a sin-sick church
"Through it all the seed sprouts and grows without his knowing how it happens." —Mark 4:27
Because the Church was founded by Jesus (Mt 16:18), because Jesus is the Head of the Church (Eph 1:22), and because the Church is the heart of God's kingdom (see Mt 16:19), the Church will always grow (Mk 4:28) and will last forever (see Heb 12:28). Even if the Church in some areas is as small as a mustard seed, it will surely grow (Mk 4:31ff). Even if Christians are very weak, the Church will become strong, for God's power reaches perfection in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9).
However, the growth of the Church can be severely curtailed and delayed by our sins, for the wages of sin is death (Rm 6:23). To sin is the worst thing we can possibly do to hurt the Church, our families, ourselves, poor people, children, and everyone.
Therefore, repent! Go to Confession, for Jesus has given the leaders of the Church the authority to forgive sins in His name (Jn 20:23). By God's grace, overcome all temptations. Don't stand in the way of God's kingdom of love coming "on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt 6:10). Repent and build the Church.
Prayer: Jesus, may I love the Church as You do (Eph 5:25). May I lay down my life for You and Your body, the Church.
Promise: "Have mercy on me, O God, in Your goodness; in the greatness of Your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me." —Ps 51:3-4
Praise: St. Thomas was blessed with a superior intelligence. He spent his entire life in the ministry of the word of God. "How different the man who devotes himself to the study of the law of the Most High!" (Sir 39:1) "He will pour forth his words of wisdom and in prayer give thanks to the Lord, Who will direct his knowledge and his counsel, as he meditates upon His mysteries" (Sir 39:6-7).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999