In 1954, Father M. Raymond, O.S.C.O., a Cistercian priest, observed that the world was as pagan then as when Christ was born, that Catholics were suffering from amnesia, that they had forgotten the purpose of their lives and much of what it meant to be Catholic. More than fifty-seven years later, some argue that many Catholics are now comatose. Those Catholics do not hear, know or live the Truths of their Faith. More than a few feel they do not have the time to learn about the Catholic Faith.
Forgotten Truths To Set Faith Afire! – Words to Challenge, Inspire and Instruct tries to address these needs in a simple and straight forward manner.
I am a simple lay man, not a theologian. However, as a member of the Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic, I promised to engage in the “assiduous study of Sacred Truth.” Over the years, God has placed a tremendous hunger in my heart to know and share that Truth. During that time, I highlighted or made photocopies of passages in various articles and books that opened my eyes, stirred my soul and spoke to my heart.
For years, I was prompted to sort through this collection of timeless truths from Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as from the spiritual insight of Popes, Church Doctors, Saints, bishops, priests, sinners, and regular folk. The power of these words opened my eyes, spoke to my heart, and stirred my soul. It took some time, but with God’s grace and much encouragement, I have completed this labor of love by organizing this material into seventeen chapters and one hundred and fifteen topics.
As a Dominican, I can not hoard these “Forgotten Truths” in my desk drawer for my exclusive reflection. I must share them with others, knowing they will be a fruitful source of contemplation. That is the purpose of this book.
Let me share some of them by asking four questions.
Have we become too complacent about the need for confession? St. Gregory might think so: “God promises to receive the repentant sinner when he returns to Him, but nowhere does He promise to give him tomorrow.”
Do we parents really think that modesty is an outdated virtue? Pope Pius XII did not mince his words: “O Christian mothers, if you know what a future of anxieties and perils, of ill guarded shame you prepare for your sons and daughters, imprudently getting them accustomed to live scantily dressed and making them lose their sense of modesty, you would be ashamed of yourselves and you would dread the harm you are making for yourselves, the harm which you are causing to these children, whom Heaven has entrusted to you to be brought up as Christians.”
Do you know where the real source of joy lies? Our beloved pontiff does: “The source of Christian joy is the certainty of being loved by God, loved personally by our creator, by the one who holds the entire universe in his hands.”
Are you missing out on what should be most important to a Catholic? St. Elizabeth Ann Seton feels many are: “There is a mystery, the greatest of all mysteries – not that my adored Lord is in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar – His word has said it, and what is so simple as to take that word, which is true to itself? – but that souls of His own creation, whom He gave His life to save, who are endowed with His choicest gifts in all things else, should remain blind, insensible, and deprived of that light without which every other blessing is unavailing!”
While recognizing how overly simplistic this approach is, one must begin somewhere. May this small effort help penetrate the amnesia and forgetfulness that Father Raymond wrote of so many years ago. It is my hope that something you read in this book will awaken a hunger in you to know, study and live more fully the Truths of the Catholic Faith. If that becomes reality for at least one person, then this labor of love has been more than worth the effort.
Forgotten Truths To Set Faith Afire! – Words to Challenge, Inspire and Instruct is now available on Amazon.com. You can go there directly or use the link on my blog: Harvesting The Fruits of Contemplation.