Christ the King - St. Francis de Sales Parish
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November 12, 2019 Details regarding the funeral for Sue Wahmhoff: Visitation will take place at Christ the King Church, Howard City on Thursday,...
November 12, 2019 We are saddened to announce the unexpected passing of parishioner Sue Wahmhoff. At this time, funeral details are still pending....
October 10, 2019 Pray for the soul of Delia Perez, mother of parishioner Vangie Elliott. There will be a Celebration of Life at...
August 30, 2019 We are saddened to announce the unexpected passing of parishioner Doyle McKenney. Services are being provided by Bliss-Witters Pike funeral...
July 22, 2019 We are saddened to announce the passing of parishioner Harriet Wahoski. There will be visitation on Thursday, July 25th at...
Faith Formation Files: Vol. 2, Issue 8 November 17, 2019
I don’t have a tale from my own life to share this week to help you better understand the content of our faith, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have something to say! I’d like to take the time to talk about the difference between mortal and venial sin and what having those sins on your soul can do to you.
There is a difference in the types of sin we commit. Let’s discuss mortal sins first. As the word mortal implies, these types of sins cause our death. Just as a fatal stabbing or terminal disease are referred to as mortal because they cause death of the body, so do mortal sins cause death of the soul.
In order for a sin to be classified as mortal, three qualities must be true. One, the sin must be of grave nature. That is, it must be specified by the Ten Commandments or covered in the Precepts of the Church. Two, the sin must be committed with knowledge, with a full understanding that it is a sin. The sinner must know that what they are doing is wrong and that it violates God’s law. Third, the sin must be committed with complete consent. The sin must be done of a deliberate and personal choice. When these three attributes are present, one has committed mortal sin. This type of sin destroys the sanctifying grace within us. God’s very life, given to us through the sacraments to reside in our souls, is abolished. The only way we can be redeemed is by going to Reconciliation, atoning for our sin, and starting anew. Luckily, God knows we are weak and prone to sin. He is always ready to give us His mercy and welcome us back. We have to take the first step though. We have to acknowledge and confess our sin. We have to return to Him. He never left. We did.
Many of us may think that since we’ve never committed murder or adultery that we’re good, that we don’t have mortal sin on our soul. But if you do a true, good, and thorough examination of conscience, you may discover otherwise.
(Disclaimer: You may want to stop reading here. What follows are a list of questions that are honest, blunt, and raw. Additionally, once you have the knowledge of these being sins, your committing them can move the offense from venial to mortal. This is your last chance to stop. Don’t complain about what is included if you continue to read. Seriously.)
Do you love something more than God such as money, power, drugs/alcohol, or ambition? Have you refused to accept what God has given as truth/the teachings of the Catholic Church because you “just don’t believe that part” such as doctrine regarding homosexuality, premarital sex, co-habitation, women’s health/abortion, capital punishment, mercy killings, etc.? Have you engaged in superstitious practices such as reading horoscopes, visiting fortune tellers, playing with a Ouija board, participating in a séance, etc.? Do you use the name of God in vain? Do you curse, blaspheme, use vulgar, suggestive, or obscene speech? Do you Watch tv or movies, or listen to music that treats God, the Church, the saints, or sacred things irreverently? Have you belittled others, gossiped, or otherwise caused harm to someone’s name or reputation? Do you blame God for your failings? Do you presume that God will forgive you without confessing your sins or seeking Reconciliation? Do you fail to pray every day? Have you missed Mass on Sunday for a reason within your control? Do skip Mass on Holy Days of Obligation? Do you habitually come late, leave early, or fail to participate while at Mass? (Are you reading this now instead of listening to the homily?) Have you received Communion even though you did not fast for a full hour before Mass? Have you ever knowingly eaten meat on a day when you were to abstain? Do you disregard the need to truly fast (1 full meal, plus 2 snacks that together do not equal a full meal) on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday? Do you disobey/thwart the dominion of your parents, teachers, police officers, and other authority figures? Have you neglected the needs of your aging parents? Do you break laws? Have you failed