Recently, I've started writing down bits of Scripture from my Missal during Mass, as well as notes on our parish priest's sermon. I thought it might be interesting to start posting these notes on the blog. Let me know if you want me to continue. :)
COLLECT: O God, Who by the humility of Thy Son has lifted up a fallen world, grant that to those whom Thou hast delivered from the misfortunes of eternal death, Thou mayest insure everlasting happiness. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
"And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd."
In the early days of the Church, Manichaeans and others like them denied Original Sin - so it has been throughout the ages, and even today. But denial cannot remove this part of our fallen nature. The teaching of the Church says that by Original Sin, we lose the gift of integrity. We become subject to concupiscence, suffering, and death. Even after baptism, we are still subject to these three things - but not as a punishment. Instead, it is a means for our sanctification. This wounding of our nature is not an utter corruption, as Luther saw it. But neither are we all good. In a certain high school, our parish priest heard a religion teacher telling his students that they are good and that they don't have to go to Confession if they feel good about themselves. But this also is a very wrong approach.
With this knowledge of how we are wounded, we see that we must suffer. The question is how we will suffer. If we accept it, we gain from it. "Christ has suffered for us, leaving us an example that we may follow in HIs steps. He who did know sin, no deceit was found in his mouth" (prudence). "He was reviled and He did not revile back against those who reviled against Him" (fortitude). "He suffered" (justice). "He did not threaten" (temperance).
An act of love was the reason that Jesus died for us. In baptism, we gain these cardinal virtues which we can use on our struggle. However, we must remember that we are born sheep. Anyone who has worked with sheep knows that they are very dumb. And so we sheep need a Shepherd. Our Shepherd loves us - He laid down His life for us. We must love Him back.
~~~~~ "I am the good shepherd; and I know Mine, and Mine know Me." ~~~~~