" "We beseech Mary the immaculate to prepare our hearts to receive Her Divine Son worthily…" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It's "Worth Revisiting" Wednesday - I Don't Get It! I Will Never Get It!

Thanks to the generosity and encouragement of Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You and Elizabeth Riordan at Theology Is A Verb, an ever-expanding group of Catholic bloggers take the time each week to re-post their favorite articles on the site they host: “It’s Worth Revisiting” Wednesdays.


Do yourself a favor- go there now (and every Wednesday) and let these authors bless and challenge you in your Faith journey.

Here is my contribution:


(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
I Don't Get It! I Will Never Get It!

[I will admit it - I am an appeaser, a  coward, failing more often than not,  to stand up for the Truth for fear of offending others. May God be merciful to me a sinner. But today, there is a kernel of gumption that has popped through this fearful man's being, so I will yield to its prompting.

While I have been criticized before and no doubt will be attacked again, silence is not an option. Misguided contemporary thought notwithstanding, the supreme law of the Catholic Church - and its primary mission - is, has been, and always must be - the sanctification and salvation of souls - not such secular and nebulous concepts as social justice, universal health care, immigration reform, income or marriage equality, global warming, etc.  - eternal souls - yours and mine.

I will not apologize if that forgotten Truth and this post makes anyone uncomfortable]

I understand that in a democratic society, the Catholic Church and its members must try to shape social and political policies and to have their voices heard on the pressing moral issues of the day. There is no doubt that an increasing number of recent actions (beyond the HHS contraception and sterilization mandates) taken by the current administration pose real and imminent threats to our God given and constitutionally recognized fundamental right - freedom of religion. Freedom loving people of all religious persuasions and those of no religious affiliation must stand up and defend this fundamental principle – one which no man, no government, no nation has the right to restrict.


Nonetheless, I am at a loss to understand how political strategizing and judicial skirmishes, no matter how well-intentioned and necessary they both may be, should take precedence over the Church’s primary duty - the sanctification and salvation of souls.


The Catholic Church has a duty to preach Christ’s Truths in their completeness, not just the more palatable and less controversial ones, to all peoples, not just those who identify themselves as Catholic. The fact that many if not a majority of Americans, Catholic and non-Catholic, may not believe abortion, contraception, gay marriage, sex outside a sacramental marriage, sterilization and in-vitro fertilization are intrinsically evil acts – neither changes those Truths nor exempts the Church from explaining and teaching those Truths to everyone. Jesus charged us to “make disciples of all nations” did He not?


Instead of using the present attack on our religious freedoms as an opportunity to simultaneously explain, with clarity, courage and love, why the Catholic Church teaches that the acts listed above are intrinsically evil, our current approach suggests we will defer that portion of our duty until after the public fight over our religious freedom has been resolved.


We may never have a better opportunity to save souls or a wider platform from which to explain God’s teachings in these areas to a broader audience than that which God has presented us with now. In fact, we may not have the freedom to do so at all in the future.


It seems to this simple man, that at least for now, too many are content to just preserve the rights of some Catholics to believe these Truths and wait to an unspecified time in the future to explain why all of us (Catholic and non-Catholic) should believe and live out these Truths in our individual lives. What of the lives ruined and the souls lost in the interim?


When was the last time you heard a homily on any of these evils? When did you last hear a priest preach on Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae (Human Life) or on Evangelium Vitae (Gospel of Life) written by Pope John Paul II or suggest that you prayerfully read and study these documents? When was the last time you read an article in your local secular or diocesan newspapers or had a parish speaker explaining the compelling reasons behind these fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church and the eternal consequences to those who reject them?


The more then forty years of silence in local parishes and in many Dioceses on these issues goes a long way toward explaining why more Catholics are not engaged in this most vital fight to preserve religious freedom in this country.


Make no mistake – the Catholic Bishops are absolutely correct to warn us of this unprecedented attack on religious freedom and to call us to pray and fight to preserve this God-given right. They deserve our support and our prayers.


But let me ask you this: What if we are successful in preserving religious freedom but continue silently condemning untold souls to eternal separation from a loving God because we lack the courage to teach and challenge them to live the Truth?

Now is the time to end the silence!

2 comments:

  1. Can you hear me applauding?!?! Thank you for this.... thank you, thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Nancy, thank you for your words of encouragement.

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