Pastor's Letter - July 1, 2018

Everyone is aware of the common saying: there are only two things sure in life – death and taxes. And God didn’t give either one to us. The first reading in today’s Mass from the Book of Wisdom instructs us in the truth that “God did not make death” but that He “formed man to be imperishable”. So why is it that we die? The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) provides a good summary for us. Paragraph #1008 in the CCC says that “death entered the world on account of man’s sin. Even though man’s nature is mortal, God had destined him not to die. Death was therefore contrary to the plans of God the Creator and entered the world as a consequence of sin.” But death has been transformed by Christ! He Himself suffered the death that is part of the human condition and conquered it by His resurrection. Because of Christ, death now has a positive meaning. We sacramentally “die with Christ” when we are baptized and are given a new life in Christ. Our physical death is no longer our “final end” but rather the means to live with Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit, and all the Saints, forever in the Life that will never end. (I’ll leave the more difficult topic of taxes for later!!)

It becomes increasingly clear to me that whoever said “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance” had it right. As we approach the 4th of July and the anniversary of our country’s independence, we need to pray that the principles of truth and justice will always be the foundation of our great land. Pray in particular that our “First Freedom”, the freedom of religion, might be preserved intact. Mass will be offered here at SSPP on Wed, July 4 at the usual 8am. It would be especially good to come to Mass that day, if you are able, and to pray for our nation. God bless America!

My thanks again to Fr. William Menzel (Tues., Wed., & Thurs.) and Msgr. Robert Hundt (Sat. & Sun.) who filled in for me this past week while I was attending a Liturgical Conference in Portland, OR.

May God bless you! Fr. Schaller