Today, as this month draws to a close, I will speak to all My children on these words: "BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS, FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD." My dear children, in the holy Gospel My Words are recorded, wherein I say: "Not everyone who says ĎLord, Lordí shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven." To enter into My kingdom you must come as a little child. As a little child you are truly a child of God.
But you do not understand clearly what this means and thus satan is able to confound and confuse you, making you not My children, but his slaves.
First, you do not seek to do great works upon which the eyes of the world look, and tongues lavish false praise. You do not seek nor desire attention - only Mine, because the true Peacemaker, the true child of God, is one who seeks only Me and acts upon My Will only. "Blessed are the peacemakers," Scripture says. And at once your finite mind associates this phrase with those of high political position who negotiate treaties between countries supposedly for the common good of all men. Is this really the truth? Is this True Peace? Many are the hearts of men who negotiate for worldly peace, believing their shallow human motives are hidden from men; their Ďsecretí agendas can be disguised under the mirage of peace.
These are not My peacemakers. This is not what My words mean. Rather, the true peacemaker is he whose soul longs for Me with such love that his first priority is to possess My Peace in abundance. The soul then, humble and contrite, comes before Me in prayer, sacrifice, penance and mortification. The true peacemaker is he who goes frequently to the Sacrament of Penance, and is reconciled to Me.
Then the true peacemaker, ever vigilant over his own soul, transfers the graces and blessings of My Peace to others. The soul begins with those around whom his vocation revolves. This can and must be for the consecrated religious and priests, the concern for the souls of those in proper authority over them, and to whom they owe humble obedience. It then leads to a peaceful but truthful care of all souls placed in their care.
To those in married life, each member comes first to Me and draws his love from Me, and gives My love to spouse and children. Only My love truly lived makes a marriage holy, because it brings each member into the holy role of peacemaker. Then, like a gently flowing stream, the true peacemaker carries My love into the world, be it the parish community, the place of work, the neighborhood, city, state; and one endeavors to be as gentle, guiding light to all souls whom his life touches. The true peacemaker also never neglects one of his neighbors, and thus offers all of his thoughts, words and deeds to Me, in union with My Passion, for all the world.
Those who are maturing, those called to the single state of life are also ordered in this same way. A soul not in union with My Will may appear to the world as a peacemaker, but the futility of all human effort which is bereft of Me, bears no good fruit and shall result only in more unrest among peoples and nations.
Dear children of My Sacred Heart, hear Me, for you are living in precarious times. You view the tentative peace of your world as the barometer of your security, without one thought for your soul.
The true peacemaker prays for My Peace to fill every soul. The true peacemakerís only desire is to have Me as King of all nations, so My Will may be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
While I do call some of My children to be active in bringing My Peace alive in other souls, I do not call all souls to such a position. I carefully choose these souls because they must be so conformed to My Will that no worldly scorn or praise may move them away from Me. To all I give My Peace who are humble, little obedient servants. These are My true peacemakers who, by their obedience to Me and their loving service to Me, help to bring to fulfillment all of Sacred Scripture. These are the humble little children who possess the grace of humility of heart.
Thus, the soul whose eyes are focused only on Me, rests in My Sacred Heart as a small child rests in His Motherís arms. Here the soul receives not only My Peace, but My Comfort, Strength, Forgiveness, Mercy and Infinite Love.
These, the hidden ones and the few called to roles of great responsibility, are those who are truly My peacemakers, and they, children of God, shall inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Human peace is but an autumn leaf blown hither and yon by societal changes of your human demands. It is neither peace or security, and it brings no Heavenly grace to the world. Human peace always contains impure motives of egoism and self-righteous pride and judgmentalness. Thus, it will be blown away, leaving you to prey to the wiles of satan, because your soul shall lack My True Peace.
In these end times, My children, I beg of you. First, make your peace with Me that you may receive My Peace. Then through a life of prayer, fasting and sacrifice lived in the Sacramental life of My One True Church, you shall daily be My peacemaker, though the world shall never know of it. But I know and I keep My promises. Therefore, be My peacemakers in these end times and proclaim My Holy Name with love. You shall persevere in the True Faith and shall be called by Me and all the hosts of Heaven: "children of God."
Go now and be at peace, for it is My gift to you. I love and bless you, O My children who shall shine as brilliant stars in the firmament of Heaven. Prepare, for I Come!
NEXT WEEK: Lesson/Meditation #65:
He told each person in this small town to gather at the river Sunday morning for baptism. One lady was rather resistant to this idea of high-pressure religion but in spite of all her kicking and struggling, the strong men were able to edge her into the river. The minister dunked her under the water and when she came up, he asked, "Do you believe?" She said "No!" So he dunked her under again and held her there for a very long time thinking baptism might take effect the longer he kept her under.
Up she came again at last, gasping for air, and the minister asked again, "Do you believe now?" She said, "No!" So he pushed her under a third time and held her so long she almost drowned. At last she came up gulping for air and the minister thundered, "Now do you believe?" and she said, "Yes!"
"The preacher asked, "What do you believe?" She said, "I believe youíre trying to drown me, you darn fool!"
With baptism we associate belief. We recall Jesus saying in Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved." Then He says, not he who doesnít believe but he who refuses to believe will be damned. A baby doesnít believe but neither does a baby refuse to believe.