to create a domestic church or to be a good example to your children on how to live the Catholic faith? Have you neglected to provide for the religious education and formation of your children for as long as they are under your care? Have you supported or voted for a politician whose position is opposed to the teachings of the Catholic Church? Have you been involved in, considered, attempted, supported, advised, or encouraged abortion, suicide, murder, or euthanasia? Have you ever physically, verbally, emotionally, or sexually abused or threatened someone? Do you abuse alcohol or other drugs? Have you over-eaten? Have you refused to control your temper or willfully engage in arguing? Have you ever refused to forgive, sought revenge, or taken delight in someone’s failing or suffering? Have you ever given in to lust or willfully entertained impure thoughts? Have you used artificial means of birth control or had a sterilization procedure for contraceptive purposes? Have you ever claimed or deprived your spouse of their marital right without concern for him/her or without just cause? Have you ever viewed tv or movies with sex/nudity? Have you engaged in unnatural (non-procreative/unrequited/outside of marriage) sexual acts including masturbation, oral sex, fornication, incest, rape, adultery, or prostitution? Have you ever stolen, defaced, or destroyed someone else’s things? Have you envied others because of their possessions? Have you cheated on a test, taxes, sports, or in business? Have you failed to make good on a contract or to pay a debt? Have you ever lied or willfully deceived another (“by what I have done and what I have failed to do”)? Are you guilty of making a rash judgment? Have you betrayed another’s confidence? Have you failed to confess your sins at least once per year? Have you failed to receive Eucharist at least once during Lent through the Easter season? Have you failed to do some other penance if not abstaining from meat every Friday of the year? Have you failed to support the church financially or through other stewardship? Do you think that any sin you have committed is so bad that God could never forgive you? Have you committed any one of these sins and then received a sacrament (like receive the Eucharist) with the mortal sin on your soul?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you have potentially committed mortal sin. If you knew it was wrong but did it anyway, and have not yet received Reconciliation, you have mortal sin on your soul. It is quite likely that most of us have committed at least one if not multiple mortal sins. The good thing is that God is so merciful! He wants the very best for us: a good life here on earth and eternal life with Him in heaven. All we have to do is acknowledge our failings, make a good confession, complete our penance, and try better from then on.
Venial sins are those in which one or more of the conditions for mortal sin are not met. They are less grave, done without an understanding of their being a sin, or done without intent. Venial sin is less serious than mortal sin, but it is still sin. It should not be brushed off. It still hurts our relationship with God, but it does not sever it. Venial sin is like a minor infection. It can make us sick, but it doesn’t kill us. However, if the infection is not treated, it can turn into a more serious health condition. This type of sin gets in the way of our doing good and forming moral habits. It deadens our minds and hearts to the horror of sin. Committing venial sin, sin that is deliberate and for which one does not seek repentance, makes it easier to commit mortal sin.
Venial sin can be forgiven without going to confession. While we are not obliged to confess them, if through your examination of conscience you recognize a pattern, it is suggested you go since you could be developing a habit toward an easier commission of mortal sin. Venial sin can also be pardoned through prayer such as an Act of Contrition, use of sacramental such as Holy Water, recitation of the Rosary, and the reception of Communion. Venial sin can be forgiven through certain works and at moments during the Mass, most specifically during the Penitential Rite. We can obtain forgiveness of venial sins in many ways. Mortal sins must be confessed in both kind and number.
So, for everyone out there reading this who has not gone to confession for a while, for whatever reason…examine your conscience and GO TO CONFESSION! What happens when you make a sincere confession? What happens even if you sincerely can’t remember everything? Through the mercy of God, all you sins will be forgiven, taken away, gone! They aren’t simply overlooked or covered over. They are eradicated. You are washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb, never to be held against you when you come to your judgment. Though your sins be red as scarlet, they will become as white as snow.
