St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Bible: Romans #18

In the Last article dealing with the book of Romans, we see how patriotism is important and even virtuous. The law of the land is to be upheld by all Christians for the good of society. St John Bosco once said, “Many people [in authority] oppose us, persecute us, and would even like to destroy us, but we must be patient. As long as their commands are not against our conscience, let us obey them, but when the case is otherwise, let us uphold the rights of the Church, for those are superior to all earthly authority”. This is pretty sound advice and is steeped in catholic tradition. It is what the first Christians did up through the conversion of Rome.
Verse seven talks about giving what is due to others, be it government or individuals. But verse eight recognizes something greater and even more “primary” as the theologians may put it. Love demands that we ourselves fulfill the law of God, which is superior than man’s law. If we love a person, we would never think of offending that person. When I was a child, I was so afraid to sin against my mom. I knew my mom loved me and I would have been crushed if I had done something that offended her. Love does not demand it from others, it demands it from ourselves. It is the purest form of strength.
I have heard many people say that if you want to work for peace, work for justice. There is wisdom in this saying, but it will always come short of any lasting peace. If everybody demanded and got justice, strictly speaking, it might be a brutal world and a lot more people may be in jail. But Jesus has found a way where justice and mercy have met. Combined, justice and mercy, and only understood being together do they produce virtue. This is because love is the motivation of mercy and therefore fulfills the law. That is why forgiveness is not letting somebody get by with something (complacency) and justice is not revenge.
Verse eleven recognizes the motivation of love to do God’s holy will. It also recognizes that our faith also demands that we do God’s holy will. We have faith in those we love, or at least that is what normally should happen in God’s design. This is particularly true with our love for God. If we trust God, It is much easier to do His will. But to shed off the old self, it takes more than faith, it takes love. It is our love for Him that would make us give up coffee, alcohol, chocolate, sugar or any other comforts we like. In a husband, it is love for his wife that makes him go to the opera, not faith in her. It takes love for her husband that makes her go to the game with him, not faith in him. It is love that makes grandma go to the school activities, not faith in the grandchildren.
Paul’s challenge is what are we willing to do for Jesus? It was His love for us that motivated Him to die on the cross for us. Are you motivated by love to do something for Jesus? Is it something that reflects the way you live? Has your love for Jesus changed your life? How?


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Seeking God’s Will

~By Fr. Keith Romke, Vocations Director Another year has gone by and yet another one has started. We have once again reached this point where even those who aren’t seeking to grow closer to God seem to want to grow, to improve themselves, and to become better people. Hopefully this will go well for them. But what about those of us who are committed to living for God? Well, we have two big things going for us. First, that we aren’t on our own to fulfill whatever we discover needs to be worked on. We have the help of the Holy Spirit and the aid of God’s Grace in everything that we do so long as we ask for it! Secondly, if we are doing things right, then we aren’t left wondering what a good resolution might be. You see, God already know exactly what He wants for you to work on, because He knows what you are capable of and who He is calling you to be! If you want for this year to be better than the last, or for this year to be the best year of your life, it all starts with letting God plan it out for you, which requires letting go and letting Him show you what steps to take. We all need to give God just a little more control (actually a lot more, but we’ll start small so as not to overwhelm anyone!) of our day to day lives so that He can maximize our potential for a great year. So what are you waiting for? Only 358 days left, so get praying!


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The Light of Christ in Our Priests and Religious Sisters and Brothers


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A Community of Hope

God called Isiah to bring hope to God’s people. We are called to bring hope to others as an institution and as a community.


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Living the Moral Life 70

As we enter the fall political season, it is easy to get caught up into the mere human element of life and forget that God is there. We think about this policy and that policy. We think about the political party of our preference and understanding, and may even think that party has all the answers. We always need to be reminded that it is not the state that saves, but Jesus. Continue reading


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Living the Moral Life 68

Prayer, faith, and the things of faith not seen, are the driving force of the faith seen. We will be motivated to do works, in so far as we have a relationship with Jesus. If our relationship with Jesus is weak, our works will be weak. If we have a strong relationship with Jesus, our desire to do the will of God will be stronger. How close are you to Jesus? Continue reading