Despite the Blog Header, the site title is BLOGGER PRIEST, not FLOGGER PRIEST. It depicts one of my favorite and yet mis-understood New Testament scenes, Jesus whipping the money-changers out of the temple. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life.
I am getting a feeling that Catholics think that God needs a bureaucracy as human governments do. That is why He needs all these Saints to help Him.
FATHER JOE: No, it isn’t that God needs help. We belong to God and he can use us as his instruments. The fact is we need help. We are called by God to both a personal and corporate relationship with Christ. We do not come to God alone.
My premise is, He does not, He is omnipresent.
FATHER JOE: There are many modes to God’s presence. God is in everything but God is not everything. He keeps us in existence. He is present in his Word, in the sacraments and in the Church. He also lives in us and in the saints by grace.
Furthermore, I think it cheapens Jesus’s sacrifice when you have to add all these mediums, including Mary, between us and him.
FATHER JOE: Quite the opposite, while Christ is the saving Mediator, the various lesser degrees of mediation or intercession constitute an expression of the divine will and harken back to the Incarnation, itself. God becomes a man so that by grace we might be divinized. We can share the divine likeness and life. We become temples of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit and enters this world through a human mother. He becomes a part of a family and community. He draws to himself apostles and disciples to spread the Good News and to minister in his name. Translations are made of the Bible; sacred tradition and faith are passed from generation to generation. The Church celebrates the divine mysteries at the hands of her ministers. Take all this way and if a person should somehow not perish from hunger, thirst, exposure or what have you, then he or she might just as well end up worshipping a tree or pretty rocks. Short of spectacular personal revelations, we would be lost.
It is pretty much saying that Jesus’s death and resurrection was not enough, therefore more is needed.
FATHER JOE: Christ’s saving work is indeed the victory over sin and death. But such is not sufficient if no one should ever preach to me the saving name or make possible my formation in faith. We are men, not angels. The communion of the saints pray for us just as we intervene for each other. We are redeemed by Christ but not everyone will be saved. You and I and the saints have a role to play within the context of divine providence. You are trying to tell God that he cannot use us or the Church or the saints for his purposes.
The reason the veil was torn in half in the temple between us and the holy of holies when he died was, we no longer needed anyone or anything between us and God, except Jesus.
FATHER JOE: Actually, it was to signify that the breech caused by sin had been healed. Christ is the bridge between heaven and earth. Christ is the one high priest. However, he empowered his apostles and later his priests to participate in his one priesthood. Every Mass is a re-presentation of the one-time offering of Christ. This gives us access to his saving sacrifice and his sacrament: the bread of life and the chalice of salvation.
Putting back obstacles between us and God is like trying to mend the veil again.
FATHER JOE: Saints, sacraments, ministers, etc. are not obstacles or hindrances; rather, they are ways that God extends his ministry in space and time. God’s work is not locked in human history or reserved to a small part of the planet. These things facilitate union with him. You have got a great deal quite wrong.