Saturday, February 25, 2012

There Is No Moral Confusion When One Is A Faithful Catholic

Probably one of the best things I have in my possession as a faithful Catholic is the knowledge of being assured that what I believe and what is taught by the Catholic Church through the Pope and the Magisterium is the Truth. I take to heart the words our Lord spoke to the apostles when he said "He who listens to you listens to me: he who rejects you rejects me: but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." Luke 10:16. There are very few verses that tell us as directly as this, that the Church Christ founded on Peter, and that is protected from the gates of hell by the Holy Spirit, is to speak and teach the faithful as the words coming from Christ himself for the Church IS Christ. Christ does not, nor can he change, for God cannot change and it is for this reason that the Church has spoken the same Truth, consistently for the last two thousand years.

Contraceptives and their use is not a confusing issue for faithful Catholics. Since the Lambeth Conference of 1930, the Catholic Church has practically been the only major faith that still bans the use of contraceptives as sinful while the rest have allowed its use. She recognized that Truth cannot be changed, nor compromised, for then it could not be the Truth.

The use of contraceptives has been clouded by emotional arguments and a false compassion for couples who struggle with having children, and as a result, the faithful, including many Catholics, have fallen by the wayside and despite the Church's teaching against its use, have justified their using contraceptives in their own lives. Some have argued that the Catholic Church doesn't understand the plight of couples and having children yet it is precisely because the Church does understand that she issued Humanea Vitae. It was not just the plight of couples that she understood, but also the plight of all mankind. For faithful Catholics, there is no question its use is sinful, for that is what the Church taught. We may not have understood all the nuances in this teaching, but that was not the point. The point was that contraceptives were and are wrong and their use to prevent the conception of a child was sinful as taught by the Church. No moral confusion.

There is also no moral confusion to what the Church teaches about abortions. Abortion is sinful, period. There are no circumstances where it may be permissible, nor any justifiable reasoning where its use may be wrong but is needed to bring about a greater good. It is never lawful to commit a sin in order to bring about greater good. No confusion. Abortion is a grave mortal sin. Again, we may not completely understand all there is to know about why abortion is a grave sin, or even how to defend the Church's teaching against its use, but, the point is however, that what we understand or don't understand is not what matters, but to believe, trust and have faith in our Church's teachings, which are Christ's teachings.

People seem to have this desire to understand what they are taught rather than just accept a teaching without question. I too have this desire, but as in the case of John 6:60-63, 65-68, understanding is not always what it's cracked up to be. In John, Christ just finished telling his disciples that his body and blood is real food and unles they eat his body and blood they have no life in them. This was their reaction:

 60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
 61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63  65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.” -
 66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
   67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” 

The disciples of course, did not understand how Jesus could say such a thing or even ask them to accept this teaching. Some of them left Jesus, never to come back. He didn't explain anything to them. He didn't expect anything from them except this: For them to believe His words, have faith in them and to Trust Him. Understanding would come later. Many failed to believe and have faith in Christ's words, just as they fail to do today when He speaks to us through His Church.

As far as the Real Presence of the Eucharist, again there is no moral confusion. The Church has always taught us that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. Transubstantiation? I can give you a good idea of what it means, but never in its entirety, but that doesn't matter. The faith and trust I have in the Catholic Church to teach the Truth is what is required of me. That does not mean I have blind faith. On the contrary, I am at liberty and have the responsibility to pray for understanding. Understanding is not my first requirement, but rather, it is belief and faith in the Church's teaching. Once I accept this, then understanding comes later.

Catholics have been led to believe over the years that the morality of  abortion and contraceptives are subjective, and that we have to work things out on our own as to whether or not they are sinful in our lives. This is NOT what the Church teaches and until Catholics realize this, then yes, moral confusion will reign in their minds. As faithful Catholics, we have it pretty easy when it comes to discerning whether abortion and contraceptives are sinful or not or the many other moral issues facing the world. The Church has taught consistently for two thousand years without change, and there is nothing confusing about them. The Church is here to teach and to guide us in faith and morals, if only we would believe, have faith and trust in her words.

