JOHN 4 46-53

In the Gospel stories, Our Lord Jesus Christ always shows particular love and compassion for the children, as He does for the son of the royal official at Capharnaum in today’s Gospel. Our

Lord loves the children in their innocence, and He knows what a tragedy it is for children to lose that innocence by serious sin. He receives them and blesses them, as St. Matthew records:

“Little children were brought to him then that he might lay his hands on them and pray; but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said to them, ‘Let the little children be, and do not hinder them from coming to me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven’” (Mt. 19:13,14).

The Lord has no greater condemnation than for those who lead the innocent into sin:

“And he said to his disciples, ‘It is impossible that scandals should not come; but woe to him through whom they come! It were better for him if a millstone were hung about his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin’” (Lk.17:1,2).

What would He say about our society, which makes it virtually impossible for the young to preserve their innocence? What would He say about those responsible for educating and guiding the children—parents, teachers, pastors—who fail to give proper instruction, and even give bad example, scandal, by their own failure to live up to the standards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

The Blessed Virgin Mary told us just how difficult it would be in these times. Appearing in 1610 to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in Ecuador, she said:

“During these unfortunate times evil will invade childhood innocence. In this way,

vocations to the priesthood will be lost, resulting in a true calamity.” She affirmed, “There will be almost no virgin souls left in the world,” and, “How the Church will suffer during this dark night! Lacking a prelate and a father to guide them… many priests will lose their spirit, placing their souls in great danger.”

Are we not seeing it for ourselves? But there would be Catholics who, by the special grace of God, and with the help of the Sacraments and the true Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in a few places, persevering in prayer and avoiding the occasions of sin, would be able to persevere in their holy Faith.


But at this present time, Catholics are not clear in their thinking about taking the life of the innocent unborn through the crime of abortion. A well-known Catholic in a position of huge responsibility claimed to be strongly pro-life, EXCEPT in cases of “rape, incest, and the life of the mother.” Are the children conceived under such circumstances any less innocent than the other children? Of course not! It is ALWAYS a grave sin to directly take the life of an innocent person, whether a child in the womb, or at any stage of life.

God protects those who take refuge in Him. He is their place of refuge, their hiding place (Ps. 31:7). The most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary become the home and refuge of those who are wise.

Penance plays an essential role in the Christian life, and it was never more necessary than it is today. The children must be taught to make sacrifices, like the three little children at Fatima, who offered their sacrifices for sinners. If we allow full rein to our appetites and urges, we will

be helpless to avoid sin or to overcome temptation.

The children must be taught the value of self-denial. Just depriving them of what they want without explanation is not enough. And the slight penance “catholics” of these times do on Fridays and Ember Days is not enough to train soldiers of Christ for battle. Think of what soldiers go through in their basic training. They must be toughened up, or they will be useless on the battlefield. The same goes for the spiritual combat. If there is never any self-denial in our lives, we will lose major battles, and the war itself in the end. Think of what is happening to Catholics who have lost the sense of Tradition. They become victims, lambs for the slaughter. This must not happen to us! And it must not happen to the children!

But the poor children these days are getting the absolutely worst example from the world around them. There are grave dangers to their souls in the music, the videos, the TV programs, and on the internet. And, sadly, the classrooms are becoming the absolutely worst environment for the children. We must not abandon them to the wolves. There are things we can yet do if we pray and seek help from Heaven!

Our society is in full revolution against God and His holy Commandments. A fearful judgment awaits us. And we can say that with full conviction, because we know that God will not be mocked for long before He is forced to take terrible vengeance for the sins of the world.

Read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament, and you will understand why fire and brimstone rained down from heaven upon them. And you will understand why God will not be long in allowing a similar fate to overtake the world in these evil times.

Be ready! Fight the good fight! Pray your daily Rosary without fail! Turn to prayer with repentant hearts, and do penance for your sins. God will spare those who take refuge in Him. Let us pray in the words of the Introit of the today’s Mass (20th Sunday after Pentecost):

“All that you have done to us, O Lord, You have done in true judgment; because we have sinned against You, and we have not obeyed your commandments; but give glory to Your name, and deal with us according to the multitude of Your mercy (Dan.3:31,29,35).

Happy are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord” (Ps.118:1). †


About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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