make a Church
that saves souls
God will delight with great joy, if we make a beautiful holy church
What Makes a Church Beautiful?
What is a beautiful church? “Perhaps a church with stunning architecture”, someone will say. We might all have a different picture in our minds as to what is a beautiful church, but beauty, much of the time, is in the eye of the beholder.
However, have we ever thought of what God defines as a beautiful church? Well, I’m sure God loves a wonderful masterpiece of love built for His honor and glory. But we can take a building and dress it up lovely, but if what is on the inside is defiled, do we still think the church is beautiful in the eyes of Our Lord?
Didn’t Christ make an analogy about the Pharisees, who on the outside looked great, but on the inside was filthy?
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.” (Matthew 23:27-28).
So, while it is just lovely if we can have a magnificent structure to praise God in, it is really what is on the inside that God really cares about.
So, what does God really want His Church to look like?
The 20 things we can do to build a Church pleasing to God:
- EVERYTHING the Church does needs to be done from PRAYER, with the intention of helping, teaching, and guiding souls on how to OBTAIN SALVATION–by The Way of seeking Perfection–how to truly love God–how to LIVE the faith, and gain true contrition for our offences, so we can grow into a saving faith and accept Our Lord’s gift of Everlasting Life. That is why God did/does everything…to bring us to a saving faith, sanctify our souls and perfect us.
For example: We can provide the needy food and say to them, “I will give you this food” but to help save their souls, we also add, “let me also tell you how to obtain salvation”…or we can baptize someone’s baby saying, “I will baptize your baby, but let me tell you how to what it takes to obtain a saving faith”…also, we can let our church members partake in fruitless worldly things (if that is all they can do, as it might be better than sitting at home watching soap operas), since much of the time they don’t have the grace to do anything better, but say, “You can play bingo, but let me tell you this isn’t how you obtain salvation”…as we gradually lead them away from the world and to Life. See Lifting Our Values…flyer “How to Obtain Salvation” for an easy to give out tool of Christ to help souls.
- The Church must understand its great responsibility it has towards each sheep that comes their way and have great gratitude for all the grace God sends to help save our souls and see that obtaining this grace is CONVENIENT and available for the people.
- Daily Mass should be celebrated in the am, pm and at lunch if that can help the people attend (if possible), and the people should attended daily (if possible). Every word of the Mass must be prayed from the heart to God, with a contrite heart for our sinfulness, so we can adore God and accept His magnificent grace, through humility and love, in this greatest from of prayer.
- Communion is to be received only as often as a heart is worthy of such a blessing, so God isn’t offended and grace isn’t lost but gained. To learn more please read, “What Sins Prevent Me from Receiving Holy Communion Worthily.”
- Confessions are to be heard DAILY prior to Mass and at other specific times during the the week (evening, afternoon), so everyone can receive grace and purify themselves the best we can before attending the Mass and/or receiving The Eucharist so to not defile God in the slightest way and receive the magnificent grace God has waiting of us, to help us to sin no more (obtain a saving faith/sanctification).
The saints understood the value of confession and gave it top prescience (next to the Mass) in their priestly duties. “I will hear confession until 8 o’clock. After breakfast I will continue hearing confession, or doing something else if there are no penitents, until it is time to give audiences to those who want to see me. At noon I will have noon prayers and examen of conscience.” –St. Anthony Mary Claret
For confessions to be most beneficial to the penitent, confessions should be brief, but without omitting any part of the sacrament (allowing the penitent to state their sins, always giving a fruitful penance, allowing the penitent to say the act of contrition, and always praying the prayer of absolution): seeing that most penitents are heard with the least amount of wait. No penitent should feel forced to make an appointment to have their confession heard or have to wait in line for a long time because someone else is having a long discussion with the priest; an appointment should be made for such cases or they should wait until the end. The priest shouldn’t leave hearing confession when there are still penitents waiting to have their confessions heard saying he no longer has time to hear any more confessions. Measures must be taken to see this doesn’t happen if at all possible. These great inconveniences are horrible deterrents and prevent penitents from even wanting to receive this very beneficial sacrament.
