The obedience which is fundamental and essential to the new evangelization is also a virtue acquired with great difficulty in a culture which exalts individualism and questions all authority, except the self. Yet, it is indispensable if the Gospel is to be taught and lived in our time. We must take example from the first disciples, from the first missionaries to our homeland, and from the host of saints and blesseds who gave themselves completely to Christ, calling upon the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit to purify themselves of any rebellion before God’s will and to strengthen them to do God’s will in all things...
Today in particular, the pressing pastoral task of the new evangelization calls for the involvement of the entire People of God, and requires a new fervour, new methods and a new expression for the announcing and witnessing of the Gospel. ...
Dear Brothers and sisters,
Having watched the Republican Convention over the last few days, I was grateful to hear God included many times. He has not been "ignored" nor worse is He rebelled against by many in America, thanks to His Grace and their cooperation with His Grace.
The quote above is taken from an address by given by American Cardinal Raymond Burke, at the convention of the Canon Law Society of Kenya. The title of his address on August 30, 2012 was: *CANON LAW AT THE SERVICE OF JUSTICE AND FREEDOM IN THE CHURCH AS THE PEOPLE OF GOD.*
We live in a pivotal time; we need God's Grace to see how we can individually and collectively as Church keep America and the world from falling any deeper into the "practical atheism" of which Bl. John Paul II and Pope Benedict have warned us. The new evangelization begins within each one of us.
To read more of Cardinal Burke's inspiring and challenging words see [HERE]("http://www.zenit.org/article-35441?l=english")
I’ll tell you, as a millennial with a history of not-quite-brazen-but-still-stubborn individualism and cynicism, trying to be a Catholic is like putting myself through a meat grinder and piecing myself back together again. It’s HARD
It’s like there’s a chorus of voices implanted in my conscience screaming “Don’t conform! Question everything! Don’t become one of them — a stupid, naive slave!” Argh, I wish it were easier.
A helpful passage of Scripture for me, especially in the “HARD” times is:
Heb 12:1- 13 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons?-- “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage when you are punished by him. For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
There comes a point where you have to absolutely surrender your own autonomy, your own will, your own thoughts–your whole heart–to the King of kings and Lord of lords. You can question until you’re blue in the face (again, I know the temptation), but eventually you’re going to have to come to a point where you’re either willing to give all of that to God in trusting obedience or you’re going to drive yourself nuts trying to prove a totally infinite God’s existence.
There’s a Latin term the Church uses–sentire cum Ecclesia–“thinking WITH the Church.” Catholic faith isn’t something you don’t think about, because ours really is a thinking faith. But the bottom line is that you’re using your brain to get in line with the Church. A popular bishop I know personally told me, when I was thinking about becoming a Catholic, that ultimately, you have to decide that you’re going to submit to the teaching of the Church. That may not be easy or popular, but the reality is that you’re going to have to make a carte blanche decision that the Church teaches the truth (period!), and that whatever you have trouble understanding is something you’ll have to work out in faithful obedience to the Church–sentire cum Ecclesia–with prayer, trust, and your mind. In other words, your brain can be either a tool or a weapon of destruction. Use it carefully.
Hello Colorad007 - I would add some thoughts to yours here, because there is something “big” - “BIG!” - that is involved, which is essential to the Christian life. There is a supernatural dimension that is part of the journey; there is the absolute necessity of grace.
In other words, we could just make a “carte blanche decision that the Church teaches the truth (period!)” God can work with that, and can from that take us to the next and necessary step. But if all that we have is our rationality, our decision, our resolution and determination to march ahead into Catholicism, then we are standing on very uncertain and unsteady ground. Yes, the Church does teach the truth! But the certainty of that fact in a Catholic comes from more than his will-power.
If the confidence a man has in the Church does comes only from his own will-power and decision, and remains there, and he does not discover the supernatural foundation of truth from which the Church is true, then that Catholic will be building his house on sand: the uncertain sand of his own natural mind.
Grace is a participation in the very life of God. Grace gives light to the mind and strength to the will that transcends what the natural man can summon up for himself. Grace illuminates the natural world and bathes it in supernatural beauty and meaning. Grace reveals the presence of God in things, and in particular in His Church. It is when by grace a man sees God in the Catholic Church, from her inception and to her final destiny, that he knows with certainty - the certainty of supernatural faith - that His Church is true.
So my “addition” to your post would be only this: OK for a first step, but seek and ask and knock for more. When we offer our minds to Christ, He will fill them with truth. When we offer our wills to Christ, He will order and direct them to truth. When we commit ourselves to Christ, no matter the cost, He will reveal Himself to us moment by moment - and in particular, in the supernatural work of God, HIs Church.