A major question we should look at is how can we not only introduce those who have no knowledge of Catholicism to the Church established by Christ, but How can we bring back those who have distanced themselves? It is not a challenge that faces only the Holy See, but should be considered even more so on us as Christians.
To Those who became distant, who became of age in the 1960s and 1970s I raise the thought, Have you ever questioned what has gone wrong with our society to get us where we are today?
Do you think it sad but normal to hear on any given day that several people have been murdered in a shopping mall, school or on a public street by one of our children who afterward committed suicide, violently ending his or her own life? Have you taken the time to stop and think about it?
Can you assure yourself it will never happen to your son or daughter? That they will never become the victim or the cause of such an act?
As a large number of us seem to do, are you one who doesn’t have the time to really think about it because of the hustle of daily life. Some of us blame God for the bad events that happen in our lives but curiously we never seem to blame satan. And how often do we sincerely thank God for anything?
There are those who avoid attending church to worship our Lord because they are only willing to accept some of the churches teachings while rejecting the doctrines they don’t agree with, as though God’s word is flexible and we only have to live by what we find convenient. Have you ever heard someone claim they are a Christian but believe in “the right to choose”? Choose what? A person either believes in God or doesn’t… Regardless of the practice of Christian faith, Either a Christian or not, there’s no middle ground other than that place satan would like to have you occupy.
To some, practicing their faith is too inconvenient “…and besides, it’s what is in your heart that counts so practicing your faith is not important as long as your intentions are good and you treat others ok.” Misguided. God in the Old Testament handed down His Word, and His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ in the New Testament brought the Father’s Word to fulfillment. This isn’t a coincidence. This is the substance of the teachings and doctrines of the church and historically attested to. How many Christians regardless of denomination read The Holy Bible as they should or really know how to interpret it.
So what are we teaching our children? What priorities do we display to them that they will eventually grow and live by.
In the not so distant past, parents made sure the time was set aside for their children to be educated not only “right from wrong” but also the practice of their family’s faith. A parent saw to their children’s knowledge of God, and understanding of respect and morality. There are those who do continue these teachings today but how many can from their heart honestly say that? How many of our children are nearing or have reached adulthood without any real knowledge or faith in God. Or do we find it just barely possible to teach what we think is “right and wrong” with the time we have? How many of us once had God in our own lives but lost awareness over time?
Divorce and often its end result, single parenting was nowhere near as prevalent as it has become today. According to today’s outlook, divorce often seems to offer a more convenient alternative to the responsibilities of working on a marital relationship, its commitments and sacrifices. Unplanned Pregnancy? Again, according to today’s outlook, abortion often seems to offer a more convenient alternative to the responsibilities of parenthood. Taking the time teaching our children about faith and God, ethics and morality? Programs and cartoons on DVDs and TV or “kids networks” often seem to offer a more convenient alternative to the time it requires fulfilling these responsibilities because “we just don’t seem to have time.”
Many avoid anything that interferes with what is considered most convenient and self-gratifying while pursuing ambitions. They have detached themselves from God with an ever-growing distance. In the process we have unwittingly abandoned our souls and persistently risk the salvation of our children for our own goals. We have set materialism on a pedestal like the golden calf and have abandoned God and the value of family in setting our individual priorities. Most often it is self-pride and ego that are the underlying forces demanding satisfaction. Pride and ego are also spoken of in The Holy Bible as the foundation of sin.
Priorities? How many people stand in lines for hours or days to purchase toys or tickets for sporting events or shows that are intentionally limited in production to push the prices up, but we stand there for days and we’ll buy them because we have to have them. Yet how many Christians are there who rarely if ever go to worship let alone raise their children in the knowledge of their faith and love of our Lord?
How many of those under the age of eighteen who have taken lives before taking their own were raised in a family practicing their true Christian faith or at least knew of Our Lord? And what will you take with you of this world when you leave this life behind? Is the limited time we spend on earth more precious than the eternal life we are offered by our Heavenly Father?
So many have become numb to the existance and path of Christ…