Stewardship: A Way of Life 

Stewardship: A Way of Life 

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CLEANLINESS

Could you live comfortably in a dirty home? (What does not count is a little clutter once and a while.) How often do you need to take a shower or tub to feel clean and good? Suppose you could not brush your teeth, wash your hair, or change your clothes for a month. Can we go anywhere  without seeing a sign that tells us to wash our hands. Everyone of us has our own ‘clean’ habits that make us feel good and satisfied. Watching TV, reading the newspaper or magazines, perusing the internet, or whatever way you are in touch with the world, you come to know of tent cities, people fleeing war in their lands, drought conditions, whatever, so their living conditions are not imaginable given our living situation and privileges. My brother in California because of the water shortages in his state has all kinds of restrictions put upon his  way of life. (Limit how many times you flush the toilet!) (Low flow faucets and used for only a short time, etc.) Is there anything better than a good blast of hot water from our shower to wake us up? What we all have in common is to notice those who do not have clean habits—dirty hands, unattractive odor, unkempt appearance, and so forth. Most of us take great pains to be clean   outwardly in appearance, in our home surroundings, in our cars, and so forth. We even try to eat cleanly in organic, farm fresh food, properly packaged foods, etc. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Is it? And if it is, why do we spend so much time on the outside of our bodies and relatively little with cleanliness in our  internal life?

God gave us the Sacrament of Reconciliation to make clean our very precious soul—the means to our eternal salvation with Him where all the hours, days, years, decades of time spent in external clean habits mean little comparatively. In the old days people went to Confession every week. Those teachings stressed the necessity to keep clean/free of sin our  soul at all times in preparation of receiving Communion. More recent teachings to encourage the more frequent reception of most holy Communion, are that you do not need to go to Confession in order to receive Communion every time. A good Act of Contrition is sufficient unless you are in the state of mortal sin. In the state of moral sin, then the Sacrament of Reconciliation is necessary before you can next receive Communion. * Our Church has put into place the requirement of receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation once a year—the Easter duty.  Who knew?  And lately a program call ‘THE LIGHT IS ON FOR YOU’ has been offered during the Lenten season. Our Church is trying to make it easier and more convenient for all of us to receive this Sacrament and  to make it more available and necessary in our thoughts and actions. So every week during Lent, Father Derek will be in the Church on TUESDAY nights from 6:30 pm until 8 pm to hear confessions. You may also visit the church for quiet time with our Lord as well  during  these hours. Please check the bulletin notices for further information. There are special Sacramental gifts given to us in all the Sacraments. These gifts are received within us and are available  at times, when we most need them. How often would you refuse a Lottery winning if it was handed to you? You can’t take this with you. But our Sacraments are part of us forever, here and up there. Internal cleanliness feels much better than a temporary external cleaning. You will continue to be a spiritual winner even when you don’t know it.

by Kathy Reilly

* “Mortal sin is a sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” Catechism of the Catholic Church