Toward Awesome Faith

28 Jul

pierre and marley

Ultimate trust and faith.

A Mormon had attended several Catholic weddings and funerals. He had asked a Catholic friend what we, as Catholics, believe in the Eucharist. His friend told him we believe the Eucharist is our glorified Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Real Presence, his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

The Mormon said, “I’ve never seen Catholics show awe. So I guess they don’t believe it.”[i]

FOR NEARLY SIX DECADES, I’ve observed and written about our Catholic faith and the way we live it. I remember clearly the 1960s and the drama and blessing of the Second Vatican Council.

Many great things developed from and after the Council. Among them were increased participation and interest in the renewed liturgy in the language of the people, the advent of faithful lay ministers and evangelists, a new joy and sense of both freedom and responsibility for clergy and laity alike.

Generally speaking, younger Catholics have no connection or interest in that great event in Church history.

And, over time, we older folks have become less excited about the core of the teaching of the Council.

The Council urged a return to the purity and energy of the Apostolic Church and to its excitement over the salvation won for us by Jesus Christ.

Surely, many of our Catholics understood and still live the true spirit of the Second Vatican Council. But do we all?

If not, why not?

I MAY SOUND LIKE AN OLD FUDDY-DUDDY, but I think many of us have developed a “cafeteria religion”—we take what we like and ignore what may well challenge our comfort zone.

St. Paul reminds us that our Father made Christ “to be sin who did not know sin, so that in him, we might become the very righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).

Can we become the very righteousness, the very holiness of God?

Yes. That was one Council goal. It’s the goal of the Gospel.

HERE ARE WORTHY GOALS TO CONSIDER.

  • We preach and teach what the Church authentically teaches—and why it so teaches.
  • We reveal the reality of sin, e.g., hatred of our enemies, lies, refusal to help the needy—and the personal and social consequences of impropriety, immodesty and cohabitation.
  • We call for ongoing conversion to true and loyal faith in Jesus Christ.
  • We earnestly seek the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.
  • We are committed to prayer, to the Most Holy Eucharist.
  • We leave our comfort zone to live and witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our faith must be contagious and joyful. Then it becomes awesome.

 

[i] Francis Phillips, National Catholic Register, online

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3 Responses to “Toward Awesome Faith”

  1. Maggie July 28, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

    Most pastors no longer do this because they are more interested in filling the seats and coffers and so they make the holy sacrofice of the mass a performance rather than a holy celebration. Sin is no longer called sin and when is the last time you heard anyone preaxh using the words, “hell, sin, purgatory.” I had a deacon tell me that to talk about purgatory is “icky.” Yes, it is. Hell is horrible and sin is how we get there. We got a card in the mail about corporal works of mercy. I am waiting for the spiritual works of mercy and the definition of mercy that says we have to acknowledge the sin for which Jesus was crucified. Most Catholics today have no idea what catechism says and many don’t believe in the real presence. Our pastors and deacons need to speak the truth to the congregation so that they don’t fall into sin, take advantage of God’s mercy and grace through reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist, and learn to be more respectful to our Creator and loving Father. Today we look like Protestant light- we song Protestant songs during the mass, as if there isn’t enough Catholic material and instead of covering the full gospel, we just hear the fluffy parts. We have watered down our faith.

    • Maggie July 28, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

      Please excuse my typos.

      • Henry Libersat July 29, 2016 at 3:09 am #

        Thank you Maggie. I can sense both your frustration and your zeal for our Lord and our Church..

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