Posted by: Thomas Richard | May 14, 2016

Catholics: It is Time to Awaken!

The Catholic Church must wake up! The darkness growing in this country is accelerating, and human persons are being swallowed into it, losing all sense of truth, righteousness, justice – even sanity! And God’s chosen witnesses continue to sleep.

Catholic laity need strengthening, enlightening, igniting into life – so that they might be the holy light to expose and dispel this ugly darkness. Catholic men, Catholic women, Catholic young people, Catholic children – we all are here, in the midst of this evil and growing culture of death. And we all are called to be God’s witnesses, God’s messengers in the midst. We must remind our culture, our country, of what ought to be! Who else is there? Who else can do this? Who else can touch the dying hearts of this nation and revive them, and recall them to their own vocation?

The Church must awaken, the whole Church must awaken. Church leadership must arise and arouse them, must train and inspire them, must educate and enflame them, must pour God’s grace and Spirit into them, and bring them to life. The time for sleeping is past; there is no time left for half-hearted concern, or part-time Christianity. Catholic men and women, the time to choose is here: whom will you serve? Which side are you on? Why are you here, alive and strong, and doing nothing to fight the enemies of your children, the enemies of the innocent, the enemies of your own sleepy soul? Will you yet arise, and stand up? Will you yet be the man or the woman God is calling you to be?

Bishops! Priests! Deacons! Catechists! Parents! Cry out the saving Truth of your Faith, and live your calling. Teach your people! Stop with all half-truths, and safe suggestions, and nuanced duplicity! Make disciples! Bring forth fruit that will remain! Shepherds, enough of your pandering and platitudes! Enough lukewarm lullabies from the pulpit, lest anyone should actually hear the living word of God! Enough of your CEO concerns, while the sheep are not being fed and the wolves continue to raid your own sheep-fold! Enough catering to the donors, and neglecting the poor and the hungry! Enough building expensive edifices, and filling them with furnishings of gold and velvet and linen lace! Enough staff parties, and back-slapping, and sleeping with the enemy. Enough. It is time; the enemy is at the door; it is the time to act.

Bishops! Priests! Deacons! Catechists! Parents! Help your children, those children of God entrusted to your care, help them to see what is happening to this nation! The enemy is at war with us, like it or not.

Catholic laity need to know the Faith of the Church.
Catholic laity need to know Catholic moral truth – what is right, what is wrong, and why!
Catholic laity need to understand worship, in spirit and truth, that we may worship!
Catholic laity need a life of prayer – an interior life – a growing, maturing life in Christ.

Shepherds, be shepherds! Tend His sheep. Feed His sheep. Shepherd His sheep as Christ called you to do!  Every man will be called to give an account of his stewardship, on that Day.


Responses

  1. Yes, dear Thomas, each one must wake up, today! No one is without a gift of God to serve the Church. The Church needs all of us to grow stronger against the power of the enemy; let us be done with excuses. God has told us:

    … living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into Him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body’s growth and builds itself up in love…”(Ephesians 4)

    Tomorrow is the Feast of Pentecost. Let us pray with Mary to open our hearts and minds to be filled with His Spirit of Love and Truth. Let us not be afraid, but strong in the Faith, Hope and Love we were given in Baptism.

    Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your Faithful. Kindle in us the Fire of Your Love. Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us. Jesus, we trust in You!

  2. Hear, hear! Thank you for your clear voice in this matter Dr. Richard. Why do we go through our lives pursuing the shallow, fleeting things? Thank you for this reminder to keep our eyes on the goal and to live a life of true daily conversion, seeking the right way, not just an hour on Sunday morning. God help us to bear true witness to His salvation through Jesus. Mary, give us the courage to awaken and act.

  3. Deborah – I agree with everything you are saying – but we need leadership to direct us. Rose

    • Rose – Thanks so much for your comment. It is great to hear from you. Yes, we certainly need good leadership, but when it is lacking, we are not excused from using whatever gift (or gifts) God has given us for the building up of His Body, the Church. Clergy and laity are both needed.

      All of us need to work together in Christ. Think of the Bible Study we shared, Rose. It was led by laity. Trinity Cafe was begun by a layman to serve the poor and continues to grow under his leadership, to this day.

      I remember the women who listened to the Priest from Haiti describe the needs there, and began to see what they could do. They worked with that priest and began a Catholic school in Haiti and it continues to this day.

      Faithful clergy and laity, like yourself, have been building up the Church here in the USA and abroad. God has given gifts — but many Catholics, sad to say, are not “about our Father’s business”. The Light of Christ is growing dim, because too few have opened their hearts to Him. Come Holy Spirit, renew us in Your Love! Our Lady of Fatima, intercede for us, help us to do the Truth lovingly, as you did on earth.

  4. Very well said, Thomas. I could hear the urgency in your “voice”. I pray all those who read this will ponder the truth of your words and act according to God’s Will. The time for head scratching is over!!

  5. Bless you for that excellent call to action, Thomas! After literally decades of fighting for it, I’ve just had informal discussions with both our retiring and replacement DRE at our parish, and am hopeful that my prayers to have a structured method of teaching our parents may be answered.

    I’ve spent 25 years as a catechist preaching, “If you want to reach the children, teach the parents!” I’ve worked with fellow catechists that actually are clueless about the faith, and will not budge from their private interpretations. Throughout those years, I’ve polled families and found that most often: they don’t pray, they base much of what they think they know about their faith on gleanings from secular sources, most are actually clueless of what the Eucharistic liturgy (presuming they even attend) is actually about. Meanwhile, I’ve sat through countless “intellectual” homilies that impart little, give few guidelines, blatantly ignore discussing the truth, and even imply that teachings of the Church are “optional” or open to interpretation. And I’ve seen excellent clergy bashed or restricted (and even removed) for actually teaching the truth from the ambo — often out of fear of such “spiritual” things as losing collection revenue. How sad!

    Yes, we need to respond to the blaring alarm clock, and rise from our slumber!

    • Hello Carol, thank you for your comments. Your theme, “If you want to reach the children, teach the parents!” is a truth that ought to be impressed on the hearts of every catechist and DRE and pastor, in all our parishes. It seems so obvious! Yet it is the proverbial elephant in the rooms of religious education, adult formation being a crucial need that is almost universally avoided in my experience, for reasons I can only speculate about.

      I am very happy that you can see a light on the horizon – perhaps “a structured method of teaching [y]our parents” may be near, for your parish. That would be wonderful.

      An old blog post on the issue – 2012! – is HERE, fyi. Blessings and grace to you, and thank you for sharing your experience with us here.

  6. I have been lamenting the direction of the USA’s culture (and most of the western civilizations) for 10 years or so. It seems each year we push God further out of our public arena. Our country has been blessed by God because we were a Judeo-Christian society and if we keep up our current trend, He will remove that blessing.

    I lead a small men’s group in my diocese. These are dedicated Catholic family men. However, some of them simply do not see the urgency that I feel (and you express so well). Some of them have even stated that this type of concern has been expressed by every generation since the 1800’s.

    • Hello Glenn,

      If the men in your group are right – that every generation since the 1800″s has gotten worse than the one before it, then no wonder we are in such trouble! That was meant to be something of a joke, but of course it is not. Western civilization has been moving more and more distant from our Judeo-Christian foundations, until now traditional morals and values are essentially unintelligible to contemporary men and women of this culture. If the Church ever begins to be Church, and work to evangelize this culture, we may well be seen as alien invaders, enemies of the state.


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