Pray, examine conscience, guide others Print
Bishop Morlino's Column
Thursday, Mar. 06, 2014 -- 12:00 AM
This column is the bishop’s communication with the faithful of the Diocese of Madison. Any wider circulation reaches beyond the intention of the bishop.

Dear Friends,

This week we’ll have come upon Lent and in that regard I’d like to ask a few things:

1) Let’s keep one another in prayer. Please know that you can count on my prayers, just as I renew them for every person in the diocese, every blessed day, and I’d ask that you try to remember me as well.

2) If you would, please go back and read my columns from the past two weeks -- on conscience and fraternal correction (they’re available at the Madison Catholic Herald website -- www.madisoncatholicherald.org -- if you’ve already discarded your previous issues).

Take some time to reflect upon them, to examine your own conscience. Spend some real time doing so this Lent, and think about what changes you can make in your own life -- in accord with a conscience well-formed by the Church and oriented toward Truth.

3) Think of two people with whom you might engage personally and directly in the ways I mention in that second column. Really try to purify your intentions as you consider approaching them (do not fall into sin in carrying out this exercise!) and do so in love and with joy.

Our Holy Father, in his message for Lent, speaks of the types of poverty affecting our world. He speaks, of course, of material destitution, and he challenges us to help our brothers and sisters in that regard -- and so we must!

But he also speaks about emotional and spiritual destitution, and I’d ask you to keep this in mind as you prepare to undertake the above mission for the sake of forming consciences.

Pope Francis says, “The Gospel is the real antidote to spiritual destitution: wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that he freely loves us at all times, and that we were made for communion and eternal life. The Lord asks us to be joyous heralds of this message of mercy and hope!”

This gets right to the heart of what I’ve been discussing and what I’m asking. We must recognize the reality of sin, and to do so means that we are saying there is right and wrong.

But saying that there is right, that there is Truth, and that we can seek for it and that we can lock-on to it, is a message of Good News! It is designed to bring true freedom, true blessedness, and true hope. In love, let us proclaim this.

Praised be Jesus Christ!