From much of what has been written recently, some would have us conclude that the problems with, within the Catholic Church and with how the secular world views the Church are the result of the Church’s obstinate insistence on hammering home one difficult moral principle after another and its failure to make its primary mission the physical, emotional, medical, and social well-being of all those in need.
(Abbey at Genesee)
Correct me if I am wrong. Is it not beyond dispute that most individuals claiming to be Catholic (and certainly most non-Catholics) do not even know the essential Truths of the Catholic Faith or the reason why the Church teaches these Truths? Is this not the result of poor or non-existent catechesis and tepid preaching rather than the Church’s “obstinate insistence on hammering home difficult moral principles”?
Is not our Church the largest non-governmental provider of charitable, social and health services in this nation? Has not much of the Church’s effort during the past four decades (at least in this country) focused upon various pressing secular and political issues of our time rather than the salvation of souls?
Have these approaches not led to an erroneous but widespread belief that our eternal salvation is assured?
I think so and I am not alone in thinking that to be the case.
Christ loved. He fed. He healed. He consoled. He forgave. And through Him and in His Name we must do likewise.
Yes, we must be the face and hands of Christ to everyone who crosses our path. We must help our brothers and sisters in need.
But Jesus also taught the Truth - the full, complete, absolute, undiluted, “hard spiritual Truths”. He did so because He was about saving the souls of the men and women He created in His image, not making their temporary journey on this earth carefree and comfortable.
And so must we! - with our mouths and by our actions. Speaking, sharing and teaching the Truth is an act of love.
So I am uncomfortable whenever I hear anyone suggest otherwise and/or speak only of God’s mercy and rarely, if ever, of His Justice.
It is for that reason I urge you to read Monsignor Charles Pope's most recent posting, “Hard Spiritual Truths That Will Set You Free!” You can find it here.
Nothing is more important than the salvation of souls – ours and the souls of every other human being. Absolutely, nothing!