I’ve been reading a great number of comment threads about the Notre Dame kerfuffle. So many folks are making use of polls and statistics to make their point. A great deal is being made of the Pew Center data indicating those who attend Mass regularly are more likely to disapprove of the Notre Dame invitation to President Obama. Is anyone really surprised?
Lumen Gentium, the constitution of the Church, describes the Eucharist as the “fount and apex of the whole Christian life”. Is it any surprise that those who participate regularly in the Sacrifice of the Mass have a different understanding of the faith than those who do not?
One comment took this observation a bit further by wondering how the opinions of those who not only attended Mass regularly but also received the Sacrament of Confession regularly would compare with those who do not. Regular sacramental confession fosters humility. Acknowledging one’s sins and throwing oneself upon the Mercy of God prepares one to accept God’s plan and subordinate one’s own will. It does take humility to sentire cum ecclesia—think with the Church. The Church has no need of the prestige, wealth, and power of this world. Prestige, wealth, and power will have no bearing on eternal life. It is not surprising that those who have their vision focused on Heaven place little value on the worldly honors of having the President of the United States as a commencement speaker.
Going to Mass regularly will change you. Going to Confession regularly will change you. The change instigated by political rhetoric cannot compare with the change that occurs when you open your heart to the Truth of the Gospel. Those who reject the Church and try to make their way alone are truly lost. Today, Good Shepherd Sunday, is the perfect time to pray that these lost sheep will allow themselves to be found by the Good Shepherd.