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Keeping the Center

There was a time, many years ago, when towns and cities were built so that all streets pointed to the Catholic Church at the center. Try to imagine it if you have never seen one firsthand. At the center of the town was not the courthouse (which is so common in our area), nor any other secular structure; it was the Church. This said something to the people in their daily lives, and it also said something to their souls. The people of those towns were reminded that everything rotates around the Church that God gave them because it can lead them to salvation.


The question we should be asking is, "do we point our lives like that?" Do we structure everything we do around the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church? Do we consider the spirituality of the body of Christ to be central and essential in our lives? Or, do we see things differently than our forefathers and live like the Church is merely a pleasant afterthought?


I ask this with a recollection in my mind about a conversation I had a number of years ago. I was speaking to a parishioner who had missed Mass on the previous Sunday. I was asking if he and his family were ok or if they had gotten sick or something. He responded and told me, "oh, sorry Father, that was the day that they had the Christmas parade in our town and we couldn't miss that."


If any civic event (parade, gathering, election, city council, etc.) takes priority over your obedience to your Sunday obligation, you have chosen the world over Christ. There is no middle ground on this one. "Have no other gods before Me" is not optional; it is the first of the ten commandments. Consider your life, your choices, and your priorities. Who really is in charge? God, or anything else?

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