If you think religion is hard in our American secularized culture, try being Catholic! That was the basis of a great homily we heard this morning from Father S, who shared an unfortunate anecdote about rude behavior in a supermarket he’d experienced, and tied it into the readings for today on the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, Gospel of St. Matthew (5:3-10):
- Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
- Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
- Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
- Blessed are the clean of heart: they shall see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
- Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are you when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:
In his homily, Father S makes a very valid point: “get use to it!” The fact is that publicly proclaiming your Catholicism is not easy today. In our Protestant country, we need to be firm in our Faith in order to help to affect positive and moral based influence. We should be charitable while affirming who we are when faced with anti-Catholicism, anti-life, or anti-religion. Easy to say and hard to do – but it must be done.
Toward that end, Fr. Dwight has an excellent rant on his blog today regarding the “The Smoke of Satan” within our Church today. Father blames the “modernist re-interpretation of the Catholic faith” by many of the Church’s very own priests for allowing Satan to rearrange and change our Faith, which has continued for several generations now. Fr. Dwight posits that Satin has changed minds within the Church through our intellectualism and elitism to believing that:
“the supernatural was assumed to be impossible and therefore the Bible stories (and also any supernatural elements of the faith) had to be ‘de-mythologized.’ Everything supernatural within the Biblical account and within the lives of the saints and within the teaching of the church were assumed to be impossible and had to be ‘re-interpreted’ so they would make sense to modern, scientifically minded people.”
Our culture here in western American, where the deer and the antelope play, is to always judge a man by his word, and his word is his contract. Of course, we have the normal legal eagle activity that seems to be active in any business environment, but the fact remains that much agricultural related business, in the thousands of dollars, is conducted here simply on a handshake and a verbal agreement. A man’s word is his bond.
And has Father Longenecker relates, that simply is no longer the case for many priests in our Church – that for two to three generations, they now will say the Creed without believing it. They’ve out-thunk themselves to the point that they no longer know what to believe.
All because being Catholic is hard.
Cowboy Papist expects that this image presented by Father Longenecker regarding his fellow priests is not the norm. But then again, we’ve been to a few Masses that were highly suspect as to it’s validity. However, there are priests today, like Father S, Fr. Dwight, and Fr. Z, there is strong indications that the positive and moral based influence is having an effect. Right now, for the good of our Church.
Yes, it’s hard to be Catholic; if it was easy, everyone would do it. Because Christ calls us to be his disciples, we simply must get use to it.