What would Christ say if we told him we didn't know what to believe when the time comes for us to face him? I would imagine him saying, "Yes, you did know. I told you myself."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Santorum: A Brave Heart Needed For What Is Coming His Way

I admit that I am a bit surprised at Santorum's surge in the polls and how he is now giving Mitt Romney a run for  the nomination in the Republican primary. All but written off, it took but a few victories, the downfall of Bachmann, Perry, Cain and, as it's beginning to seem, Newt Gingrich, to clear Santorum's path as a previously 'unelectable' candidate to one that is receiving so much support that several polls show he is neck and neck with Mitt, and at least in one poll, Mitt is now trailing Santorum. His victories left many pundits absolutely speechless, wondering how this could happen, which I must admit again, gave me a sense of satisfaction that these 'experts' are not anymore expert on political matters than I am. Anyway, now that it is beginning to look as if it will be Rick against Mitt for the nomination, I am waiting for the bloodbath to follow and it will not be for the squeamish.

We were all witness to what the media and the GOP elites did to rip the first four candidates mentioned above to shreds and I won't go into it here. We all know what happened, but it will be nothing compared to what they will do to Rick Santorum now that he is a serious contender to Mitt. I hope and pray to God that Rick Santorum is ready for the onslaught on his character, family, his unabashed conservatism and his Catholic identity which he makes no attempt to hide so as to not offend anyone. Alan Colmes attack on the death of the Santorum's infant Gabriel  here was a harbinger of what is to come.

Santorum's positions on life, family and traditional marriage make liberals fit to be tied. Now that the Catholic Church is again in the spotlight with the Bishops standing united against Obama's administration and his leftist supporters, Rick's Catholic faith will come to the forefront and the hatred the left holds for the Catholic Church will be made manifest, especially if he continues to rise in the polls. I believe that Santorum would do well to confer with Sarah Palin and learn a little something about what it feels like to see your character and family decimated by hate. He should ask her how she withstood the attacks on her faith, her little boy Trig which she CHOSE to give life to as the Santorum's did with Bella, rather than murder these babies. I guarantee you that the left will not hold back. All will be fair game to them.

There will be cries of a coming tyrannical, Catholic, theocracy should Rick become President of the United States. The left will demand that Santorum publicly declare, as did JFK, that his faith as a Catholic will not influence his role in the public square, and if he doesn't comply with their request, then the left will have their 'proof' that the Pope will be calling the shots in this country and all non-catholics will be made targets of Catholic hate and bigotry. Santorum and faithful Catholics in this country should be ready for this. What the Church and Santorum believes will be subject to vile, distorted lies that the ignorant will lap up and believe to be true, and we will be asked to defend our Faith against these lies. The left controls the  media and to refute these lies will be difficult unless we and Santorum are up to the task.

His family will be massacred. The number of children they have will be seen as selfish, bringing a child into the world that the left sees as having no value will be derided ferociously and his faithful adherence to practicing his faith will be seen as a radical departure from the "common catholic" or as Obama would say, the "good catholics" of practicing contraception, abortion and accepting gay unions as marriages.

Mitt has been mostly spared by the media and certainly by the GOP establishment, but that is because he is their poster child. The media wants Mitt as the candidate so Obama can easily defeat him by bringing up the fact that Romneycare and Obamacare are one in the same, with Romney's own architects of his healthcare policy being asked by the Obama administration for their help in constructing Obamacare. The GOP are not looking to win the presidency, but are hoping that Mitt's moderate/liberal stance will bring enough moderates to win back the Senate and retain control of the House. The GOP are just interested in controlling the money and how it is spent.

I truly believe that Santorum has a chance of helping raise this country to a higher moral standing than we've witnessed since the sixties. Those of us that work paycheck to paycheck, mind our own business, let others live as they see fit while we worship the God of our faith freely, without having to walk in the liberal slime that we are forced to accept as "more fair", are greater in number than we think. Busy with our lives, families and faith, we are quiet and keep to ourselves. But, I believe this may be changing. Only about 20 percent of this country consider themselves liberal and over 60 percent see and call themselves conservative, yet it has been the minority that has run the show and have been the loudest. This will change. It has to change for the sake of our country.

As Catholics in a nation that is becoming more and more secularized, we need to stand fast and realize that attacks on Santorum's faith are attacks on our own faith. The lies that will be coming from the left will prompt more violence against us that are Catholic or Protestant. The left seem to thrive on hating anything that is good and holy and evidence of that will become much clearer as this campaign continues, especially if Santorum remains a serious contender, which I think he will.

