Bethany Charismatic Catholic Church
of Canada / USA

Pastor’s Monthly Message
March 2017

We find ourselves, once again, at the start of Lent. It is the season of the “great examine”. It is a time of reflection, during which we contemplate Jesus’ great challenge: “Be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

These are indeed strong words. Who among us can claim to have attained perfection or even come close to it? Jesus knows our hearts and where we are and yet, he isn’t asking for the impossible. However, He is asking us to take the steps that will lead us closer to that perfection. Reflecting on Jesus’ words, St. Cyprian, a bishop and father of the early Church, encouraged his people to focus on how they related to one another. Perhaps his words should be heard to once again and taken to heart, especially today:

“If you want to attain heavenly rewards, cast away all malicious motives and be reformed in Christ. These thorns and thistles in your heart must be torn out, so that the Lord’s seed may bring an abundant harvest. Let the bitterness that has settled in your heart be softened by the sweetness of Christ. As you receive the sacrament of the cross, let the wood that figuratively sweetened the water as Mara avail in reality to soothe your heart.

“Love those you previously hated. Show favor to those you previously envied. Imitate good people, or at least rejoice with them in their virtue. Instead of cutting them off, make yourself their partner in the bond of fellowship. For your sins are forgiven only when you have forgiven others, and then you will be received by God in peace.

“If you want your thoughts and deeds to be directed from above, you must consider those things that are divine and righteous. Think of paradise, where Cain cannot enter because he killed his brother in jealousy. Think of the heavenly kingdom, to which the Lord admits only those who are of one heart and mind. Consider that only peacemakers can be called children of God. Consider that we stand under the eyes of God, pursuing our lives and conversation with God himself observing and judging. And if we now delight Him who sees us by actions, desiring always to please Him, we show ourselves worthy of His favor and in the end will behold Him in glory.” St. Cyprian

We should also be mindful that it is not just our behavior that the Lord will be scrutinizing but the state and condition of our hearts.

“Create a pure heart in me, O God, and give me a new and steadfast spirit;
do not drive me from thy presence or take you holy spirit from me;
revive in me the joy of thy deliverance and grant me a willing spirit to uphold me.”
Psalm 51:10-12

In His Light,
Bishop Raymond Contois

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Bethany Charismatic Catholic Church

Bethany Charismatic Catholic Church is located at
167 Dunhamtown-Palmer Road
(off Rt. 20, on Palmer/Brimfield line)
Brimfield, Massachusetts
(413) 324-1164

Mailing Address:
Bethany Charismatic Catholic Church, P.O. Box 607, Palmer, MA 01069

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There is no past in Bethany.
Only the present ... and future hope.
Father Lataste