Please, look at your life with honesty, and go to confession. That’s it. Then you will be able to go to Communion again just as if it were your First Holy Communion. If you are nervous, or don’t know quite what to do, just let the priest know it’s been a while. Tell him you’re not quite sure how to start. He, acting in persona Christi, will help you. God’s mercy is magnificent and it is ours for the asking.
We are saddened to announce the unexpected passing of parishioner Sue Wahmhoff. May her soul and the soul of all the faithful departed rest in peace.. Visitation will take place at Christ the King Church, Howard City on Thursday, November 14 from 6-8 pm. A rosary will be prayed at 7:30 pm. Visitation will also take place beginning at 10 am on Friday, November 15th with her funeral celebration Mass beginning at 11 am. Internment at St. Apollonia Cemetery, Morley, will take place immediately after the funeral. Guests are invited to return to CTK, Fellowship Hall to join the family for a luncheon. ...
Faith Formation Files: Vol. 2, Issue 7 November 10, 2019
I had a favorite professor when I attended Central Michigan University. I took every single class she taught, and I applied myself to the work in those classes like nothing I’d ever done before in my life. I remember once working on a final project for one of her classes, probably a Children’s Lit class. I had worked days and weeks on my research. I had spent countless hours typing, editing, and retyping my project. I recall the paper having close to 75 pages all together. And I recall that this work was done on my very first word processor.
Now for those of you young enough to have always known only computers, a word processor was a cross between an electric typewriter and a computer. It was a stepping stone device. It had the capacity for smooth typing like on a keyboard, but instead of the full document showing on a screen, I could only see four lines of text at a time. There were no graphics. But among the top of the line features was automatic erasing. (You didn’t wait to print when you were completely finished; you printed as you typed, but it recalled the text and could “untype” it as quickly as it had just printed it.) Related to this feature was the technology of memory. The computer portion of the device could store and recall an entire document and even pull it up again if the machine had been turned off. I’m sure there are some of you who are rolling on the floor imagining that this technology was “cutting edge.” There are others of you who are reading this who recall this advancement and even the prior ones like changing from manual to electric typewriters. (Just like our faith journeys, we are all at different places in what we have done and seen in this life.)
Anyway, it was the night before my final paper was due. I had gone above and beyond in every possible way. I had used more resources than required. I’d supplied ample reasoning and examples in my work. I had appendices and a bibliography. This was a compilation of my best work ever! And as I went to print the final product…POOF! It was gone! I remember my confusion, my disbelief, my all-encompassing fear! I tried everything I could think of to try to retrieve the document. (There really weren’t that many options. This was very simple technology.) I looked in other files. I looked in the trash. There were no earlier versions of it saved somewhere in the memory that I could find. I turned that processor on and off about a hundred times! All of it was for nothing. My work was gone.
That was an absolutely horrible night as I tried to recreate my months of hard work. Between my anger and exhaustion, my new final project was far less than my original. I went to class with what little I had. I stayed after and spoke to the professor about what had happened. Because we had conferenced many times over the semester regarding the project, she knew that I had worked on it. She had even proofed some of the earlier versions. She took pity on me and let me have a couple more days to work on it and allowed me to present it to her orally so that I didn’t have to recreate the entire project again. She was merciful!
And so is God. Through our baptism and the receiving of the other sacraments, we are given sanctifying grace. This is God’s very life in our soul. This is what we need to get to heaven. Mortal sin is like the virus that gets into the computer and corrupts the files. Just as you can lose entire documents and projects with just a click of the wrong key, so do we lose grace when we sin, when we choose our way over God’s way, when we separate ourselves from Him and choose eternal death over life. But, God is merciful! He gives us countless opportunities to turn back to Him. He wants the very best for us. That’s not always a life of ease, riches, or freedom from suffering though. Sometimes we go through trials that are seemingly overwhelming. Those are times when we need to give it all to God and to trust in His timing. Protect the “files of your life” by “updating” your sanctifying grace. Go to confession. Receive the Holy Eucharist. Get anointed if you are sick. Use your gifts that were given upon Baptism and strengthened at your Confirmation to share God’s presence through your words and actions. The more you work at being good, the easier it is to choose God’s way. The harder you work to avoid sin, the stronger you will become in fighting its temptation. And just as quickly and easily as my work was gone, so may your entry into Heaven be upon your leaving this earthly dwelling since you will be filled with sanctifying grace!
