The Bishop, authentic servant and shepherd according to the Heart of God
In the latest biblical catecheses the bishop wanted us to know St. Paul's letter to Titus.
This writing represents the spiritual will of the great apostle who is aware that his martyrdom is near, but notwithstanding this, he still has the fibre of the fighter and hurls himself with strength at those who subvert the principles of Christianity.
In this letter Paul appears as the good father who addresses all the social classes giving marvellous teachings, but above all he is the good shepherd who is worried about the future of his children who he baptized and led to the Lord. He gives them precise instructions, so that they can transmit to the their successors the authority received by Christ through the imposition of hands, in order to keep on ruling over the founded churches and to serve the faithful.
In the letter to Titus is clearly outlined the figure of the bishop, the inspector who must be present in all the cities as an authentic servant and shepherd according to the Heart of God.
In the first chapter we read:
"For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled; he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it" (Tit. 1, 7-9).
Our bishop explained to us the richness and importance of these few lines in which are enclosed precious principles that were directly given to us by the Lord and so represent his will.
Each bishop must be blameless, this is necessary because he is an administrator of the house of God; so if a clergyman betrays the Church in an unequivocal and heavy way there is no room for his reinstatement; this reminds us what the Mother of the Eucharist often repeats: "There must be few priests, but holy".
The bishop must be neither arrogant nor hot-tempered, because these defects lead not to respect his faithful. In the history there have been many arrogant clergymen who abused their authority and some of them carried on divisions inside the Church. Nowadays we have come to such a point that bishops belonging to different christian confessions don't pray together, forgetting that on the contrary, the Eucharist is sacrament of union. Unfortunately, even inside the same religious confession some priests have been punished or suspended for having only taken the liberty of expressing opinions different from those of the ecclesiastical authority about opinable matters; this is not the Church that God wishes.
The bishop must not be greedy for gain, because the attachment to money pollutes and destroys the man, he must not go in for personal businesses, it is absurd that some priests ask for money to confess or to speak about God; the Mother of the Eucharist often complained about this.
It is important that the bishop is hospitable: he must welcome those who come to ask a spiritual help. The hospitality is sacred and inviolable and who truly loves the souls must not put limits of time, because when a person asks to be confessed it means that in that moment he is touched by God's grace, he wishes to open himself to it, but in front of a refusal he could become stiff and not come back anymore and his soul would take serious risks.
The bishop must be friend of the good people, that is he must try to take advantage of the example and the good witnessing of the others; he must be prudent, he must sift his own behaviour in the light of God and evaluate the one of the people for which he is responsible, taking the best decisions for them; he must be just, live and act in the grace of God, respecting his laws.
Moreover Paul reminds the bishop of the importance of prayer that must feed all his actions, otherwise it becomes confused and sterile. Unfortunately, nowadays less and less priests are seen before the tabernacle, on the contrary they should communicate constantly with the Lord and have a more and more intimate and familiar relationship with Him.
The bishop must have also other important virtues: moderateness and balance. Well-balanced people are those who are able to sweeten all situations and to take the proper decisions without making find themselves unprepared or surprised by something.
Above all the bishop must be firmly attached to the doctrine which corresponds to the teachings he received; unfortunately this does not happen nowadays. The most convincing example is that no clergyman has still intervened to defend the authenticity of the eucharistic miracle happened on June 11, 2000 in the thaumaturgical place during the holy Mass celebrated by our bishop. If any bishop or cardinal affirms that is not Eucharist the host on which a validly ordained priest has pronounced the words of the consecration and affirms that the blood that came out of a consecrated host is work of the devil, he asserts a heresy and he goes against the dogma of faith defined very clearly in the council of Trento. Moreover he incurs the "latae sententiae" excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See. The true bishop or priest should oppose and say with strength: "No, you are wrong, that is the body and blood of Christ!". Unfortunately, for fear of the ecclesiastical authority they go against the doctrine received by the Lord. Our bishop outlined the fact that we must respect the one who is wrong, but the error must be denounced anyway:
"We are called to bear our witness and you must consider yourselves lucky because the formation you have received gives you the possibility to speak in the right way and to realize if a statement is not truthful. So in your heart must rise the anxiety of speaking, not to be conspicuous, but to defend the truth because we are called to do this by the Lord.
Be faithful and courageous, in this way the Church relies also on you, on all those who love and defend it, not on those who take advantage of their power only to despoil the people of God. On this subject you can find marvellous pages in the prophets of the Old Testament: read Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and you will understand that you must be serene, well-balanced and strong to defend the truth. This is the Church that through Paul God makes us know and love".