This past Thursday evening I began a series of presentations for Adult Religious Education titled “Let’s Be Catholic!” Why? Aren’t we already Catholic?
I think that one of the big reasons for these sessions is to remind ourselves that our faith in Jesus Christ is stronger and larger than the scandals of clergy sexual abuse of minors and the cover-ups by bishops. These offensive and sinful criminal acts deserve our contempt, and the perpetrators and their accomplices (I use the word advisedly) should be dealt with. But finally, these people (even if the mediators to us of our faith) are not the basis of our faith.
To explore topics like Jesus as “myth” or the pseudo-conflict between creation and evolution or how/when we are “saved” or to grasp the full impact of the “Communion of Saints” or the reality/nature of purgatory or the need for a pope is healthy and helpful for us all—if only to remind us. Samuel Johnson in the 18th century wisely said that people rarely need to be taught so much as to be reminded. That’s what we’ll be doing.
The good news (pun intended!) is that for those who cannot or will not drive at night, you can live-stream the presentations through the Our Savior Facebook page (or access them later, on demand). You can’t do Q &A from your home the way you could if you were here, but you can follow the questions of those who are here (perhaps they are asking questions you’d want to ask).
It is very easy to reject the Message because of the compromised quality of the messenger. That’s the danger we’re facing today. It’s a danger that the Church has faced historically far too many times (as I tried to highlight in last weekend’s bulletin essay). But in times of darkness, saints of light are raised up for us: not so much that we must imitate them, but that we can be inspired by them. Think of St Francis of Assisi or St Dominic; think of St Ignatius Loyola or St Francis Xavier; think of St Teresa of Avila or St John of the Cross; think of St Vincent de Paul and St Louise de Marillac or St Francois de Sales and St Jane de Chantal; think of St Teresa of Calcutta or St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. They are with us; they are faithful witnesses; they point us to the Truth even when others (more fully charged to do so) fail…
I hope to see many folks at the evening sessions, either in person or “virtually” by our streaming. I hope the sessions will solidify you in your desire to be fully, completely, dynamically Catholic. And I hope your presence, your questions, and your enthusiasm will inspire me to do and be the same.