If we remain true to our faith, we will know what it means to be persecuted during this primary and the general campaign for the presidency. We will either cower and bow to Caesar like the Keehan's and Pelosi's of this country, or defend what we hold true without excuse. There's an old adage that asks, if you were arrested for being a Catholic, would they have enough evidence to convict you? I believe we are about to find out.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bishops Need To Extend Mercy To Pelosi and Company

In all honesty, I don't understand politicians that are Catholic and who do nothing but defy the Catholic Church at every turn. Why remain a Catholic if one is so adamant in refusing to obey Church teachings? I admit that I become very angry when I hear politicians declare their Catholicism then deliberately and knowingly do and say things contrary to their faith and teach others to do the same.

When my siblings and I still lived with our parents, we had house rules to follow. If any of us disobeyed our parents, we, depending on the infraction, would either have been given a warning to smarten up, or disciplined, usually with being sent to our room instead of enjoying dinner with the rest of the family. If we apologized, we were then welcomed back to the family in all its glory. If one of the older siblings in their disobedience convinced one of the younger ones to join in this infraction of the rules with the promise that they were not going to get caught, or that "don't worry, it's okay to do this",  then the boom would fall: harder for the older one.

As my mother once explained to me later in life, it was one thing for us to disobey and receive a due discipline, but when an older sibling convinced a younger brother or sister to do the same and tell them it was okay to disobey, then the discipline HAD to be harsher because the older sibling should have known better because of their age, and using his or her influence over the younger ones, used deception knowing full well how wrong it was to involve someone who looked up to them and believing their lies because of the younger sibling's immaturity. As my mother said, the older ones needed to be made examples, for the younger ones were watching what would happen.

What happened in our home is exactly what is happening in the political and religious realms of our country with Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Kathleen Sibelius, John Kerry, Mario Cuomo and Son, Sr. Carol Keehan and others like them. As Catholics, prominent ones at that, they have constantly defied the teaching of their faith and have convinced others that it was okay to do this. Not only have they defied the Church, they have continued to routinely receive the sacraments despite their outright disobedience. Many have been warned not to receive communion by their bishops yet they turn a deaf ear.

Like the older siblings, they have influence over people, especially Catholics. It would be one thing if their views and support of abortion and/or contraception were not known to others, but because of their position of power and having this influence, their words and actions carry a lot of weight. Some people naturally look up to people of prominence, believing they are honest, possess integrity of character and can be relied upon as to be role models. Unfortunately, that is not the case with the aforementioned.

These people have influenced spiritually immature Catholics to commit sin along with their own, convincing them that they are NOT committing a sin, while offending Catholics that take their faith seriously. In their disobedience to the Church, they have convinced others that it is okay to do this, believing that their own conscience guide their actions and words and that this is the only thing that counts. Catholics see what the politicians are doing and saying, and they also see them getting away with it. Sadly, in the minds of some spiritually immature Catholics, receiving Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin is no longer big thing and that God understands of course. This is dangerous ground to tread upon. So, what can be done about these older siblings, the prominent Catholics that continue to defy and disobey the Church?

We should be asking ourselves the following questions. What would be the most merciful thing for the bishops to do? Should they continue to just issue warnings to these politicians but allow them to receive communion while in a state of mortal sin, compounding their sins many times over? Should they give these Catholic politicians more time to see the error of their ways while they continue to drag other Catholics into sin because of their position of power and influence over these Catholics? Is it more merciful if the bishops allow them to continue to make a mockery of the Real Presence and offend a great number of faithful Catholics?

Would not true mercy consist in not allowing them the reception of communion for the good of their souls and to stop them from compounding their sin, even if denying them communion may seem as a harsh thing to do? It is in the harshness of such a discipline where one finds mercy. And I believe it is mercy that defiant Catholics need from their priests and bishops at this moment. Some of us may look at denying communion as a form of punishment but I don't think it is at all. I think denying defiant and disobedient Catholic politicians from receiving communion is the greatest mercy that the bishops can extend to them. I know many among us have called on the bishops to deny communion to these Catholics in the past, and usually out of anger, but I call for mercy.

We are taught by the Church that any Catholic that knowingly supports or teaches things contrary to the Church, such as the sin of abortion, whether directly or indirectly, is complicit in this sin. Now for my final question. If Nancy Pelosi and Company are allowed to receive Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin, and lead others to commit this same sin through their deception, are the bishops also complicit in their sin simply by not acting to stop what they have the power, authority and responsibility to do?

