I am so thankful that the Catholic Bishops voted overwhelmingly to approve drafting a paper for consideration at their November 2021, in person, United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) meeting.
The damage to the Catholic Church laity caused by a small number of outspoken Cardinals and Bishops who publicly oppose Christ’s teachings is significant. These Church leaders publicly express opposition on issues that have constituted the teachings of the Catholic Church for over 2000 years, opposition to the fullness of truth found in the Church Christ founded, such as regarding the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
Listening to Wisdom from the Past?
The following compelling quotes taken from the great communicator Archbishop Fulton Sheen are totally applicable today and should be thoughtfully absorbed by today’s Bishops and by all those who want to protect the belief and the sanctity of the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
“It is easy to find truth, though it is hard to face it, and harder still to follow it.
“The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.
“If you don’t behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.
“Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops like bishops, and our religious act like religious.”
Strange Positions from Some
I do not understand how some Church hierarchy say they seek unity and oppose division, and yet these are the same hierarchy we read about in the media who separate themselves—create division rather than unity—from Christ’s clear teaching.
These hierarchy divide themselves from Christ’s clear teaching by espousing “open-mindedness” for LGBTQ, receptivity to transgenderism, avoidance of addressing homosexuality, and display a lack of promotion of traditional marriage between one man and one woman.
Some bishops who ask to “not create division” fail to recognize that division already openly exists among these bishops and Christ’s teachings. Not man’s teachings, God’s.
Is this failing to make the distinction between sin and sinner? It’s easy to do these days. But that doesn’t make it right.
We are called to love the sinner, always, but nonetheless to hate the sin. It is not loving the sinner to pretend the sin doesn’t exist.
Perhaps those bishops who ask not to create division could consider loving all of us sinners enough to stay united and true to Christ’s teachings.
Each of Us Has a Role to Play
We are each called to do our part. There are no minimal tasks. Each one of us can play a role, and we may never know who or how many we may have impacted for the good along the way.
The Catholic Church and all Christian churches are under attack from many in our society who intend to eliminate religion from America. Even so, there are those who are so busy with their own lives that they do not have time, or do not take the time, to look up and see what is happening in our own midst.
That’s where “Wokeism” and “Critical Race Theory” come into play.
These ideologies have been around for decades, but they received a shot in the arm, an elevation, that now has evolved into an uprising due to the billionaires and leftists who are working hand-in-hand.
More than 60 years ago Bishop Sheen saw their type of disruption when he said, “Why are those who are notoriously undisciplined and unmoral also most contemptuous of religion and morality? They are trying to solace their own unhappy lives by pulling the happy down to their own abysmal depths.”
OK. Enough of what is going on that demands our involvement but that can definitely cause a negative feeling.
I want to share something positive and beautiful!
Inspiration from the Holy Spirit
On July 25, 2021, in Austin, Texas, at St. John Neumann Catholic Church following the 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM Mass, there was a well-publicized event sponsored by Council 10836 of the Knights of Columbus.
At this event, the Knights brought in the St. John Paul II Life Center (the Center) to put on what the Center calls “A Glimpse Inside©.” This is where those in attendance get to see and experience a real-time sonogram of a woman who is pregnant and who has volunteered to let those watching see the movement of her baby in the womb.
Can you imagine?! It is amazing!
Individuals of all ages get to see the wonder of developing human life.
In this day’s presentation, one of the volunteers was about 24 weeks along with twins and the other, about 16 weeks along. There were numerous questions for Dr. Blake Weidaw, MD, about what was being seen.
After the first presentation, Richard Sanchez, Grand Knight, was explaining that the Council was raising funds to help the Center get a state-of-the-art sonogram machine and they needed to raise about $80,000.
One person had offered $30,000 as a challenge match, but the match had to be raised before midnight that night.
As you can imagine, anticipation was tense. And prayer for fundraising success, intense.
Richard went on to say that while any amount would be appreciated, someone in the audience could write a check for $30,000. He was encouraging those in attendance to use a QR Code which had been set up as another way to give. I went outside and returned as the second presentation was about to start.
As I approached Richard, he held out his hand and I saw a check for $30,000! While this is tremendous in itself, as Paul Harvey would say, “And Now for the Rest of Story!”
The rest of the story…
That same morning, a lady was to have a meeting with another person in the Westlake area. When she got close to the location, she telephoned, only to be told that the person had a conflict and could not meet her.
The lady then remembered she was near St. John Neumann Catholic Church, and she decided she would go there for Mass. At the end of the Mass, there was an announcement about A Glimpse Inside© program to follow Mass.
“I should see this,” she thought.
After viewing the glimpse, she was inspired to write the check for $30,000! This was clearly the Holy Spirit at work to do something very good that will help save many babies lives.
This lady had no idea those things would occur in her life when she left home that morning.
But this lady — just like each one of us— had (and continues to have) a specific and unique role to play, as Catholics, in the world today, every day. Will we be open and ready and willing to fulfill our unique role?
And as it is said, “God is good,” and we respond, “All the time!” This type of generosity helps us to realize what great hearts people have and how they want to share peace and love with one another.
Life is Worth Living
I am so thankful to be reading The Wisdom of Fulton Sheen: 365 Days of Inspiration, with an introduction by Matthew Kelly.
As a young boy I can remember Bishop Sheen’s powerful TV program entitled Life Is Worth Living. He truly made people feel that way. Bishop Sheen was a TV personality who could hold his own while going head-to-head with Lucille Ball (I Love Lucy) and The Ed Sullivan Show.
Bishop Sheen gave Catholics the desire to say, “I am proud to be Catholic.” It is time to cause Catholics to feel that way again.
Our Challenge Everyday
We cannot wait for someone else to stand up and speak out for the future of our Church, our country, and our families. We can each accept our personal responsibility to play a positive role ourselves.
May the Holy Spirit guide each of us to do our part to save our traditions, our faith and patriotic values for the benefit of our future generations.
- John Paul II Life Center
- The Wisdom of Fulton Sheen: 365 Days of Inspiration, culled from Fulton Sheen
- Life is Worth Living -24 Audio CDs, by Fulton Sheen, from live television program.
- Life is Worth Living, book culled from Fulton Sheen’s television program – wise, personal and inspiring guidance on the problems affecting our lives in today’s world
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