Often today, we in the Church find ourselves teaching the children of under-catechized parents and those children’s children. The question arises: Will the next generation see any reason to go to church?
Through the Church, Christ scatters seed upon American soil that is dry, rocky, and sown with weeds — soil that has built up a certain resistance to authentic religious experience.
Faith and hope are facts of history, not spin. They’re durable and they’re true.
We have an obligation to witness, but there’s only one way to witness effectively, and it’s not the way of spin, or gossip, or insult. It’s not always an easy way, but it’s the only way forward. It’s the only way that works, and there’s ample proof of that.
If all the facts are readily available to us, we are obliged to undertake serious study before we pronounce our opinions. This is particularly true if our opinions involve the good name, honor and integrity of another.
We should assume the good will and good intentions of people who disagree with us. They are not necessarily “bigots” and “hate mongers” simply because they hold a position contrary to ours. If we sincerely believe that they do harbor evil intentions, we should remind ourselves of a time when people have misunderstood or misconstrued our own intentions. Then we should call to mind the irrefutable fact that we, too, are occasionally wrong in our judgments.
Priests strive to make the Church holy. Lay people are to make the world holy. They do it by the witness of their lives.
All human laws are based upon certain foundational notions of right and wrong, and these cannot be demonstrated by any empirical means. We arrive at them through our participation in civic life, where all debate proceeds from some kind of religious conviction. Even the most vehement atheist, even the most convinced agnostic, must have recourse to certain truths they believe to be “self-evident.
We cannot isolate certain hours of our day and set them apart from our life in Christ. God is present everywhere, and to be a Christian is to recognize his dominion in every place, at every hour.
In 45 years of priesthood and a quarter-century as a bishop, I have written and preached much about the sacraments. I have administered all seven, and more times than I can count. The sacraments are my life, and it is a life I deeply love.
If we are Catholics, we want to work for the kingdom. God made us to want it, even if we don’t know how to put those desires into words. We want to bring about the kingdom. We mean it when we pray “thy kingdom come.” But as adults we need to make an effort to know what we mean by such strange words.