Catholic Life – The Problem and The Solution

by Fr Richard Heilman | July 6, 2015 10:30 AM

Calm Resolve

Somebody recently said, “As we face the harsh realities to come, what is needed is a peaceful and joyful calm.” I would say, “yes” to this need for calm. I would only add one word to that: “resolve.” What is needed now is a “calm resolve” to take action.

With the removal of virtually everything, over the past 50 years, that inspires and even awakens the soul to engage supernatural realities, we have become lulled into a spiritual slumber … an acedia or sloth that is now seen as normative among the vast majority of practicing Catholics (leaving aside, for now, those who have completely disengaged). We have diminished our Catholic faith to nothing more than a (NGO) … Non-Government Organization. There is no power!

Furthermore, we have accepted the hogwash from present day Church leadership who believe, as Protestants do, that we can “read our way out of this thing.” Yes, sola scriptura in all of its forms. Sure, we need to know our faith – and many do not right now – but the problem will not be solved by “force-feeding” the bible, catechism, etc. to the sleeping, slothful souls who are simply wholly disinterested and bored with the lot of it.

 

The Nineveh Thing

No, it is time for us to the “Nineveh Thing.” We must set aside our foolish pride as the “generation that transcends all generations,” and take our cues from our ancestors and the humble, “devout” remnant among us. These are the ones who recognize the modern-day failed experiment of vapid and banal liturgies as a poison (or, at the very least, a sleeping pill) for their souls and the souls of their loved ones. These are the ones who understand the launching point for a vital and energetic spiritual life begins with humble “obedience.”

Yes!! They want to do it precisely God’s way. And so, they look to their ancestors and the saints … how did they obey? They see that, first; they embraced and loved the sacraments, devotions and sacramentals of our amazing Catholic faith. They love and appreciate these as the beautiful jewels of our Catholic faith. They are the proven way God has revealed as “the way to obey.” They are the way we humbly offer ourselves to God. And, therefore, they are not a poison or sleeping pill, but a “stimulant” to awaken the free flow of grace in their lives. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

These are the ones who have their homes adorned with such things as crucifixes and pictures of the Holy Family; these are the ones whose prayer life is alive with the many practices and devotions[1] we inherited from mighty saints before us. These are the ones who talk openly about God to family and friends on a regular basis. These are the ones who cannot leave home without rosary in hand, as they depend upon the power of such things as Holy Water and Blessed Salt and Benedict Medals. These are the ones who frequent Confession, understanding that a collection of small sins leaves them prone to commit the bigger ones. These are the ones who dedicate their lives and the lives of their family to the mission(s) of their parish. These are the ones who truly live “God fearing” lives, as every decision they make is weighed against whether it is pleasing to God, as they fear ever disappointing God, who they love so much!

 

The Fruit

Now, we see these souls pulsating with the very life of God – grace – and, now, we see them hungry for “the more” of their faith. Now, they are enthusiastic and eager to learn more about their “wonderful” faith (i.e., bible, catechism). Now we see vocations to priesthood and religious life spring out of these grace-filled homes. Now we see “the lost” turning toward these devout Catholics, as they recognize a real and authentic power available to those who live this vital and genuine Catholic faith.

No, force-feeding religious education on those caught in spiritual sloth is NOT the solution. Instead, devoted and resolute souls, who love every jewel of our Catholic faith, will inspire and ripple out to awaken our slumbering Catholics.

Endnotes:
  1. many practices and devotions: http://www.romancatholicman.com/category/daily-habits/

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