The positive belief, for those who are capable of that belief, along with baptism, is the initial act by which we become Christians. There is a very close association between belief and baptism. We find this in Acts 2:41: "Those who believed and were baptized that day totaled 3,000." That was the post-Pentecostal explosion of converts. Or Acts 18:8 in Corinth where Cripus, who was the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord and was baptized.
Wherever in Scripture it speaks of baptizing anyone, it is always associated with the idea of belief, the basic act of faith. In Acts 8:36 and 37 we read of the eunuch being converted by Philip who was miraculously transported there. The eunuch asked, after Philip has explained the passages from Isaiah referring to Christ, if there was any reason why he couldnít be baptized right then and there. Philip asked if he believed and he answered yes. The baptism that followed was coupled with the initial belief, as it always is in Scripture.
St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th Century wanted to investigate the practice of infant baptism which had been frequently practiced from the 11th Century. Adult baptism was the only type of baptism, outside of emergencies, to be had in the early church. In the 11th Century when the church formed the sacramental system, infant baptism became a more extensively accepted custom. St. Thomas Aquinas asked the question, is infant baptism valid? An infant could not make an act of faith. It cold not practice faith, or for that matter any of the 56 virtues listed in the catalog of virtues.
He concluded that infant baptism was valid but not fruitful until such time as a child was old enough, with the help of parents or godparents, to make a committed act of faith in Jesus as Savior. So the act of faith would come probably seven or eight years at least after the infant baptism. It completes the baptism. The faith and the baptism must got together, if not simultaneously, at least sequentially.
That has a lot to do with our initiation into Christianity, but thatís only the first operation of faith. Then we must personalize that completing act of baptism by saying, "I accept Jesus as my personal Savior. He died for me as if I were the only one that ever existed." That is the born again experience, a completion of the sacramental baptism. St. Paul articulates this in Galatians 2:20: "The Lord has loved me, and delivered himself for me."
Next Week: Operational Christianity
Despite Urbanís faults and terrible diplomacy in his bitter struggle with Frederick, he did accomplish a few things during his nearly two-year papacy. He made great strides in planting the seeds for another crusade to the Holy Lands which would be carried out by his next two successors. He wept bitterly when he learned the Saracens had taken possession of Jerusalem for he had given tremendous attention and privileges to the Knights Hospitallers who were defeated. One of the main problems of Urbanís pontificate was not just his personal vendetta against Frederick, but his alienation of the bishops who he seemed to fight at every turn - not just in Italy and Germany, but also in England and France. Too often Urban abused his throne of Peter to threaten excommunication in order to get his way and, in the end, it backfired badly on him. Though, at times, these threats prevented further wars, such as the war between England and France which, out of fear of being driven from the Church or set upon by a larger army, both nations called a truce which lasted two years. Besides Frederick, Urban III had a long-standing and bitter fued with Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury who the Pope had sided against in a dispute with the monks of the Archbishopís cathedral in England. This infuriated Baldwin who spent every second trying to gain revenge by trying to influence kings and noblemen against the Pope. This did not help Urbanís popularity and turned one of his own allies - King Philip of France against him. The bishops, united behind their king, joined in their protest of Urbanís policies and, in the end, it brought this pope down and signaled the College of Cardinalís experiment of electing a forceful pontiff who was opposed to the mighty rulers as a total failure. They would not make that mistake again when they gathered quickly at Ferrara to elect Urbanís successor as we shall see in next week's installment.
NEXT ISSUE: Pope Gregory VIII: the start of reconciliation and restoration
To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.
ß 2. With regard to the administration of this sacrament, ecclesiastical legislation reiterates the theologically certain doctrine and the age old usage of the Church (103) which regards the priest as its only valid minister. (104) This norm is completely coherent with the theological mystery signified and realized by means of priestly service.
It must also be affirmed that the reservation of the ministry of Anointing to the priest is related to the connection of this sacrament to the forgiveness of sin and the worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist. No other person may act as ordinary or extraordinary minister of the sacrament since such constitutes simulation of the sacrament. (105)
NEXT ISSUE: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 10 Assistance at Marriages
No. 1459 and 1460, page 366 and 367 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery; Chapter Two - The Sacraments of Healing; Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:
The penance the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent's personal situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear. Such penances help configure us to Christ, Who alone expiated our sins once for all. They allow us to become co-heirs with the risen Christ, "provided we suffer with Him." (Romans 8: 17, Romans 3: 25; 1 John 2: 1-2; cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1690).
From the Baltimore Catechism No. 3; Benziger Brothers, Inc. and Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. Nos. 800, 801 and 802, pages 168 and 169.
Q. Why does the priest give us a penance after Confession?
A. The priest gives us a penance after Confession, that we may satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to our sins.
 Why should we have to satisfy for our sins if Christ has fully satisfied for them?
Q. Christ has fully satisfied for our sins and after our baptism we were free from all guilt and had no satisfaction to make. But when we wilfully sinned after baptism, it is but just that we should be obliged to make some satisfaction.
Q. Is the slight penance the priest gives us sufficient to satisfy for all the sins confessed?
A. The slight penance the priest gives us is not sufficient to satisfy for all the sins confessed: (1) Because there is no real equality between the slight penance given and the punishment deserved for the sin; (2) Because we are all obliged to do penance for sins committed and this would not be necessary if the penance given in confession satisfied for all. The penance is given and accepted in confession chiefly to show our willingness to do penance and make amends for our sins.