- True Penances are to be given so grace can be obtained to help the penitent avoid repeating their offences against God, grow in sorrow to true continuous sorrow and to help atone for their sins, so to assist in saving their souls. Follow the examples the saints have given us as to what this is. To learn more please read, “What is Penance.”
- Christ is to be adored daily in EVERY tabernacle in the Church. Our Lord doesn’t want to be abandoned all day in any tabernacle waiting and waiting for someone to adore Him. Christ is present in each and every tabernacle. Come let us adore Him.
- The Church needs to be OPEN for the people to come and worship Him. It is great if there is an adoration room, but every tabernacle needs to be adored (not constantly, but throughout the day).
“They leave Me alone a night and alone in churches during the day. They no longer [truly] care about the Eucharist.” –Jesus to St. Padrie Pio
The devil has scared us into removing the people from the church by convincing us the doors need to be locked. We need to serve the people (even if it means more work and problems for ourselves) and see to it that the doors are opened again: during holidays, days off, during the day and even the night (if possible). Even if just one person is not turned away from adoration of God, it is worth it. Even if a church employee has to work in the physical church, to see the church isn’t vandalized, so God’s children can adore Jesus…so be it.
Christ wants to send grace to the people when we adore Him before the Blessed Sacrament, and we need to make Our Lord convenient and available.
We must win the fight against the evil one. Find a way. Inspire and bring the people back into the Church.
- The priests are to be beautiful examples of Christ for the people to follow, by sacrificing themselves to serve them, not giving a moment to the world (evil), nor taking every holiday off to relax (only when most needed), nor choosing to take trips in 4 star hotels, dining on great food, indulging in the world’s pleasures but rather living simply in self-denial, choosing the cross…following the example of Christ and the saints have given before us…working hard to better know, love and serve God, carrying crosses, so to save the souls God has given them to shepard.
- The people are to be working hard to become like Christ, the one they should be following, daily seeking grace, working hard to stop sinning one sin at a time and remove all of their attachments, so to follow God’s will perfectly, conform their hearts to God’s and becoming a perfect self-sacrificing saints as God commands of us.
- Music is to be sung for God’s honor and glory, not our own and prayed to God out of love for Him, not just sung for personal enjoyment.
- The Church is to help and even seek out people in need (corporal or spiritual need) and care for them–always guiding them to Life–by our prayers, words and/or deeds–no matter what works of mercy we perform. Please don’t just wait for the needy to come to us, go out and find the people in need.
- The teachers (priests and deacons and even the people) are to preach The Way to Heaven, by their words but mostly by their examples. They are to teach others how to pray, grow in contrition/hatred for sin, and live the faith by their actions. Let the people watch the teachers pray before and after Mass…the Divine Office…the Rosary, hours of devotion (Angelus, Divine Mercy 3:00pm prayer, etc.) and other prayers.
Let the people watch the teachers deny themselves of pleasures of the world for the cross and carry their crosses without worry or complaint. Let the people witness a contrite heart as the teachers apologize when they fall, while seeking to make right their wrongs when they don’t live the faith. Let the teachers (especially the priests) be the example of holiness–a light for others to follow.
- The people, young and old, must constantly seek to grow in knowledge and understand of the faith–since knowledge and wisdom is never ending, everyone needs to learn more fully what is sinful, how to love God, and what it takes to be gain true contrition for our sins, etc. so to truly love God and LIVE the faith that saves.
- The people are to dress humbly/modestly-we must see to it, we don’t tempt anyone–cause someone to sin–by wearing revealing, tight or too attractive clothing. If we are to become like the saints to obtain Heaven, we need to dress like them too, leaving the pleasures of the world and living plain, simple, modest lives.
- Prayer areas are to be made (if possible) outside and/or inside the Church for private areas of devotion to encourage more prayer and devotions to God, The Blessed Mother, the Angels and the Saints…and to help teach the faith by displaying the ten commandments and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and Galatians 5:19-21 (be sure to include an explanation of what God’s commands mean so the people know exactly what is expected) Please see “What are the Mortal Sins” for explanation.
