A funny thing happened after I started writing. People began reading. I’ve developed some really great cyber buddies and have even met some of them in person. I found a wonderful community of faithful Catholics with whom I can share and grow in faith.
I also found that I am not always preaching to the choir. Especially during the recent election cycle, I found that my writing touched a few nerves and angered at least a couple of readers. My words made some uncomfortable. Should that concern me? No. Actually, I want to make some people uncomfortable. If I stay in my cocoon with only those who think exactly as I do, I will be a failure as an evangelist. Christ’s Great Commission to “ go and make disciples of the whole world” means I am called to reach out to those who disagree. I can respect the dignity of every person and respect the sincerity of their beliefs, but I cannot give erroneous claims the same regard as the Truth proclaimed by Christ and His Church. Sometimes, I must say, “I believe you are wrong.”
The concept that one can have faith and believe one’s faith is the absolute truth has become foreign to our culture’s “multiculturalist” sensibilities. A few weeks ago I was teaching my seventh grade CCD class about the Catholic Church as the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church”. One of the students piped up with the comment “It sounds like you are saying that Buddhists, Hindus, and all the other religions are wrong. That is not very nice.” I am afraid that the emphasis on tolerance and diversity has muddled our minds to the existence of absolute truth. As Pope Benedict XVI so aptly warned, we are in danger from the tyranny of relativism.
I can accept the existence of diverse ideas and religious practices within our civil society. However, my acceptance of the existence of these ideas does not require me to accept the veracity of these ideas. Even if these ideas find their way into legal rulings, I am not compelled to acknowledge them as “right”. Legality cannot be equated with morality. In fact, I believe there is a growing gap between what is legal and what is moral. In judging actions I must use the firm standard of morality and not the arbitrary shifting standard of legality.
Phil Lawler offers a thought provoking piece on building up a Catholic culture.
But what if some of us were conspicuously unified in our beliefs and in our behavior? What if there were enough of us striving to live an authentically Catholic life so that our neighbors couldn't help but notice? Inevitably they would notice, too, if there was something a bit different about the way we lived: something distinctive, something attractive, something clearly in keeping with the teachings of the Church. We need to bear witness to the power of Christian principles, to act as the yeast within our society.
A new year is a time fertile for reflection. As I reflect on the reasons I write this blog, I find my primary motivation has shifted from stretching my literary skills to evangelization. My goal is to sow and nurture the seeds of a truly Catholic culture. I ask you to join me on this journey.