christians livinggood and moral lives in complete isolation. To him, a people sharing a common life and a common responsibility was absolutely central. You cannot live the christian life in splendid isolation. You cannot sit in your corner, so to speak like little Jack Horner and suck your thumb. That is not christianity. Christianity is not the religion of loners and rugged individuals. To turn Christianity into a solitary religion is to destroy it. Moreover, you cannot live the Christian life independently of the Church. It may well be that when we look at the Church we see failure and hypocrisy and cry out: :Why do I have to go to Church with all those hypocrites who talk about love and cut each others throats behind their backs.; It was once said to me: :I wouldn・t be seen dead in Church with all those hypocrites.; I replied: :Don・t let that upset you, there is always room for one more.; I wasn・t trying to be smart. Hypocrisy is by no means limited to Church going people. Hypocrisy is not a Church monopoly. Besides, Christ came to call sinners, not the squeaky clean! The trouble with hypocrisy talk is that the critic has two standards. The implication is: If Church goers do not measure up, if they aren・t perfect, he can・t stand it. He・s alright but they・ll have to shape up. When we get our act together, he・ll come back. Hidden somewhere in there is an attitude of self-righteousness and superiority. It・s an attitude that does not ask: Am I good enough for Church but feels the Church is not good enough for him? It may well be that faith in the Church is possibly the hardest thing that God asks for. But faith in Christ demands faith in his Church. The Church is the body of Christ. You can no more separate Christ from the Church anymore that you can separate body and soul and still remain a living thing. Just as Jesus is both human and divine so too the Church is both human and divine. That is the mystery we Christians are called upon to live, not solve! I・ll leave the last word to the twentieth century theologian, Karl Rahner: :The Church is not a finished, solidly built and furnished house in which all that changes is the successive generations who live in it. The Church is a living reality which had a history of its own and still has one.;

Though Provoking

I like the story of the young adult who informed his parents why he didn・t want to to to Sunday mass. He gave the usual reasons, :it・s boring,; :gets nothing out of it,; :none of my friends go,; :too many hypocrites in Church; and so on. His mother had an inspired moment. She put the following print-out on the bathroom mirror under the title, :Why I don・t wash myself;: I don・t wash myself because I don・t want other people telling me what to do. Because my parents insist I wash myself. I find it boring. My friends don・t wash themselves . Only hypocrites wash themselves. I don・t wish to support the people who make soap. I want to be dirty! If knowing answers to life・s questions is absolutely necessary to you, then forget the journey. You will never make it for this is a journey of unknowable - of unanswered questions, enigmas, incomprehensible and most of all, things unfair. Jeanne Guyon God did not abolish the fact of evil: He transformed it. He did not stop the crucifixion. He rose from the dead.; Dorothy Sayers.

Notice Board

ALIVE AND FREE A new CD, Alive and Free, has just been released in Canada of live homilies Fr. Vincent preached in Vancouver. A limited number of copies are now available in the shop at a special offer of G5. Sunday Morning Ireland: Log in to this religious programme going out to the world website audience from St. Saviour・s, Bridget Street, Waterford. every Sunday morning. E-mail: Note our e-mail address. If you have any comments, criticisms, insights, suggestions, we would be pleased to hear from you. Meeting: There will be a meeting on Wednesday 9th at 7.30pm to review the meeting with the Dominican Provincial last Monday. You are cordially invited to attend this meeting as we face the future with hope and confidence.

Church Schedule

MASS SATURDAY: 7.30pm Vigil Mass SUNDAY: 7.00am 10.30am 12.00 noon 7.00pm Weekdays : 8.00am 10.30am CONFESSIONS SATURDAY : 10.10 - 10.25am 11.00 - 1.00pm 4.00 - 5.00pm Weekdays : 10.10 - 10.25am Confessions/Rite of Reconciliation on Saturdays: 11am - 12noon 4pm - 5pm All correspondence to: Fr Vincent Travers O.P. Bridge Street, Waterford. Tel: 875061 Fax:858093. Website: www.vincenttravers.org E-mail: vincietrav@eircom.net


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