- Materials written by the saints, who correctly know and found The Way to Heaven should be sold or given out. Avoid other books, prayers and meditations from non-sanctified people, so we won’t be responsible for leading souls astray by any lukewarm teaching or misguidance, and so Our Lord won’t be stabbed in His Heart if we pray a prayer from someone, who’s words are malice to God and much of the time not even the truth, since they don’t come for a heart that truly loves Him.
- Everyone (the priests and people) are to donate money, time and whatever blessings God has given to us to help the church and our neighbor, not from our convenience but from what is inconvenient, according to God’s will, to where it is a cross of sacrificial love.
We are not to publicly praise or acknowledge anyone for their good works (donations of anything)–so to not lead them to their doom, by giving them a great temptation that, for most, leads us to loving our good works for self-glory (praise, attention, success, etc.). We must encourage doing good in secret for God alone. Only private encouragement should be given and sparingly, if greatly needed, so to help motivate someone to live the faith. That way we won’t mistakenly inflate someone’s ego or encourage an attachment to the world…so our works can lead to Life.
- The Church members need to be welcoming, full of humility (knowing of one’s own sinfulness–and growing in self-awareness), tolerant of others wrongs (knowing we are greatly sinful too), understanding of another’s lack of grace (understanding of another sinfulness since we are lacking grace too), patient with conversion and loving at all times (as Christ is with us), as we guide souls away from sin to Life.
- The center of life and charity towards all should be in seeking the salvation of souls by preaching/living the faith of self-denial of one’s will rejecting worldly pleasure to live for God’s will, picking up one’s cross without worry or complaint but trusting in God’s plan for our entire lives (learning from all God allows), and following Christ by striving to live His entire Word–His will–perfectly.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter how lavish a church is on the outside or how much fun the people have together on the inside, because without true devotion–neglecting our duties to love and live the faith–the Church simply won’t be RADIANTLY BEAUTIFUL with Christ’s love. Then what kind of Church are we? As Jesus said, “[we are] filled with hypocrisy and evildoing” (Matthew 23:27-28).….a church leading its people to their doom.
“The purpose of your ministry is to procure the salvation of souls, your primary concern must be to achieve this goal as far as you are able.”
–St. John Baptist de la Salle
Therefore, God wants us to become a church of true beauty–become a Church truly pleasing to Him, not just in living some of the faith–but giving nothing to the devil–truly striving to live ALL of the faith and really saving souls.
But beware the devil doesn’t want us to make plans and strive to fulfill all of these very good means to save souls into our churches. He wants us to come up with many excuses why we simply can’t make it happen.
Work hard…make more sacrifices to help save souls, “I’m doing all I can” we say…but yet our spare time is filled with watching the news, sitcoms, idol chatter and other worldly things. “I’m too tired” might be our excuse…most are too tired since we have chosen the lazy path that leads to a lazy life, which refuses to carry the cross of being tired…that leads to the love of being a sloth.
What are we going to say at judgement, when God says, “I sent my messengers to tell you what to change, and you ignored them to do as you wish.” What are we going to say?
Instead of making plans and seeing how we can implement these acts of love that save souls into our church, the devil will give us every excuse why we can’t have a church with such blessings, please don’t fall for his trap; it kills. Beware, we do the same thing with our sins…instead of us being firmly resolved to amend ALL of them, we are full of excuses why we can’t amend many of them…and are dying from our lack of true desire to do what is truly good.
“Do you wish to find this basilica [church] immaculately clean? Then do not soil your souls with the filth of sins.”
–St. Caesarius of Arles
If we want eternal life for ourselves and God’s children, then we must change.
Want to see a massive serge in vocations and true conversions? Give the people a real reason to live for God’s will alone, PREACH THE TRUTH that will SAVE–give them FEAR OF THE LORD! Conversion won’t begin without the people gaining a fear of sinning.