I understand that anyone in the public eye, especially a Catholic bishop or priest, would be hesitant in turning away someone like Pelosi from communion at Mass, for the media would have a field day and the priest or bishop celebrating Mass would be all but crucified in the headlines, but it doesn't matter at this point. It's doing the right thing that matters. In this case, trying to save souls, which is the bishops call and certainly not the media's.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thank God The Church Is Not a Democracy

One of the arguments that the Obama administration has been floating around in defending the HHS ruling is that over 90% of Catholic women have either used or are using contraceptives, and have had abortions. Using this statistic, the HHS is telling the Catholic Church that since so many Catholics are already defying the Church's ban on both these issues, there really is no conscience problem, and that it is high time the Church steps into the reality of this life and removes the bans on artificial contraception and abortion. It is time for the Church to abandon outdated philosophy and support the very people She purports to serve instead of alienating them.

Trying to push this idea that so many Catholics already defy the Church on abortion and contraception is reason alone for the Church to abandon her mission and role in this world is so astoundingly ignorant that it is mind boggling. Here's a news flash: The Catholic Church, in upholding and defending Apostolic Tradition and the teachings that have been passed down to us since the first century IS serving her people.

If the Church ever abandoned Apostolic Tradition then She would no longer be the Catholic Church. She would just be another man-made creation that in time would dissolve into obscurity. There is a reason why She has stood for two thousand years and it is precisely because She is not an institution created by man but by Christ, and that is why the Church cannot abandon her doctrines and Traditions. She can't. It's that simple. And this is what most of those that oppose the Church's stance on abortion and contraception cannot or do not want to understand. They clamor for the Church to change, but they do not realize that if Church did change the  teaching of the Truth of abortion and contraception, She would be denying Christ Himself, the founder and head of the Catholic Church.

 Another thing many non-Catholics and the liberals do not understand about the Church is that it is not a democracy. The Church simply cannot vote away these bans on contraception and abortion. Catholic beliefs are not determined by the vote of the people and they never have been and I thank God for that. What the Church believes and has passed on to Her people through out the ages is what has been taught since the time of the Apostles and the Church cannot change any of that, similar to what Pope John Paul II replied when confronted about the ordination of women, it simply cannot be done. The Church does not have the power or authority to change the Truth and Tradition as taught by Christ to His apostles and the apostles to their successors, today's bishops.

We may find certain bishops and clerics defying the Church instead of defending her, but the onus is on them, not the Catholic Church. Since the time of Judas Iscariot, there have always been and will always be people within the Church that defy Her authority. Even if all the faithful abandoned the Church, the Church would have no recourse but to continue teaching the Truth as it has been handed down to Her without fail. That is the Church's divine mission.

From the earliest Church documents of the first century, abortion and contraception were always considered and taught to be mortal sins. This is not something the Church invented when Pope Paul VI gave the world Humane Vitae. He upheld and defended two thousand years of Truth. He simply could not do otherwise. It wasn't in his power to do so. Even if he had wanted to allow this evil within the Church's teachings, he could not have done it and the Holy Spirit would not have allowed it. The Holy Spirit, the protector and guide of the Church, would have not allowed any doctrinal error to enter the Church despite all the bad popes and anti-popes that occupied the Chair of Peter.

Progressive Catholics and liberals alike do not understand the role of the Holy Spirit and the Church He protects from the gates of hell. It is for this reason that the ban on contraception and abortion will always stand. We, as Catholics, are taught to obey the Church's precepts and teachings, and we will always be protected from having to believe doctrinal error if it were possible for it to enter the Church.

There would be no uproar of the HHS ruling,  Roe v. Wade and same gender "marriages" etc. if the Church were a democracy because all of these things would be acceptable to the majority and they would vote to allow these evils into the Church. If you don't think so, look again at the statistic at the number of Catholic men and women using or having used contraceptives. The anchor of Truth that is the Catholic Church is why I am glad She is not a democracy. People waver on Truth: Christ through His Church does not.

There is no backward thinking in the Catholic Church. Yes, she looks to the past, but only to secure the Truth to teach the world of the present and future. There have been about 50  million abortions since Roe v. Wade. How many more women would have had abortions if it were not for the Churches ban? No, the Catholic Church is not a democracy, and I truly thank God for that, for the sake of the unborn and all of us that have faith in Her.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Back To the Catacombs?

