Truefaith2 poses some honest tough questions, “If a nominal Catholic doesn’t get that, why blame the Church? Why suggest that there is a ‘grain of truth’ to it?” To what is He referring but his own conclusions that are worth considerable consideration. He goes on to say, “Father, it is our duty and salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. He is the Word through whom you made the universe, the Savior you sent to redeem us. By the power of the Holy Spirit he took flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary. For our sake he opened his arms on the cross; he put an end to death and revealed the resurrection. In this he fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people.”
I am in no way calling into question the wealth of our liturgy, doctrine and dogma, or the army of literature that is unmatched in all areas a Christian can even plumb. I am talking about a social phenomenon that is real, where some well intentioned people are leaving for reasons that have very little do with the objects mentioned above.
For every action there is a reaction. I do not validate the reaction of leaving the Church as a viable option. My point is that this is a common response that may have to do something with our functioning as a community of faith. I have twelve children, if their behavior is poor, it is theirs to own but I am partly responsible. Did I fail them in governance somehow? Their lack reflects on my lack to parent on some level, especially if a few among the batch start turning against me.
I have found throughout the years many of our separated brethren have left the Church. Prior to my conversion to the Catholic Church, they would say things akin to, ‘I didn’t know the Lord, they didn’t preach the gospel, they didn’t teach the Bible.’ I have heard this more times than I care to admit. As I have covered in my other posts, I am left to wonder what in the world are they talking about?
But they are still saying it; this is their experience, if dogma and our liturgical life could be excluded from the strange profession on their behalf what remains? What fallible element remains, what grain of truth do they speak by? I think they are looking for an experience in God. The structure and the truth of the Church aren’t lacking so what is? My conclusion, if I were searching for Jesus, not in dogma or liturgy, saints that have gone before us, or even the Mother of God, but simply in people around me, in my community where would I turn?
Maybe what they’re really saying is “I didn’t see the Lord in you. You weren’t full of the joy of the Gospel, and you weren’t excited about the bible.”
So they went where they felt these things were present. I am not saying this is true or warranted, what I am saying is this seems to be their common experience. By all means, to leave the faith because the social conditions are not to our liking is without a doubt a childish response but never-the-less it is happening.
To be honest I feel like I’m trying to address something that is way beyond a post, that has so many contributing factors within our culture, the exaltation of self-interest, the weakness of a Church that is ever Holy and ever in need of salvation.
As I am writing this I find myself answering my own question. We are the problem AND the solution.
Imagine a people of God that lived out the fullness of the faith, our faith, the Catholic faith! I can imagine a world on fire with heaven. The sleeping giant is us! May a new Pentecost come, may a new evangelization come to the people of God, and we shall renew the face of the earth. Oh Mary, come to us. Heal our waywardness, renew your people Lord!