Remove obstacles to Christ, bishop-designate says

CHARLESTON — Lent is an opportunity for the faithful to remove the obstacles to their relationship with Christ, to forgive and be forgiven, according to Bishop-designate Robert E. Guglielmone.

“Each and every one of us has something in our lives that creates some sort of block between the relationship that should exist between ourselves and Jesus Christ,” Bishop-designate Gug­liel mone said. “There is no one among us who is totally without sin. The only one who walked this earth without sin is the Blessed Mother. All the rest of us have to deal with all kinds of temptations. We see in Jesus dealing with the temptations of the devil, the difficulty that one endures resisting, and then coming to the point of saying that I must turn this specific thing in my life around.”

The Diocese of Charleston’s next bishop was in South Carolina for a brief, working visit Feb. 25-28. He participated in a vesper service with diocesan priests on Feb. 27 and then preached at the vigil Mass Feb. 28, both at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

During his Feb. 28 homily the bishop-designate said the Lenten season is about repentance and turning toward Jesus Christ. The bishop-designate said Roman Catholics in particular have been given many tools to achieve this.

“We are blessed as Catholics,” he said. “The church gives us so much, first and foremost this holy season of Lent. For 40 days we will be focusing on what we are able to do to get closer to God, to accept every day that presence of Jesus Christ in our lives, to turn away from sin and become more and more intimate with the presence of Jesus in the Gospel. The season itself is a gift.”

Another gift he urged people to avail themselves of is confession.

“The sacrament of reconciliation is the opportunity to come before the Lord and in this sacramental encounter we repent and receive the grace to turn us back to God,” he said.

He encouraged people to participate in the Eucharist more frequently, and if they can, to attend daily Mass.

“We must ask ourselves: What is there that I can do to grow ever more closer to Jesus Christ?” he said.

At both events, Bishop-designate Guglielmone said he looked forward to traveling around the state and meeting the people of the diocese after he is ordained.

The bishop-designate said he was leaving for a retreat to prepare for his installation  on March 25 and asked for prayers.