Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Worth Living For – Worth Fighting For – Worth Dying For

The answer to the above title is Jesus Christ.  He is worth living, fighting and dying for.   This past weekend I saw the movie, “Greater Glory” about the Mexican Cristero War or La Cristiada and it was one of the timeliest and best movies I have seen in recent memory.  I recommend first off that everyone Catholic or not go and see this movie.  Freedom in our country is being assaulted and this movie is about fighting for religious freedom.  It is about living, fighting and dying for our faith.  While I am not advocating that an armed revolt is the answer by any means, civil disobedience if it comes to that is a valid and effective form of protest against a government that is trying to define religious freedom simply as the right to worship.  In the sense that while you are in your church celebrating mass or a service that is ok but take one step out and that freedom is restricted.  While this has not occurred to that degree yet, the current health care law, the Affordable Care Act better known as Obamacare, and the HHS mandate set the precedent for the government to do this is in the future.  As the movie showed the restrictions did not start out very oppressive but grew after the first were accepted by a majority of the population without protest.  Catholics everywhere need to support, live, fight and defend the faith that they believe.  You may be a Catholic who goes to church on Sunday, prays and lives a good life, and God Bless you, my prayers are with you, but now there is the siren call to do more.  If we do not show unity in defense of this egregious attack on liberty, it will not end there.  Cardinal George in February of 2012 stated, “At the present moment, Catholics in this country are facing challenges to our institutional existence and our mission that we thought would never arise here. … The laws that used to protect us are now being used to weaken and destroy us, and this quite deliberately.”  Let your voice be heard in any way you can.  Through letters, emails, phone calls, protests.  Whatever your ability it is time to act.

Faith is worth living, standing up and declaring your faith, living what you believe is necessary.  Catholics and all Christians can no longer play lip service to their faith.  There must be life in what we believe and we must show it by our prayer and our actions.  If we are not living our faith in our every action, our every breath then we cannot effectively evangelize or convince others including the government that we take our religious liberty seriously.  What we believe must be reflected in our prayer and vice versa (Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi), and this needs to be translated into the way we live our lives.  By every breath we breathe we must speak the Truth of Christ.

Faith is worth fighting for, it is worth rallying, protesting, engaging in acts of civil disobedience.  While acts of this kind will probably be far less tolerated than the “occupy movement” was, if necessary and if the call is made then we must be prepared to live and defend what we stand for as Christians.  Catholic means universal and all need to be united in this fight to defend religious freedom.

Faith is worth dying for, while this may seem extreme, it may not be far off and is already occurring overseas in staggering numbers.  Cardinal George of Chicago reflected on this in 2010 stating, “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”  This statement is telling and if you look at the direction we are heading as a country and as Catholics.  They are set on a divergent path.  As St. Boniface and Blessed José Sánchez del Río laid down their lives for the faith, giving us the example for the future, I pray it does not come to that but I do not see our government backing down, more they have seemingly dug in for the long haul, established their trenches for the coming battle.

We must be outspoken, bold, and walk tall for our faith.  Heads held high we must live what we profess, fight for what we believe and freely lay down our lives every day for what it means to be Christian.  Make no mistake what is being perpetrated is a great evil and “evil must be opposed.” 

Now to show my geeky Star Trek side but there was a great quote I must include because of its relevance:
“Vedek Yassim: Can’t you see what is happening to you? You’re becoming an apologist for them, a defender of evil. What will it take to make you act, Kira, to stop accepting them, and start fighting back?
Major Kira: Vedek - you just don’t understand.
Vedek Yassim: You are right, I don’t. Maybe tomorrow... we will both understand.” (Star Trek Deep Space Nine, 1993)

“Major Kira: People can find a way to justify any action, no matter how evil.
Ziyal: You think my father is evil?
Major Kira: I think - you can’t judge people by what they think or say... only by what they do.” (Star Trek Deep Space Nine, 1993)

And to end with a quote from a martyr whose life and death we celebrate today:
"Let us continue the fight on the day of the Lord. The days of anguish and of tribulation have overtaken us; if God so wills, 'let us die for the holy laws of our fathers,' so that we may deserve to obtain an eternal inheritance with them." -St. Boniface (Borrowed from Facebook Apostles)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Catechism, Apologetics and Catholic Product Reviews: The New Evangelization Inside the family

This is a great and simple blog that emphasizes the role of the familyin Evangelization.  If we want to make a real success with the New Evangelization in the United States the family must be at the center of this missionary mandate.  The family has many different aspects and in the coming weeks I hope to expand on the role of family in evangelization

Catechism, Apologetics and Catholic Product Reviews: The New Evangelization Inside the family: A few years ago I was listening to some program or reading a book about evangelizing within the Church and I discovered that it had never oc...