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Bishop Joseph Strickland of Texas speaks at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore.YouTube

(LifeSiteNews) — On this week’s special two-part episode of The Bishop Strickland Show, Bishop Joseph Strickland discusses why we must not leave the Church over scandal, Christ as the fulfillment of the Commandments, and the Eucharist.

The episode consists of clips from Strickland’s recent talks, primarily from a spiritual warfare conference held in California last month.

In the first clip of the first part, Strickland says we should not leave the Church because of scandal. He begins his remarks noting that both bishops (during their consecrations) and priests (when installed at parishes) promise to defend the deposit of faith. He further says that if doing so gets them in trouble, they should get in trouble, since the deposit of faith must be guarded.

After alluding to the differences between men and women, Strickland adds that all must defend the deposit of faith: “In this confused time where the roles of men and women are blurred by too many, let us be reminded of that basic charge we all share. And for you who are husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, to know how much you need each other, to do the guarding together, to urge each other on, and to inspire your pastors.”

Speaking to the concept of spiritual warfare, the bishop observes that one of the main battles we face is defending the faith. He further observes that too many are tempted to leave the Catholic Church, to which he says, “We must, with our lives, with our witness, with our words, with our energy, do all we can to say, ‘Never! Never leave the Church, the Body of Christ.”

The second clip featured in the first part sees Strickland discuss how Christ is the fulfillment of the Commandments.

For the bishop, it is “absolutely essential” for us to see that we are in a war, with the battle being waged against Christ and the Commandments. Speaking to the Commandments themselves, Strickland recalls that Christ came not to destroy the Law but to fulfill it: “He is the living covenant, and so out of fidelity to Christ, we have to all be willing to engage in this war.”

The greatest warrior for the Catholic faith and life in Christ is Our Lady, who gave us our “marching orders.” Strickland says “the Blessed Virgin Mary is the model of the warriors that we’re called to be. Not bellicose in the sense of using weapons that destroy, but strong in the truth that sets us free and makes us live.”

We must, furthermore, “stand strong” in the truth that is Christ, fighting the spiritual war even in the “simplest” and subtlest of ways, loving our children as Our Lady loved Christ. The bishop adds that her greatest gift is “that she was simply there, at her Son’s side.”

Lastly, Strickland says one of the best ways we can enter the spiritual war is by fervently praying for our priests to be Marian and Eucharistic. For him, we must pray especially that priests “embrace” the Domine, non sum dignus of the Latin liturgy, recalling that we will never be worthy, but that Christ died to make us worthy.

“We are obligated to honor His death and resurrection by seeking to turn from sin and to live this deposit of faith that He incarnates for us,” he says.

The second part of the episode is part of a homily on the Eucharist that Strickland gave during a Lenten Mass, as well as another talk from a different spiritual warfare conference – this one dealing with St. Joseph as the Terror of Demons.

Strickland begins by addressing how we may have failed to live up to our Lenten resolutions, but he notes there may be something good in falling short after setting up “high goals” so we can reach perfection. Even if we know we are unlikely to reach perfection, we should still strive for it.

Similarly, there are those that maintain that the ideal for approaching the Eucharist is “too idealistic.” Strickland responds that one can never be too idealistic when discussing entry into the Sacred Heart. “It is the model of challenge for all of us to enter into this way of the suffering servant that is Jesus Christ,” he says.

The bishop examines the readings from the Mass in this light, beginning with Jeremiah the prophet. Strickland observes that Jeremiah, the other prophets, and the Israelites likely had no conception of how God would fulfill the prophecies He gave them, not just sending the Messiah and greatest of prophets, but sending His Son, who in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity is Himself the foundation of the New Covenant. Meanwhile, people today and throughout Church history “fail to really live and appreciate the wondrous love of God and what He offers us in His own Son.”

Upon inviting us to more fully embrace the reality of Christ’s Eucharistic Presence, Strickland turns his attention to a reading from the Epistle to the Hebrews, beginning with the phrase, “In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh,” which to him “says very simply but profoundly exactly what we believe” about the Incarnation and Redemption.

Examining the passage, Strickland observes that we know Christ in the Flesh through the Eucharist. He encourages us to pray for each other and all in the Church, remarking that “it is a travesty that every Catholic doesn’t say with a resounding ‘Amen’ that we believe and know that in this Tabernacle, in the Communion, in the Eucharist we celebrate, truly the Body and Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ is with us.”

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