Following on from my last post about sheep stealing I wished to share what I believe are vital ways to protect the flock from being poached by others.
At Mass today, the priest spoke gently and kindly, explaining the faith with a sincerity that leads to understanding. At Mass today no one could doubt the reverence, joy, orthodoxy and integrity of the priest and others present. The Mass was in the Ordinary Form, in English, but there was reverence and joy. The parish is clearly one that takes social justice seriously, with prayers for the poor and needy but not forgetting the widespread crimes against the unborn condemned so strongly in Vatican II - i.e. abortion, as well as euthanasia.
My wife and I are new to this parish but every time we attend Mass here we have been treated with respect and kindness. When I went to see the priest the other day, he greeted me wearing clerical dress and was not ashamed of this witness to our faith. He was kind, listened and prayed with me.
Throughout my life I have noticed that in many cases two things seem to go together - orthodoxy and kindness. The priests and other members of the church who are faithful to Christ in what they teach are also so very often the kindest and most genuine in the way they behave.
As a child I remember being laughed at scornfully by a catechist who in the "spirit of Vatican II" (itself nothing to do with Vatican II) mocked me for suggesting that the 'special bread' we were to have at our community meal (by which she meant the sacrifice of the Mass) might actually be the Body of Christ. It was only because of the kindness and orthodoxy of my parents and a minority of others that I was to be taught the true faith. How can we be surprised when droves of people leave our Church if we are afraid to teach the Truth?
A remedy for sheep being stolen or simply limping off into the wilderness? Orthodoxy and kindness.