It is time for a new generation of Catholics to lead the Church in a better direction. Our current leaders seem out of touch with what Catholics really need today, and the evidence is not hard to find. The pews are empty. The churches are closing. The poll data is undeniable. This is not a bump in the road. The Catholic Church in the United States has driven into a ditch.
So what is the problem? The problem is that we have been talking so much about fixing the world that we all forgot we need to fix ourselves first. We spent so much time debating with protestants about who best knew the path to holiness, we all forgot how to actually become holy. We got so caught up in partisan politics, we all forgot that the Church helps the world by healing individual souls, and not the other way around. We became so obsessed with debating Vatican II and the language we use at Mass, we all forgot what the Mass is actually about. In other words, for a long time now Catholics have been trying to become saints by solving big, abstract problems. For most of us, this is not our job. Even if it were our job, that sort of thinking has it backwards. You do not become a saint by solving big problems. You solve big problems by becoming a saint.
Our generation does not want to argue about Vatican II. We do not want to argue about Sola Scriptura. We do not want to argue about faith and works controversies. We do not want to argue about philosophical proofs for a first mover. We do not want to argue about Papal Infallibility. We have heard it all, and we have faith in the Church’s teachings. These are not the problems we are facing. Our friends (and many of us along with them) are overdosing on heroin, getting addicted to pornography, seeking abortions, becoming alcoholics, and living their lives for power, pleasure, and money. The abstract theological debates are irrelevant when our problems are this fundamental. We have not been given the answers to the questions that are relevant to our lives. We have lost our connection to the vine.
It is time to change our focus. We need to get back to the basics. We need to re-learn and then re-teach the fundamentals of Catholicism. I am not going to tell you what you should think. I am going to tell you what you should do. This is not about why you should be Catholic. This is about how you can be Catholic.
The world is tired of words: it wants deeds; it wants to see Christians living out the dogmas they profess.
-St. Alberto Hurtado
This is a sermon delivered by St. John Henry Newman on the words of 1 Cor 17:11, “when I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” Text edited by Ambrose Bean. Audio edited by Stephen Bean.
This is an excerpt from a letter written by St. Jerome to Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, in 394 A.D. Text edited by Ambrose Bean. Audio edited by Stephen Bean.
What is our job, as Catholics, when our nation tumbles into chaos, violence, and political mayhem? This is a fair question to ask, especially for anyone living in the United States these days. Unfortunately I do not hear a lot of people asking it. Everyone seems to think they know exactly what their job is. […]