Sunday, July 20, 2014

Contraception, Francis, and the Holy Spirit

A few comments:

1) There is a general fear that if we trust the Holy Spirit, then we're all going to turn into a bunch of relativistic Stevie Nickses running around in a drug-induced trance with tambourines and praising the gods of a bygone era.  Pope Benedict acknowledged that it is understandable to be cautious when we first hear the Holy Spirit, not because it is right to fear the Holy Spirit, but because so much craziness has been done TO the Church and so many wounds have been inflicted upon the Church by those claiming to be operating under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

That being said, we should never fear the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will NEVER lead us anywhere BUT to Christ and to His Church.  "The Spirit will lead you to ALL truth." (John 16:13).  We can't stifle the spirit because some loonies have tried to hijack the Spirit.  Instead, we must reclaim the Spirit, and show what a life lived in the Spirit looks like authentically!

2) Am I saying in this homily that catechesis (passing on the particular truths of the Faith) is not important?  BY NO MEANS!  Of course knowing our Faith is important, and we have to DOUBLE or TRIPLE our efforts in this area.  Some become lukewarm BECAUSE they know nothing about our Faith.  However, the thing we have to LEAD with is an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ, and the Joy and Peace that he offers.  The Holy Father is rightly saying that we should never give someone a pamphlet on contraception the first time this person shows up asking about Catholicism.

Thanks to all of our catechists who are working so hard to hand on the Truths of our Faith.  Keep up the great work!


  1. Fr. John, it's sad. For me, Catholics are starting to drift away when it seems the Church are too conscious to win approval by trying to be safe and jeopardize the truth by missing to say it directly. That's why I don't agree with the Philippine's Cardinal new message to priests that advices to 'condemn less' when they are in the best position to do so. But when someone hears a message from a priest like Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea, it leaves a feeling of being proud to be a Catholic because of that bravery on the Truth. Just my opinion. I respect you Fr. John.

  2. Father, what does a life lived authentically in the Spirit look like? I suppose that it is not easy to give a definition because God leads all by different paths, working in each life as He sees fit. Perhaps that is what the saying "Grace builds on nature" means. Still, when I think of "Spirit-filled" I think of a more charismatic approach to the faith--speaking in tongues, gifts of healing, etc. Do you think these gifts are still applicable to us today?

  3. Just curious, is that a female alter server?