TRIBUTE TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
BELOVED IN CHRIST:
It is a tribute to the Church that the world always expects perfection of its members. Very often in your daily papers you will notice where Father so and so accompanied this murderer or that murderess to the gallows. What? Was that low down a Catholic? And they have the gall to call it the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?
Even Catholics are somewhat upset by this God-given grace at the Eleventh hour. "Why this man after a life of sin gets the same reward that I hope to receive after years of struggle. Why God seems to smile upon his evil ways and gives him a free ticket into the world beyond." In the words of either group there is contained a tribute and no mean tribute at that. Let a priest fall from his high calling and note the reaction on all sides. Why? Because the priest must be different. There is a humorous book called, "Samantha at Saratoga." In it there is a description of the crowd at that famous resort. Samantha spoke of seeing a Catholic priest "who looked for all the world as if he were in the crowd but not of it." That shows that even non-Catholics expect to find the priest different. And not only do they expect to find the priest different, but each individual Catholic different. There is the tribute. They expect perfection of its members.
Perhaps, you have not considered Our Blessed Lord as possessing a monopoly. He is the Divine Monopolist of perfection. But by a wonderful privilege on His part, He has asked each of us to be shareholders in that monopoly. "Walk before me and be perfect." "Be you therefore perfect, as also your Heavenly Father is perfect." There is the invitation and what an invitation it is! Not only is this an invitation but a command. He demands that each of us form Christ in our hearts, that we seek with our whole being those unsearchable riches of Christ, that we labor until we can say: "I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me." But where can I find a golden key that will unlock for me the unlimited storehouse of perfection? - That key is Our Divine Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
In the Vatican in Rome there stands one of the most perfect works of art every created - the statue of Moses sculptured by Michelangelo. It took him years to create this sublime figure in marble and on the day he finished, he stood back to admire the object of his creation. He was so struck by the beauty of the statue that he threw his chisel at it and said, "Speak." A friend of his watched the progress of his sculpturing and after about a month's absence he returned to see the work of the great genius. Michelangelo was still toiling indefatigably and had made little progress. The friend was amazed and spoke of the trifles that the artist had accomplished since his last visit.
"Trifles make perfection," said the sculpture, "and perfection is no trifle."
The same is true of the spiritual life. It is trifles that make perfection. No Saint ever became a saint in a day. He or she became so by being faithful to trifles, by being faithful to his or her morning and evening prayers, by exercising patience, by seemingly small acts of charity, by rigidly observing the commandments and six precepts of the Church. But how can I be faithful to my morning and evening prayers? How will I be able to exercise patience? Who will touch my heart to perform acts of charity? How will I be able to observe the ten commandments and the six precepts of the Church? The answer to all of these questions is Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The Blessed Eucharist is the key to perfection.