Fr. Troy Gately, of St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Houston offered a gem of a letter in this past Sunday's parish bulletin. Read the whole thing, but take special note of this last paragraph:
In a world that promotes values and choices diametrically opposed to Christian virtue and Catholic faith, there is an increasing need for strong and clear commitment among those who believe. Reckless consumerism, unbridled materialism, greed, narcissism and moral relativism will in the end be shown for what they are but not before leading to the destruction of countless lives. As Catholics there is always the tendency to be critics and naysayers. This tendency must be avoided. Rather, we are at our best when we serve the world with our message of hope. We serve best when we offer a positive, loving and life giving alternative – Jesus Christ! This is the message of Pope Benedict. All one has to do is merely look at the titles of his three encyclicals: Deus Caritas Est (God is Love) 2005, Spe Salve (Saved by Hope) 2007 and Caritas in Veritatate (Charity in Truth) 2009. Too often the Christian message of love, hope and truth is obscured and heard only as a message of “don’ts,” a series of prohibitions or condemnations. Pope Benedict urges us to live our faith in a positive manner for the world needs us to be the best Christians we can be. Our world is hungry and longing for what God has given us in Jesus. When we live our faith in joy, hope and truth then not only is the Church invigorated, but also the world. Where do we begin? With ourselves! When do we begin? Right now!