Freedom of Religion has been a cornerstone of our freedoms in this country for over 200 hundred years, and it has only been in the last few decades that we now find that our Freedom of Religion has been slowly eroded to become a Freedom From Religion to the point where we find ourselves today. This right is also slowly being renamed as Freedom of Worship by the left, which is very distinct from Freedom of Religion. In the latter, we specifically have a right to pursue our faith in conscience and practice. In the former, we have the right to worship, but that can be restricted to worshiping in private and denying our share of the public square to proclaim our faith.

We, especially Catholics, are finding ourselves in a vise between following our Catholic consciences or submitting to our secular government's lack of same. It is far more than just a matter of rights that is being is played out by Obama and his ilk.We are being told to choose between denying our faith and Catholic consciences or face prosecution. Worship the Emperor or enter the Colosseum. Too dramatic? I would have thought so a few years back, but not so much today.

If the rest of the world is our crystal ball, then we as Catholics in this country know where we are headed in terms of freely practicing our faith if we allow this HHS ruling to stand. We may not think that we are physically threatened as are Christians in other countries, but that would be a wrong assumption to make. We only have to look at what started out as verbal violence that Catholics endure in this country for opposing abortion, contraception and a whole host of other social ills. Now we find Christians being physically assaulted by the pro-abortion crowd simply for praying and displaying signs that tell the truth about abortion. Condoms have been thrown at them and in some cases pushing and actual assault with a moving vehicle has occurred. Desecration of churches, statues and consecrated hosts have happened. We are under physical assault and if this is not violence then I don't know what is. It is a very small step from these Brown Shirt tactics of the godless left to a more violent end to faithful Christians if the left feels it has the backing and support of our government.

The Bishop's call to defy the HHS, if this ruling is allowed to stand, may find Catholics paying severe financial penalties and possibly with some of our Bishops and Catholic employers in prison for non-compliance of this HHS ruling. This ruling is another step toward our persecution if we allow our consciences to be hijacked. There would be no stopping the government to dictate what can and cannot be said by a Catholic or other Christians in public or at the pulpits if they deem their action to be for the common good once they put restrictions on Catholic consciences.

When we have a president who decides to force his ideology on the rest of us under penalty of prosecution then everything is on the table. Everything.  Homilies teaching against homosexual acts, contraception, abortion, scripture verses condemning sinful actions, and simply believing in Catholic doctrine may, in the near future, be considered hate crimes. This is now happening in parts of the so-called civilized world. The Bishop of Knock, Ireland is the latest victim of anti-Catholic bigotry that is washing over civilized nations. We are next in line.

The HHS ruling has nothing to do with allowing women access to health benefits that Catholics find objectionable. This could have been done in myriads of ways without forcing Catholic institutions to comply with an evil edict. It is simply about Obama forcing Catholics to deny their faith and submit themselves to what Catholics know to be immoral and bow to secularism. Even if they administration reverses it's ruling, it will not be the last we hear about it and more persecutions will be coming.

I'm afraid that the threat of fines and financial hardships, imprisonment and prosecutions against so-called hate crimes of certain speech by Catholics will find some of us selling out. What's coming down the road for Catholics is not going to be easy. Hardships perpetrated by our government simply because we are Catholic and Christian is a test of faith for us and it is all starting to come down to brass tacks. We either hold on to what we truly believe as the Truth in the face of government imposed hardships and imprisonment(or worse) or we give in.

We only have to look to the Church in China, the middle east and in Africa to see what is on the horizon for Catholics in this country. If Catholics, by law, can be threatened with imprisonment and/or fines for defying the HHS ruling, then, as with the early Catholics in the Roman Empire, we may have to flee underground to our own catacombs in this,  the Obama Empire, simply to hear the Truth and to follow our consciences .

There is a lot of speculation as to why the Obama administration would stand so aggressively against the Church, but the most important thing we need to remember is the entity that has sought to destroy the Church from the very beginning and continues to try today. This is who we are ultimately fighting against.

Christ, as head of His Church, was persecuted and crucified. We, His body, should expect no less if we faithfully follow Him.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Catholic Apologists: Do Some Of Us Need To Apologize?

I read a post at the Whole of the Hobbit where the blogger takes a look at Catholic apologetics in a way only a Protestant can. In her post "Parodies and Parables" she says:

"I can think of several blog articles with really solid and good [Catholic] material, but I can't share them with my protestant friends.  They would find it insulting to be portrayed in such a light.  Glaring titles such as "WHY PROTESTANTS ARE SO MESSED UP" hardly invite the average Baptist to read further.   I cringe at Jack Chick tracks -- I cringe at Catholic literature that takes a below-the-belt swing at a protestant, too." 

