Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her
“Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?’ This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.’ John 8:2-11.
“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). Do we not see that this is happening today? We are bringing those found guilty into the light and they must repent of their sins. We also must repent of our own sins no matter how small. For if we only drive out the one demon then seven others will return.
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest, but he finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and brings with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. So shall it be also with this evil generation” Matthew 12:43-45.
John Paul II commented on the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:2-11) saying, “They [the accusers] intend to show that his [Christ’s] teaching on God’s merciful love contradicts the Law, which punished the sin of adultery with stoning. … If he absolves the woman caught in flagrant adultery, it will be said that he has transgressed the precepts of Moses; if he condemns her, it will be said that he is inconsistent with his message of mercy towards sinners. … By his silence he invites everyone to self-reflection. On the one hand, he invites the woman to acknowledge the wrong committed; on the other, he invites her accusers not to shrink from an examination of conscience: ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her’ (Jn 8:7). … While this authoritative reply reminds us that it is only the Lord who can judge, it reveals the true meaning of divine mercy, which leaves open the possibility for repentance and emphasizes the great respect for the dignity of the person, which not even sin can take away. ‘Go, and do not sin again’ (Jn 8:11). The last words of this episode show that God does not want the sinner to die, but to repent of the evil he has committed and live. … This Gospel passage clearly teaches that Christian forgiveness is not synonymous with mere tolerance, but implies something more demanding. It does not mean overlooking evil, or even worse, denying it. God does not forgive evil but the individual, and he teaches us to distinguish the evil act, which as such must be condemned, from the person who has committed it, to whom he offers the possibility of changing. While man tends to identify the sinner with his sin, closing every escape, the heavenly Father instead has sent his Son into the world to offer everyone a way to salvation. … The woman’s situation is certainly serious. But the message flows precisely from this situation: In whatever condition we find ourselves, we can always open ourselves to conversion and receive forgiveness for our sins. ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again’ (Jn 8:11). On Calvary, by the supreme sacrifice of his life, the Messiah will seal for every man and woman the infinite gift of God’s pardon and mercy. … There is a need for Christian forgiveness, which instills hope and trust without weakening the struggle against evil.”
Read more commentary here.
Along with prayer and fasting St. Anthony Mary Claret teaches us the best way to deal with the situation occurring within our Holy Church today. St. Anthony became the bishop of the Diocese of Santiago in Cuba which seemed to be neglected due to all the sin occurring within this diocese. He immediately began the reform, by ceaseless preaching and spent a substantial amount of time hearing confessions. Many people began to oppose him because of his teaching against unmarried people living together. He preached the truth. He preached the Church’s teachings created out of love for us. This made a huge difference!
“St. Anthony Mary Claret, confessor and bishop said, ‘I know by experience that the greatest punishment that could befall on people is a bad priest. It is best to leave a town without a priest then to send one unworthy. If God does not send men who are truly called then God Himself will have to take care of the people and souls by means of the angels. A call is God’s gift. I must not bring you the unworthy into the sheepfold to destroy it instead of tending it.’ St. Anthony Mary knew exactly what he was talking about. He inherited a diocese chalk full of heretics, dissenters, and priests openly living in sin. So what did he do? He got rid of the bums. In 6 years he had a flourishing diocese. A lot of those guys repented and became good priests because he loved them enough to knock their heads together. It can be done, it has been done, and it must be done” Veritas Caritas.
These men within our church who have been found guilty could righteously be sentenced to death due to their rotten and terrible sins. We must ask ourselves something though. Do we truly want to lose ordained priests and bishops to the devil as he drags them to hell? One ordained priest lost to the devil is too many. One ordained bishop lost to the devil is too many. Are we going to just sit there and watch as (some) priests and bishops are viciously lured into hell by the devil himself? We must stop this outrage! So, we must pray and fast for their repentance and conversion. The necessary actions and punishments also need to take place for the evils that those found guilty have committed to ensure these sinful acts do not occur again. Even if this means striping these men of their ministerial faculties in accordance with the proper norms of the Catholic Church. They should commit the rest of their lives to prayer and penance. To do so would be best for their salvation and for the salvation of many others. For we do not want the faithful to be led astray from the Catholic Church due to the sinful actions and teachings of those who have abandoned their priestly calling. If this has not been done so already, these necessary actions should also take place within our seminaries because we do not want more evil men ordained as priests. We must pray for our church leaders because we do not want to lose a single one of them completely and forever to the devil who will drag them to the lowest pit of hell. May we turn to the example and intercession of St. Anthony Mary Claret! May Jesus and Mary purify our Church! (I firmly state that not all priests and bishops within our church have committed these evils. In fact, I would like to believe that many have not. Though as I said before, one is too many).
