THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Her Doctrine and Morals

Second Sunday after Easter

18 April 2021

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Dear Friend,

Jesus reminds us that not everyone in the Church is good — not even in Her leaders. There are shepherds, hirelings, thieves, and robbers. It is a very serious position to be set as guardian over the flock of Jesus Christ. Very few people ever comprehend the seriousness and import of this obligation. So many seek worldly honor, glory, or power but have no conception of the duties and responsibilities as well as the eternal accounting that must be given to God. Many men rush in where angels fear to tread.

There often appears to be an inversion of the correct order. Instead of God calling men and women to His service, we often find men and women trying to force God into accepting them in a life to which He did not call them. The worldly reasons for this are many and varied. With those who have some ulterior motive, we see that they do not enter by the Door (through Jesus Christ), but they sneak or climb through some other way. These are thieves and robbers. They seek to take honor, glory, privilege, or some other thing away from Jesus.

Many claim to want to serve God and may even say that they want to do God's Holy Will, but few genuinely desire this. A little scratching often reveals a lot of self-serving pride rather than humble love. As is often humorously pointed out, such people are "very proud of their humility." Their apparent virtue is really a secret vice.

Jesus warns all Catholics to beware of such thieves and robbers. They are stealing from God, but they are also stealing from His Flock. They are a scandal, leading many into sin and away from God. They corrupt the graces and merits of their fellow men.

The shepherds that Christ has appointed to watch over and guard His Flock must be doubly cautious and on the watch for such deceivers. They must always be ready to sound the alarm and warn of heresies and every spiritual danger to our souls. Yet, they must be welcoming and forgiving to sinners that God is calling to Himself. The shepherd must become one in mind and heart with Jesus. He must always strive to arrive at the perfect balance of mercy and justice.

Many who have been assigned this task by Jesus prove, in times of trials, that they are not the shepherds that they are supposed to be but are rather hirelings. Their lips are sealed at the evil and sins that have slipped into the fold. They allow the demonic thieves and robbers to do their destruction unhindered.

The hireling often speaks the truth, and in this, we should listen, as Jesus said of those who sit on the chair of Moses, we should do what they say but not do what they do. These are hirelings and may be tolerated in times of peace, but not in times of danger. They will do nothing to defend and frequently leave the way open for the thieves and robbers in times of trouble.

The hireling differs from the thieves and robbers because he still speaks the truth, whereas the thieves and robbers both say and do evil. The hireling is only interested in his worldly reward and has little concern for the fold's welfare. He barters with God. The thieves and robbers are only interested in illicitly taking whatever they can. They steal from God. The shepherd loves God and loves His Flock and is ready to lay down his life for both. The shepherd is not overly concerned with worldly reward or compensation. His love is one with God's and is a love for souls.

Thieves and robbers establish counterfeit churches or religions, stealing souls away from the True Church and God. It is not enough for the shepherds to denounce them and their errors. The shepherd must warn the faithful that counterfeit churches are the religion of devils. The leaders of false churches are not shepherds or even hirelings but are rather thieves and robbers.

The Catholic who believes in the equality of religions or that we all "pray to the same God" have been robbed of the True Faith. Those promoting these ideas are thieves and robbers. Pastors and guides that permit these things are hirelings. The true shepherds must be willing to die in defending God, His Church, and Her doctrines. His intense love for God and his fellow men cannot tolerate leading souls into error, sin, and eventually into Hell.

All the false churches and false religions are headed by thieves and robbers trying to steal souls away from God. We are not concerned with any material thefts. These do not matter. The thieves can have all the stones, wood, brick, mortar, paper, gold, and silver they want. They can even have the doctrines and scriptures they have taken from the Church. Shepherds are only interested in the priceless immortal souls of people. It is not the material things that make up the Fold of Jesus Christ, nor is it one doctrine or another. The Church, we faithful Catholics, are The Bride of Christ. We are the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. Our souls are meant to be eternally united with Jesus. Our good shepherds and we must be ever vigilant that we do not allow our souls to be carried away into false religion, false worship, or false doctrine.

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