For years I’ve thought about writing a book entitled: “Catholicism Made Simple.” There are so many of these “Made Simple” books on the market, on everything from computers to auto mechanics. So I came to the conclusion we needed one on the Catholic faith. Lo and behold, some months ago I saw a book entitled, “Catholicism Made Simple.”
My primary difficulty with the book was that it was the size of a large catalogue. As I paged through it, I felt it was rather overwhelming. Where could I find some simple explanations for venial sin and mortal sin? What does it mean to be in the state of grace?
In all honestly, I don’t think I’ll have to write the book. I believe the book has already been written by someone we all know and love – Jesus! I find this weekend’s Gospel (Mark 1:29-39) to be a mini-version of “Catholicism Made Simple.”
CHAPTER I. Jesus leaves the synagogue and goes to Simon Peter’s house. Once at his house, do we find Jesus getting into a heated discussion about married priests, abortion or keeping man-made religious laws? Not at all. Once inside the door of Peter’s house, Jesus sees that Peter’s mother-in law is sick with a fever.
What does Jesus do? He goes over, grabs her hand and helps her up. And immediately the fever leaves her! Here and everywhere – Jesus sees a need and responds. Jesus touches people with his eyes, his ears, his lips, his hands, his heart and his soul. Catholicism Made Simple, Real Simple!
CHAPTER II. By sunset, the word had gotten out and they began to bring all the sick and possessed people to Jesus so he could lay his hand on them. What does Jesus do? He keeps on touching and caring and curing. He doesn’t limit his ministry like we often want to do. You and I are often like the man who sat at the dinner table who prayed: “God, bless me, my wife, my son and my daughter – us four and no more!”
CHAPTER III. Jesus casts out demons. As a child and growing up, these stories in the Gospel scared the daylights out of me. Thank goodness there are no demons around today. NOT! WRONG!! Whoever and whatever controls you is a demon. There are probably a hundred times as many demons around today as there were in Jesus’ time. Work, Leisure, Websites, Cable TV, Drugs, Pills, Fentanyl, Opioids, Rap Music, Food, Sex, Pornography, Pot, Alcohol, Politics, Gambling, etc., etc. Whatever or whoever controls you is a demon.
Demons always find a home where there is a deep emptiness, a feeling that you are all alone and no one understands or cares, a feeling that life is slipping by. All the Twelve-step programs and the AA programs tell us that we are helpless to get rid of all the demons that plague us in our emptiness. We are helpless until we find the grace and the strength that Jesus offers us. It’s as simple as that! Catholicism Made Simple!
CHAPTER IV. Rising early, Jesus goes off to a deserted place to pray. Again, Catholicism Made Simple! This is how Jesus came to terms with life – through prayer. Even Jesus had to go to the Power Source – his heavenly Father and try to figure out how to handle the burdens of his life. His mother was a widow and now all alone. His cousin John the Baptist was in prison. He had twelve newly-chosen Apostles to teach about a heavenly Kingdom. People were flocking to him night and day to be cured. Not an easy life, even for Jesus. Jesus knew what to do – make time to pray!
When you come right down to it, Catholicism is Simple. Stick with Jesus and you will never go wrong!
A surgeon at a large hospital had a habit on insisting for a few minutes alone before every operation. He had a great reputation. A young doctor who worked with him wondered if there was a connection between his unusual habit of time alone and his great success.
When he asked the surgeon, he replied, “Yes, of course. Before each operation, I ask the Great Physician to be with me, to guide my hands in their work. There were times when I didn’t know what to do next in an operation. Then a Power came over me, a Power I knew came from God. I would not think of performing an operation without first asking for God’s help.”
One day a father brought his very sick daughter to the hospital. He insisted that the only doctor he would allow to touch his daughter was the one who worked with God.
Thanks to Tara Winstead for the photo.
Have YOU ever felt a Power come over YOU that was from above?
TO LOVE ANOTHER PERSON IS TO SEE THE FACE OF GOD!
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