“What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops…Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.”
Today, within the Church, there is a new enthusiasm and vigor surrounding the Catholic formation and education of adult (and young) Catholics. Spearheaded by our Bishop, it has become is the number two and three priority (second only to vocations) in our Diocese. For Bishop Kevin, ignorance of the faith is the greatest scandal of our faith. For far too long our doctrines, creeds and beliefs (our identity) had been watered down by poorly trained catechists who volunteered with all their hearts but never fully grasped their faith with all their mind. And we were all accomplices to this tragedy: parents, catholic institutions, priests and nuns.
The exodus from the Church began as a trickle in the experimental sixties and eventually became a tsunami in the early eighties. With John Paul II, it gradually tapered off. Too many Catholics, for far too many wrong reasons, left the faith of their ancestors and embraced conservative evangelical denominations. The liberal movement, once known as “The Future Church”, has become known as the “The Fossil Church.” For years the “Future Church” movement pushed, punched and screamed at the Catholic hierarchy to allow priests to get married (and divorced), women to become priestesses, homosexuals to get married, divorcees to receive communion and remarry, and allow Catholics to use contraception and resort to abortion. No need to look for this type of Church. It already exists. It is called non-denominational, and its growth, its influence and importance is as flat as a pancake.
It’s not easy to go against the current. It’s not easy to be a disciple of Christ, for it means to have a boss. It means to have a God that is not created in our likeness (or in what you like). It’s not easy to be led, and often, led to the slaughter! But the Lord Jesus reminds his faithful flock, “Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” Oh, I forgot to mention that the above group does not believe in the devil or in Hell. That’s another way to solve our problems – just don’t believe in them!
Recently, a mom mentioned to me a conversation she had with her friend. This mom warned her daughter not to receive communion since she was committing a mortal sin while living with her boyfriend. The friend responded by saying, “You have become a religious fanatic!” This awesome mom suggested to her friend that she study more carefully the Catholic faith. After all, you would never take a medication without reading the warning label first.
I told this mom, “It is better to be a fanatic than to be a heretic.” Our Lord called us to be Light, not lite, to the world. He never used slang! And we know that light shines brightest in the dark.
P.S. Light (as well as lite) can have both meanings, but I hope you know what I mean.