Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lord, Make Me Uncomfortable

I often lament the fact that attendance at our parish is sparse.  If the Catholic Church is the true Church established by Jesus Christ, and the only place in town where He is truly available, why aren’t we packed to the rafters, not only on Sunday, but every day of the week?  Surely we must blame ourselves for not sharing our faith properly with our separated brothers and sisters.  But even those who know the truth tend to stay where they are comfortable.  

Many religious people have the idea that the Catholic Church is just one choice of many.  Therefore, it really does not matter to which Christian denomination one belongs.  This is especially true of Evangelical Protestants who can choose their religious community to suit their taste, often a preferred preacher or music they like.  They seek comfort over truth.  Being comfortable or satisfied where we are in our spiritual life is not a good thing.  We need to be curious and inquisitive, always striving to dig deeper in our relationship with Our Lord.

A recent article by Ken Litchfield caught my eye on the website.  He makes a point that I have tried to respectfully make to my Protestant friends who believe in a Bible-only tradition that denies the authority of the Catholic Church.  I point to the fact that without an infallible Catholic Church, the Protestant could not trust the canon of Scripture.  The Church determined what writings were inspired by God and could be included in the table of contents.  Ken Litchfield makes the scriptural connection to the Catholic Church even more blunt when he says, “The Bible is the collection of books that the Catholic Church decided could be read at Mass.”  Think about that, my Protestant friends.  Your faith is based on a book the Catholic Church compiled for reading at Mass.  You don’t have a Mass and deny its relevance using the same book. 

If you are content where you are in your faith experience, you have a problem.  A comfortable status quo does not foster spiritual growth.  We must all continue to seek a deeper understanding of God’s plan for us.  Nowhere is His plan more accessible than the Holy Catholic Church.  As John Henry Newman stated, “To be deep into history is to cease to be a Protestant. “

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