Join us in Fellowship Hall right after the 11 am Mass in Howard City. We, again, have something for everyone including snacks and childcare. During this week, make sure to take time to get some work done in your A Family of Faith books. Next week, November 17th, class begins with a potluck. Families will be together working on their lessons and journey board. Please bring your materials to share with the group.
Faith Formation Files: Vol. 2, Issue 6 November 3, 2019
Raising kids is difficult. Very difficult. (And, yes, I recognize that is an understatement!) It is especially hard to raise kids in a world that allows actions, inactions, and behaviors that are contrary to the eventual development of a responsible adult. It is even more difficult when a child struggles with ADHD, anxiety, and/or any other disability that makes it harder for them to conform to adult/societal expectations. We are raising one such child in our house.
A few years ago, my husband and I had spent every day for two full weeks, plus, trying to help our daughter make better choices. (This was just the latest “all in” effort. We had always been trying.) We role played interacting with peers, practiced how to respond to various comments and actions, created and used reward charts, stuck to a strict schedule, and intervened in every way we knew how to hoping that she’d stay out of trouble and maybe make a friend. I’m sure she was tired of all our “help” besides being personally overwhelmed by trying to control her own reactions. (I admit the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.)
My office at the school was off of the media center. My daughter’s class had been in the computer lab. That was far enough from me that I couldn’t hear everything word-for-word, but I heard enough to recognize that all our efforts were for naught as I heard her name being called out by the teacher again and again. I was so frustrated and upset that her behavior wasn’t changing. I felt like I was failing as a parent! Just then, her class paraded past my doorway as they were returning to their classroom. As my daughter passed by, she turned to the kid in line behind her and stuck out her tongue at him. In a momentary fit of anger, I leapt to where she was and slapped her mouth. It was not a full-on slap where I left handprints, but it was enough to draw her attention to my refusal to allow her to behave that way. In retrospect, I know this was an inappropriate reaction on my part, especially since I was technically on the clock as a school employee. Raising kids with issues, in today’s world, when you work in their school, as I was on my way to leaving that career, never getting a break from kids, and on and on, is EXTREMELY difficult. I had gone too far in my own reaction, but I was in Mama Bear mode.
Fast forward to the next day. My boss at work came and asked me about the incident. It was done and over in my mind, but apparently another staff member had witnessed and reported it. I was informed that there would be an investigation. The following day, I was summoned to Central Office to meet with the district superintendent. She asked for my side of the story. Just before I disclosed my physical reaction to my daughter’s behavior, I was informed there was no video documentation. The angle was obstructed so it was just the other staff’s word vs. mine. I was also informed that legal precedence indicated that the consequence could be as severe as me losing my job. I felt that it was being made very clear to me that lying about what had happened couldn’t be proven otherwise and that repercussions could be devastating. I recall in that moment recognizing my opportunity (and maybe even permission) to lie. Thankfully, my conscience wouldn’t allow me to do so. I reiterated my story truthfully. While I had the free will to lie, I knew it was wrong to do so. The administrator was amazed that I was honest. Ultimately, I did not end up losing my job over it. I think that was by the grace of God.
God gives us free will. This does not mean, as so many in today’s world seems to think, that we can do whatever we want. It means that “we find ultimate happiness growing in holiness to become closer to Him. We find true freedom growing in truth and goodness because that ultimately fulfills our human nature, making us freer to be who we are meant to be.” (A Family of Faith Parent’s Guide, pg. 266. See also CCC 1731.)
Join us in Faith Formation when we discuss the development of our conscience, mortal vs. venial sin, and how we can advance our spiritual lives to grow in love of God and of neighbor. We meet in Fellowship Hall right after the 11 am Mass. Bring your books if you have them. All are welcome! We have something for everyone!