I've seen blogs and Catholic websites as she describes where a Protestant is considered pretty, darned near to being in hell, and out to get all Catholics while going there. I've also cringed, as she put it, at the way some Catholics seem too trigger happy to nuke a Protestant rather than invite and plant seeds of Catholic faith for them to consider. All vinegar and no honey. We need to ask whether our goal is victory, total capitulation of our supposed Christian "enemies", or a real genuine concern for our brothers and sisters that are not Catholics by providing them with the Truth.

To be sure, there are many Protestant blogs and websites also that take a less than charitable view of Catholics, but what of it? Are we to deal them a blow for blow or do we take the high road and try to show them, from their perspective and ours, why we believe in the Catholic Church as the one, true faith?

It's natural to want to defend what we believe as true and also to strike out when we are threatened, but is this the way to teach? Defense of our faith is a good and noble thing and should be sought by all Catholics but without the heavy handedness that at times accompanies such a defense. It just isn't Christian and certainly not at all Catholic. Take a look at the way the apostles were called by Christ. He invited them to follow Him. He didn't threaten them or call them idiots or morons. Come and see!

Protestants are no less called to the faith than we are and it is our Catholic responsibility and calling to be the light of the world. They are our separated brothers and sisters in faith and we are not starting from scratch with a Protestant. Most of them already have a deep love of Christ and try to live the Christian life in the best way they can, as we all do. They are not like the atheist where in a discussion, we have to not only defend the Church, but the whole idea that God does exist. Protestants are believers in Christ and the Word of God, so we have common ground on which to launch a discussion and help them see our side more clearly.

We are all called to be One in Christ, and we can't begin to do that if our discussion starts with  "Your an idiot but I love you anyway because the bible tells me so" attitude at the outset. Imagine entering the first grade with no knowledge of math and the teacher tells you on the first day, "What? You don't know that 1 plus 1 is 2? It's right there plain as day you idiot! What's wrong with you? You continue like this and you'll fail!". This is probably what we sound like when we aren't out to convert a Protestant soul to the Church, but rather, to dominate it and to scare the hell out of it.

I've learned alot about my faith in studying apologetics and applying it in defense of my faith. But the most important thing I learned was that I was defending my faith for the wrong reason without realizing it. I was trying to win a debate. I wanted to show the Protestants that they were wrong and I was right. I found myself training for a boxing match and not a 'tete a tete', or more appropriately, a heart to heart.

The way I see it, we have two options when it comes to apologetics, or the defense of our faith. We can begin in a confrontational, in your face way and probably lose their interest with our first words or we can do what St. Paul did in Athens. The firebrand and defender of the faith that he was, St. Paul knew how to entice others to the Truth. We see this in the Acts of the Apostles: 

 Acts 17:
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. 

Paul  could have launched into a tirade and could have told the Athenians they were bound for hell, but instead he praised them first for being a religious people. It is then that he mentions how he saw an alter to an unknown god and proceeds to teach them about how this "unknown god" has now revealed Himself and Paul was here to help them understand who this god was. Did he pique their interest? I'm sure he did and he did it without insulting or offending them, risking the chance of losing them before he even began to teach them his faith.

 Imagine being a Catholic all your life, then out of the blue you find out that everything you were taught and everything you believed was not true? Imagine then that you find out and learn that the Catholic Church is not the one, true faith as you were led to believe, but that another church was actually the true church? How would we feel about that? How would we feel finding out  that all this time we were not given the truth? This is what we are asking Protestants to do. We are asking them to give up what they were taught from the time they were born, from people that loved them, who themselves were taught the same thing they are now passing down to their children. We are asking them to reconsider what they believed their whole life without question. That is a frightful thing to ask of anyone.

Protestants are having a hard time right now. So many denominations are giving in to liberalism and those that are trying their best to follow Christ's teachings are finding themselves out in the cold with no place to go. These are fertile fields waiting to be sown with the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. We don't have to give up any tenets of our Catholic faith just to win them over. We don't have to make concessions just to "get along" and sing Kumbaya together. Protestants need to hear the Truth but some of us need to change the way we deliver that Truth.  I'll try not to use Jack Chick's sawed-off shotgun approach anymore, but rather, I'll learn St. Paul's way of charity and enticement.  It's the Catholic way.