(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love - Used With Permission)
" "He who trusts himself is lost. He who trusts in God can do all things." - St. Alphonsus Liguori

Monday, May 28, 2018

Monday Musings - Silence Slays Souls - the Souls of Individuals and the Souls of Nations


Sunday’s Gospel command (Matthew 8:16-20) to make disciples of all nations baptizing them in name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit prompts this question: Have we Catholics abandoned our Christ-given mission?

For years, our Church has downplayed the importance of conversion and the salvation of all souls, choosing in their stead the promotion of social justice and worldly objectives. We act as if the solution to the world’s problems remain in the secular realm when in fact it can be fought and defeated only on the spiritual plain. 

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Our silence in light of such misguided efforts slays souls and emboldens Satan.

We have limited our ineffective evangelization efforts (for the most part) to just those calling themselves Catholic, thereby reinforcing the secular belief that one religion is just as good as another. Most Catholics do not know their faith and few live it – because they have often not been taught it. Even though God’s Truth will set a soul free, we far too often insist on substituting His full and complete (and no doubt challenging) Truth for a watered down, pastorally comforting non-truth, that can never nourish and foster authentic spiritual growth.

Our silence in light of such misguided efforts slays souls and emboldens Satan.

God’s law and commandments are applicable to all human beings, whether they be Catholic or not or whether they believe in a supreme being or not. God’s Truth is implanted in the hearts, minds and souls of all whom He has created. We humans know intuitively what is right and what is wrong.  Why have we not shouted this Truth from the rooftops and reflected it in the way we live our lives?

Our silence in light of such inaction slays souls and emboldens Satan.

No one (relatively speaking) comes to Church on Sunday. We, our bishops and priests, for the most part, remain silent about the eternal consequences for those souls who do not participate in Sunday Mass.

Our silence in such situations slays souls and emboldens Satan.

We are told that of the few Catholics who come to Sunday Mass, upwards to seventy-five percent no longer believe that Jesus Christ is really truly and substantially present, Body Blood Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist hidden behind locked tabernacle doors and in the Sacred Host placed on their tongues. 

Our silence in light of such non-belief slays souls and emboldens Satan.

We wonder why so many Churches have been closed and abandoned. Surely, if we believed that Jesus is present in our Churches we would act with the reverence such belief requires and spend time with Him. Obviously, our catechesis and example have failed to teach that essential and fundamental Truth.

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Our silence and poor example slay souls and emboldens Satan.

Rarely are our Churches the silent, reverent, sacred spaces they were intended to be and which our Lord deserves – unique places where one can in quiet, adore, worship and speak to the God who longs to be loved.  Yet we do little or nothing to correct this tragic state of affairs.

Our silence in light of such irreverence slays souls and emboldens Satan.

When was the last time the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spoke with one uniform, persistent, fearless and endless voice, not just condemning such evils as abortion, contraception, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, fornication and active homosexual lifestyle, but with love and in fraternal correction, explaining to everyone (not just to Catholics) why such conduct is evil and leads to eternal punishment?

Our silence in light of such failures slays souls and emboldens Satan.

How many more lives will be brutally ripped out of the wombs of their mothers before we, our Bishops and our priests will call this evil what it is – murder not health care, not the right to choose, but murder? If the harvesting of human body parts from aborted human beings and the use of taxpayer funds to support such evil will not receive the universal persistent and unending condemnation of all God-fearing people, priests and bishops of our Church, what will? 

Our silence in light of such evil slays souls and emboldens Satan.

How do we save souls if we, our priests and our bishops create or acquiesce to ambiguity in Church doctrine where none had heretofore existed? Let me offer a few examples.

The Church has taught that there are eternal consequences to those who have rejected God’s grace and die in the state of mortal sin unwilling to repent and seek forgiveness. How can any Catholic now accept the suggestion that “No one can be condemned forever because that is not the logic of the Gospel?” Such a concept appears contrary to all that the Church has taught (see Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1033 and 1035).

Our silence in light of such error slays souls and emboldens Satan.

It has always been undisputed Church teaching that it is a mortal sin to receive Holy Communion if you are a divorced and remarried Catholic who never sought or obtained annulment of one’s marriage (CCC 1650). How can we support assertions to the contrary today?

Our silence in light of such error slays souls and emboldens Satan.

The Church’s constant teaching has been that a soul in mortal sin receives no spiritual benefit from receiving Holy Communion, but rather eternal condemnation if such conduct is left unconfessed. (CCC 1384-1385) Why would we, our bishops or priests encourage others to commit such sinful acts?

Our silence in light of such conduct slays souls and emboldens Satan.

It has been the teaching of the Church that we MUST strive with God’s grace to overcome our sinful behaviors and that with His grace all things are possible, including abandoning long-standing sinful acts. Even if we are never fully successful in overcoming our sinful behaviors, we are never exempt from trying to do so. How can we now teach that such a standard is too high and those who have been unsuccessful in striving to free themselves from entrenched sin, are no longer obligated to do so?

Our silence in light of such erroneous teaching slays souls and emboldens Satan.

How can we have a reasonable hope that all souls will be saved or that atheists (who die not knowing Jesus) are in heaven, or that God makes a person gay, or that gay sexuality “in some way be Eucharistic,” that “it can be expressive of Christ’s self-giftor that “it can be expressive of mutual fidelity, a covenantal relationship in which two people bind themselves to each other for ever” or that it is licit for a non-Catholic spouse to receive Holy Communion? 

Our silence in light of such false assertions slays souls and emboldens Satan.

Who would ever had thought that the administrators of a Catholic College would fail to unequivocally support a well-respected tenured faculty member and a student who were attacked for simply proclaiming and defending the teachings of their Church against those who promoted error and sinful conduct? 

Our silence in light of such failures slays souls and emboldens Satan.

Were you shocked that a once vibrant and faithful Catholic nation has approved the killing of children in their mother’s womb and celebrated this tragedy joyfully and unashamedly? You shouldn’t be. That is what happens when we remain silent and don’t engage in spiritual combat. When the Church and its members fail to teach and defend the Truth, Satan offers a counterfeit substitute truth – one that leads only to hell.

Our silence slays souls and emboldens Satan.

Is it not time for we silent souls to defend God’s Truth, to fulfill our baptismal obligation to be the Gospel to those we meet as Matthew told us yesterday, and to more fully engage in the spiritual battle for the salvation of all souls?

Or do we want to remain silent and slay souls and embolden Satan?


[If I have written anything that is untrue or inconsistent with Church teaching, please let me know. I do not want to be the cause of any further confusion.]

No comments:

Post a Comment