How much fruit are you bearing?
Note that I do not ask, do you love God? Nor do I ask, are you busy working for God's kingdom? Nor do I ask, have you invited Jesus to live within you? It is possible to love God, to be running around in circles on His behalf, to have invited Jesus to live within you, but yet to be bearing very little fruit, indeed possibly even no fruit.
Jesus warned, "Any branch of mine that bears no fruit, my Father cuts away."
Note the phrase, "any branch of mine". He is not speaking here of those who do not know Him. No, he is speaking of those who claim to be His, "any branch of mine". He is speaking of those who claim to love Him and who may even be running around in circles on His behalf.
What then is required to bear fruit? We need to learn to "abide" or live in Jesus. How does one do that?
You may have invited Jesus to live within you, you may have a certain love for God, you may be doing things for Him, but if there are issues in your life that you are not willing to face, then you are not living in Jesus.
Again Jesus warns, "If a person does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers." Read John 15:1-8
If there are issues in your life which you are not willing to face, then you are risking being cut off by God.
When Is Criticism Fair?
Pope Francis recently said, "Fair criticism is love for the Church". But what is required for criticism to be fair? Firstly it must be solidly based in the truth and it must go no further than the truth. Ensuring that what one says is solidly based in the truth involves double checking one's facts. Many people, even when reading something, jump to conclusions about what they have read, without double checking that they have read it accurately. Or else they take what they read as gospel, without checking that it is true, fair and accurate. Sadly some people appear to have a special 'gift' for twisting the truth or exaggerating the truth. So the first step towards"fair criticism" is to double check one's facts, and, if you make a practice of that, you will grow in your ability to double check facts, and to spot half-truths. The second step towards "fair criticism' is that it must be done out of love. Criticism that is not done out of love, is not of God.Beware of those who have become bitter. A sign a person has become bitter is that he is totally against someone, incapable of seeing any good in them."Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ Himself, who is the head." Eph 4:15
Learning From McCarrick
It is now clear that many knew about Theodore McCarrick, but they either chose to keep their heads down, or they allowed themselves to be shushed up. He was afterall the head of the Church in the United States. It was safer to keep one's head down. But what McCarrick was doing was not just "sins of the flesh". He was corrupting seminarians including validating those with
inclinations towards paedophilia, and those who believe it is okay for a priest to be sexually active. And sadly he wasn't the only bishop doing so. Take Bishop Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston. Not merely was he spending millions of diocesan funds on his private lifestyle, but he too was chasing his seminarians. The only help that seminarians who complained were given, was being told to keep their doors locked. This is utterly intolerable. The words of St. Paul could be adjusted to read, "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you of a kind that is intolerable even among pagans: A bishop is hitting on his seminarians. And you are proud! Shouldn¹t you rather have been stricken with grief and have removed from your fellowship the man who did this?" 1 Cor 5:1
"All Things for the Good"
St. Gregory the Great was Pope in the time of St. Kevin. See P. 10. He said,"Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. He was the only disciple absent; on his return he heard what had happened but refused to believe it. The Lord came a second time; he offered his side for the disbelieving disciple to touch, held out his hands, and showing the scars of his wounds, healed the wound of his disbelief. Dearly beloved, what do you see in these events? Do you really believe that it was by chance that this chosen disciple was absent, then came and heard, heard and doubted, doubted and touched, touched and believed? It was not by chance but in God¹s providence. In a marvellous way God¹s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his master¹s body, shouldheal our wounds of disbelief. The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened. So the disciple who doubted, then felt Christ¹s wounds, becomes a witness to the reality of the resurrection." An example of how "God works all things for the good for those who love him". Rom 8:29