By ZOE CANNON
GRATITUDE FOR THE GIFT OF FAITH
“A man pleases God by what he does and not by faith alone” (James 2:24).
There is a long history of God’s redemptive plan for mankind. It began for us with a lush garden created in love. This generous gift was destroyed because of pride, and the desire for wisdom and power. The five covenants God partnered with man are not discussed often enough! We know the biblical stories of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and the New Covenant with Jesus, but do we accept our responsibility to keep these promises made with God in our everyday life?
St. Ignatius, the third Bishop of Antioch, was a student of St. John the Apostle. Before being martyred for the faith, he wrote, in a letter to the Romans, “The delights of this world and all its kingdoms will not profit me. I would prefer to die in Jesus Christ than to rule over all the earth.” His message was very clear; he desired to belong to God!
When we enter into a covenant with God, we receive grace and agree to keep our conditions of the two-way promise. In each of the Holy Sacraments, we make a promise to be faithful to God our Creator. We reject satan and all his empty promises in Baptism, and we promise to keep Christ in the center of our lives in Holy Matrimony. The promises we make mean something very important. St. Ignatius also warned, “Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips and the world in your heart.”
We must be intentional about this commitment to our Baptismal promises. Where do we begin? We ask the Holy Spirit to teach us truth and guide our actions. We ask for forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and we receive Jesus in the Eucharist as often as possible to give us strength for the journey. We must truly believe in the power of these gifts instituted by Christ. The power of grace will lead us to heaven, the lush garden promised to us!
It can be challenging to understand the teachings of Jesus, or maybe we have not taken time in our busy lives to make God a priority. Regardless, the mercy of God is never-ending. Broken promises with God have created a culture that is in serious trouble; a correction is needed. Desiring God over things of this earth is our Christian duty. The priesthood is a gift from God! There would be no Eucharist or grace from all the sacraments without the blessing of Holy Orders. Do you pray daily for holy vocations? I hope you do!
On June 26, we honor the 184th anniversary of the death of the first Bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes in Indiana. Bishop Simon Bruté’s Episcopal ordination for the 13th diocese of the United States occurred Oct. 28, 1834. Bishop Bruté is buried with three successive bishops in the crypt of the oldest church in Indiana, the Minor Basilica of St. Francis Xavier. The Minor Seminary in Indianapolis bears his name, and there is a Cause for Bruté’s Canonization, which was opened by Archbishop Daniel Buechlein in 2005. Pray for his miracle!
Vocation directors, Father Tyler Tenbarge from the Diocese of Evansville and Father Mike Keucher from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, will bring young people to Vincennes to honor the anniversary of the death of Bishop Bruté. Father Tyler will celebrate Mass June 26 with a group from Evansville; and on the 27th, Father Mike will bring 80 people: high school boys, seminarians and priests from Indianapolis for Bruté Days in Vincennes. Mass, lunch and tours of the Cathedral and Bruté Library will occur that day. A man pleases God by what he does; please pray for the young men discerning priesthood in our Universal Church! And share the goodness of the Lord! Amen!