Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Notes from the Marian Eucharistic Conference: Part II Family and Confession by Fr. Larry Richards

Father Larry RichardsI bought BE A MAN for Max when he began high school. He is nearly there. And now he gets SURRENDER. Do yourself a favor and get his books and CDs for the men in your life.


No Bible, no breakfast; no Bible, no bed. Pull out your Bible – it is your instruction for life. Love one another. You are not a disciple of Christ if you pray and fast but don’t love one another. But love isn’t just a sweet feeling. Jesus didn’t tiptoe through the tulips. He spoke the Truth even if people left him. Padre Pio wasn’t a nice guy. But he loved fiercely. Enough to make you want to change your sinful ways. The saints are people who are in love with God and their love overflows to others.
Fr. Larry gave a beautiful lecture on FAMILY, the place where love begins.
F is for faith and forgiveness. Also fasting on bread and water on Fridays for your kids, for the difficult members in your family, for your friends, for conversion. Dads, be St. Joseph to your kids. Be a man of prayer. Pray or be damned. Prayer is how you protect your wife and kids. When St. John Paul II was a little boy, he walked in on his dad in the middle of the night to find him on his knees in prayer. CS Lewis says, “we must forgive one another or be damned.” Forgiveness is an act of the will. It’s not about feelings. On the cross, nobody asked for forgiveness, but Jesus forgave them all anyway.
A is for affirmation. Tell every person you love that you love them. We need it. Every day a kid dies inside because of lack of affirmation.
M is for making memories. Spend time together. Eat dinner together. Take joy together. Family is more important than anything else. Our problems in the US are because we let everything else take the place of family.
I is for intimacy (into me see). If people don’t have it at home, they will seek it elsewhere.
L is for Love. Read Ephesians. Wives are to be submissive to their husbands. She should ask: how can I serve my husband. Husbands are to sacrifice themselves for their wives. He should ask: how can I die for my wife. You are to be slaves to one another. He shared a very personal story that’s in his book, so I won’t repeat it here, but even so, I get teary-eyed thinking about it. Love – it’s powerful. Remember love is not a feeling, but an act of the will. It is to will the good of the other.
Y is all about you. Forget about me; it’s all about you. Remember, God first, others second, me last.  
Father Larry gave a good lecture on confession for adults. So if you have little kids reading over your shoulder, you should probably send them off to play.
“You shall name Him Jesus because He will save them from their sins.” ~ Matt 1:21
People are afraid to go to confession. Don’t be. The biggest problem is that people don’t talk about the sins of omission.
To be in a state of mortal sin, three things have to be present: it’s a serious matter, you have full knowledge, and you consent to the will.
The closer you are to God, the more you realize how bad you are. All the saints believed they were terrible because they could see even their minor imperfections.
You’re sorry because you’re scared to go to hell. This is imperfect contrition because it has an element of selfishness. You should be sorry because you love Jesus and hurt Him.
Final question Matt: 25:35-40. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in ...  Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.  
Pray that you might love well.
We are saved by grace. But we need to cooperate with God’s grace. We can’t earn salvation – that’s Pelagian heresy – because then Jesus didn’t have to die. Neo-Pelagians think it’s 50/50. Wrong. Jesus redeems us but we still have to cooperate.
So, the Examen.
Go through the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes.
1. Love God above all things. You love what you give your time to. Really examine whether you love God with your whole heart.
2. Don’t take the Name of God in vain. All those OMGs have to go. The name of God is holy. Use it appropriately.
3. Keep holy the Sabbath. Sunday Holy Mass is an obligation. It is a mortal sin not to hear Mass on Sunday. Yup. Serious matter. You owe this to God.
4. Honor your father and mother. Do you call them? Do you pray for them? Do you take care of them?
5. You shall not kill another human being. Abortion is murder. Do you know whether you had a boy or girl? Name them. Ask for forgiveness. And you don’t need to confess it over and over because you are having a difficult time forgiving yourself. Your feelings don’t matter when it comes to confession. God forgives the repentant.
6. Don’t commit adultery. That is sex outside of marriage. Sex is holy and reserved only for the married (to each other!) for loving and giving life. Do not use birth control. It is not part of God’s plan. Do not masturbate. It is self-focused. Same-sex attraction – do not act upon it. Fornication is sex before marriage. Don't act upon your sexual feelings. This includes oral sex. In marriage, it is fine, if both husband and wife agree. No part of the body is unkissable. However, it has to end in intercourse so that it can be life-giving. Couples should pray together before having sex. Right now the greatest addiction is pornography and it starts young – 6th grade. Protect your children. If you have a sexual thought, let it fly. Don’t let it make a nest in your head. If you see a beautiful woman, thank God for her beauty. Don’t turn her into an object for your pleasure.
We never got to 7, 8, 9, 10 because people fall into sexual sin very easily now given the permissive culture. We could’ve talked about sex all day long. LOL.   
Jesus pays the price. The priest, in persona Christi, sets you free from your sins. Go to confession. 

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