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.” Now if they got some postmodern Padre perhaps I could kind of relate. Still, they heard the scriptures read publicly for many years, and even then, Father Modernism can’t help but let out his affections for our Lord even if his theology has run adrift.
Apart from this, what on earth are they talking about? Perhaps it has to do with complexity. They are, more times than not, drawn to a simplistic community of believers that have a doctrinal statement of ten points or less, if more, they are obliged to disagree if quietly. They rarely decide to go to any church community that is more than a single generation old. Much of it has to do with an experience of God which they can describe. I’ve known good people that were involved with the charismatic renewal in our Church, only to leave. Many get a surface understanding of scripture that runs an inch deep to justify their leaving. I have dialogued with many of them for hours, one being my Father who left the Church before I was even born.
As a Christian convert to Catholicism I could no more leave the Church than I could leave my Lord, but I have watched these same people leave Rome only to church hop like they were visiting different restaurants. One church in my little town has become dated; it’s the second generation Christian church, only a remnant remain, a church plant came to town and many have migrated to the new thing . Some from my Church have left as well. It’s a polished, modern, Baptist sort of church with good coffee and music.
I think I got the greatest insight into this phenomenon from a devout cradle Catholic woman barely thirty years of age. Some of these people she has grown up with, with the innocence of a child she says,” how can they leave Jesus, how can they leave the Eucharist?” Blessed are the pure in heart, out of the mouths of babes. You see I’m too close to see the problem; I was a part of the problem.
Interesting ,I just asked my son to grab me a shirt from my bedroom and he comes down the stairs with none other than my shirt with a chalice and host blasted on the front of it. They leave for the same reason I came, that many converts come–the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith, God of God. light of light. very God of very God, begotten not made, one in being with the Father, through whom all things are made! To miss this as a Catholic would be quite challenging. We consume the light of the world, it doesn’t matter to me how off balance that Priest gets, give me the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. They leave as negation, into the rabbit hole, just as I came to the light of the world.
The bare bones of it, they leave because they do not believe Jesus Christ Himself in his splendor is offering Himself up in an unbloody manner for His beloved. They leave God to have coffee, sings songs, and talk about God.
If you’ve read my prior posts I’m something of a charismatic Catholic, this I will not refrain from. The charismatic gifts I received I have simply because I asked, and in the asking the Lord lead me to the fullness of faith, even though my mind could not. The power of God converted me to Rome, my intellect only followed. So why am I sharing this with you? For this one reason, I have evangelized many of these people and at different times I have felt the grace of the Holy Spirit manifest through me. But this is for sure, when I talk about Eucharist the power of God often flows out of my body. I’ve seen people get hit by the presence of the Lord, what is still more amazing is they turn away in unbelief!
This is where we make our stand, this is our banner of light, this is the image of the invisible God, this is my body broken for you and we shall not be moved. Where all of hell’s fury rages and where the angels on earth sing. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done.