“Let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” James 5:20.
Jesus Christ personally chose twelve men to be His apostles. Out of these twelve apostles there was one among them who rejected his priestly calling and instead chose a life of sin. He sold Jesus for money and even had the audacity to kiss our Lord’s face, a kiss of betrayal. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. Judas “turned aside” the life God had for him through Jesus Christ. He “turned aside” the life of salvation “to go to his own place” Acts 1:25. Again, “Let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” James 5:20. We must remember though that the other eleven apostles remained faithful despite what Judas did. They continued to follow Jesus and the life God had for them through Jesus Christ. Remember that for every one sinful man who turns away from Christ there are eleven good men following Jesus even to the point of death.
“Celine, during the short moments that remain to us, let us not lose out time, let us save souls, souls are being lost like flakes of snow, and Jesus weeps, and we, we are thinking of our sorrow without consoling our Fiance. Oh, Celine, let us live for souls, let us be apostles, let us save especially the souls of priest; these souls should be more transparent than crystal. Alas, how many bad priests, priests who are not holy enough. Let us pray, let us suffer for them, and, on the last day, Jesus will be grateful. We shall give Him souls” St. Therese to her sister Celine.
We must also pray for and support the many truly holy priests and bishops within our church. Pray that these truly holy men may have abundant graces to lead and protect our church. May they have the grace to defend the Body of Christ even to the point of death. As the lay faithful we must pray for ourselves as well that we may stand by their side through it all. Pray that we too would be willing to give up our lives for our Lord, Jesus Christ, in the pursuit of all that is true, good, and beautiful.
“Many souls go to hell because there is no one to sacrifice themselves and pray for them” Our Lady of Fatima.
We have sinned
We also do not want to lose our Catholic brothers and sisters of the lay faithful to hell either.
“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7).
Christ calls all of us to examine our consciences, to repent, and to receive His mercy especially now in these hard times. He needs saints who are willing to die for the Truth, for Love, and for His bride, the Church. May our hearts burn with love for God making it such that we would rather die than commit a single sin. So we must honestly and humbly ask ourselves, “Am I without sin? Am I also wounding the Body of Christ through my own sins, even the smallest of sin?”
The prophet Daniel while in Babylonian captivity turns to himself and blames himself.
“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, ‘O Lord, the great and terrible God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and kept his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from thy commandments and ordinances; we have not listened to thy servants the prophets, who spoke in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land” (Daniel 9:3-6).
May we honestly and humbly examine our own consciences and repent of our own sins as well, which also wound the Body of Christ!
Examination of Conscience
I say this for myself too, as I am examining my own conscience as well. My desire to become a saint for God burns within my heart like never before. “Here am I! Send me” Isaiah 6:8. “Let it be to me according to your word” Luke 1:38. I do not want to live in fear and silence any longer. I want to be a living example of how God’s grace can transform someone. Our church doesn’t need any more fearfulness, silence, politically correct speech, bending of the truth, and lukewarmness. Our church needs saints. Saints who desire the good for their brothers and sisters, both those in our church hierarchy and those sitting in the pews next to us. Our Lord is now giving us the chance to examine our consciences, to repent, and to receive His mercy. I am beginning with myself in the hope that repentance will breed repentance reforming our church.
So, here are a few questions we must ask ourselves along with a full examination of conscience:
Do I really love God above all else? If I believe this is it obvious in the thoughts, words, and deeds? Have I prayed and fasted for priests, bishops, and those in authority within the church’s hierarchy? Have I been indifferent to sin? Have I been indifferent to the evils occurring within the Church? If I have taken vows, have I been true to my vows? Am I living chastely for my state of life? Do I put up a good fight against sin and the devil, especially through prayer, fasting, and avoiding sin? Do I pray the Rosary often, if not daily? Do I go to Mass often, if not daily? Do I spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament often, if not daily? Do I examine my conscience frequently, if not daily? Do I uphold the value of every human life from conception until natural death? Do I protect the vulnerable who are in my own life? Have I gotten an abortion? Have I defended against abortion, which has caused the murder of 1,000’s of innocent lives? Have I used contraception? Have I stood up for marriage between one man and one woman? Have I watched pornography? Have I been modest in my words, actions, and dress? Again, do I really love God above all else?
Jesus is waiting for us to repent and receive His mercy. May we mend the many wounds in the Body of Christ that we have scourged upon His Flesh from our own sins. May we run to the confessional, the tribunal of mercy as St. Faustina calls it!
“He is more mercy than justice” St. Faustina.
To be continued…