Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Do We Truly Believe What We Profess?

How strong is our conviction in what we believe to be the Truth and how strong is our faith to act on this conviction? Every Sunday at Mass, we recite the Profession of Faith or the Apostles Creed which proclaims who we are as Catholics and what we believe to be True. But do we really believe what we say? How sure are we of what we believe to be the Truth?

Many times we just recite prayers over and over again until they become second nature without thinking of what we are praying or proclaiming. A good example of what I am talking about is in the vows of Holy Matrimony. Think of the words, "For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, til death do us part" and "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." and ask yourself how many of us really meant these words when we made that vow at the alter, or was it just a quaint little saying that we recite out of mere tradition without any firm intention of keeping these words and living them? A near 50% divorce rate among Catholics is very telling in this case.

Catholics have just been challenged by the Obama administration to give up their consciences and to deny what we know to be the Truth: the truth that Christ redeemed mankind, set His Church here on earth with Him as the head to guide us in faith and morals and the gates of hell will never prevail against her. When we say "I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" do we mean it and truly believe it?

The strength of our belief and faith in the Church founded on Peter will determine how strongly we defend that belief and faith. No one goes into a debate or a war without a firm belief that they are on the right side of things for if we did have doubts about whether what we believe is really true, then we've almost certainly have lost the battle before it even begins and this is exactly what the Obama administration is counting on. They believe that we, as mere sheep, will acquiesce in face of this challenge. They do not accept that Catholics believe what they proclaim in Mass. They may be right because we've not given them any indication in the past that we are any different than other Americans when Catholics voted for him in the last general election, in the use of contraceptives or procuring an abortion. They believe Catholics have no spine for a fight.

Some of the most fearsome opponents to face are those that are sure of themselves in what they believe to be true. When Catholics defend life of the unborn, traditional marriage, criticize same-sex "marriages or homosexual acts without backing down, believing what the Church teaches on these matters as true, the response from the left is rage. No longer having an argument in their arsenal to counter Church teaching, the left now seeks to destroy the messenger. The Catholic is called a racist, hateful, a homophobe and the like.

No longer able to debate their side of the issue, the left will begin to silence the Catholic by any means possible. When the debate reaches this point, then you know fear has now entered them, the fear that the Church is right, for if the Church is right in her teachings on these issues, then that makes the left wrong and that will not do. Silencing the Catholic is now the only remedy to counter the Catholic Church. Unable to change our convictions, they now seek to silence our opposition through law. Here again, we need to ask ourselves if God's laws are above man-made laws when they contradict each other. 

Catholics have become very complacent about their faith in the last several decades. Rather than fighting for what we believe is true, we have sat back and have let society dictate was is right and wrong and we have gone along with them. Getting to this point in the debate did not happen overnight and it has only happened because we let it happen.

Are we up to the challenge to fight for the Truth? Will we again sit back and let a godless government ride roughshod over our faith in the Truth that the Catholic Church is the one, true faith? The bishops may think their lone voices and influence over public policy will not do much. I totally disagree. If they show they are willing to lead and fight for the Truth, then I believe Catholics will follow. Catholics make up a large voting block in this country. If they see their Church leaders standing up against this tyranny, I believe they in turn, will protest their government through calls, letters and their vote this year. Archbishop Dolan may be one voice, but he is not the only voice.

We need to ask ourselves if we are the Catholics we profess to be,  and do we truly believe the Catholic Church to be the one, true Church of Christ. If yes, then it's high time we act as if we do. Let's call Obama's bluff.

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