January 13, 2006

Letters to the Editor

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There were no letters to the editor published this week, so here is the letter from Dec. 23.


Archbishop’s message about sacraments needs to be heard

Amen, Amen, Amen, was my response to Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein’s column in the Dec. 16 issue of The Criterion titled “The sacraments can help us live a life of authentic freedom.”

The power of sacramental grace has been much underrated in today’s Catholic culture. As a parent of two teenagers and a 7-year-old, I know very well the power of the secular culture and the overwhelming pull it has on our children. It is very hard for families to stand against such cultural magnetism. It is especially hard for our teens who are at the crucial maturing stages of decision making.

The disparity between moral Catholic living and our culture seems to be growing every day. Society screams the message that pleasure is paramount, shock value of the provocative is exciting and sacrifice is to be avoided. There is such a need for re-education about the power of grace and a sacramental life. When we learn, correctly understand and embrace this viewpoint, our families will indeed experience the joy of authentic freedom in Christ, which gives them the courage to embrace the dynamic heroism it takes to live the truth of Catholic morality.

In our era of media explosion, the Christian family must monitor every media source that comes into the home, and still that isn’t enough. Only God can provide the strength to withstand such temptations thrown so blatantly at our families. That strength, that gift, that extra “holy energy” we receive in the grace of the sacraments works. I have seen it work in my own life and in the members of my family. We counteract the culture with grace received in prayer and, as Catholic Christians, especially through the power of sacramental grace.

As Archbishop Buechlein pointed out, “Jesus gave us these sacraments not just as a matter of arbitrary ritual, but because we need them.” They are not just antiquated rituals to be set aside for more modern psychology. There is power behind them; power to be Christ-like, power to be holy.

This supernatural power of grace is transmitted to us through the hands of our priests, regardless of their personal character, as promised by Christ. Why have we doubted this? Do we doubt Christ’s promise? It has been working in the lives of Catholics for more than 2,000 years amid all cultural trials. All we need to do is to look at the habits of the saints and you can see their devotion to a sacramental life.

May we not forget, “But for the grace of God, there go I.” Let us all pray that our families can embrace these “diamonds in the rough”—Sunday Mass, daily Mass, regular reconciliation. As a popular television commercial used to say, “Try it, you’ll like it!”

-Eva Roll, Lawrenceburg


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