College Students: Called to be Courageous

Our own bishop has given a wonderful speech to students at Notre Dame in South Bend, where he and many others recognize that the future of pro-life lies with college age Catholics.  Here’s a few of our favorite excerpts from Catholic News Agency:

South Bend, Ind., Apr 9, 2011 / 07:10 am CNA/EWTN News.- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver encouraged a gathering of pro-life University of Notre Dame students to be courageous in fighting for their beliefs and to always remember what being Catholic really means.

“(W)e need to learn that not from the world; not from the tepid and self-satisfied; and not from the enemies of the Church, even when they claim to be Catholic; but from the mind and memory of the Church herself, who speaks through her pastors,” he said in an April 8 speech at the university.

Referring to the real presense of Satan, the Archbishop warned students of:

” . . . works in the present to capture our hearts and steal our future. But he also attacks our memory; the narrative of our own identity.”  This is because our memory of history conditions our thoughts and choices in our daily lives.

Archbishop Chaput encouraged his audience to participate in politics, saying, “Christ never absolved us from defending the weak, or resisting evil in the world, or from solidarity with people who suffer.”

Catholics cannot exclude their religious beliefs from guiding their political behavior, because God sees that this “duplicity” is a kind of cowardice. This lack of courage wounds Christians’ individual integrity and also discourages others who try to witness publicly to their faith. Christians should act on their beliefs always with humility, charity and prudence, but also always with courage, he emphasized.

“We need to fight for what we believe,” he said. “Nothing we do to defend the human person, no matter how small, is ever unfruitful or forgottenOur actions touch other lives and move other hearts in ways we can never fully understand in this world.  Don’t ever underestimate the beauty and power of the witness you give in your pro-life work.”

As he encouraged students, as the future of the Universal Church in America,  to remember abortion as “the foundational human rights issue of our lifetime,” he added:

“We can’t simultaneously serve the poor and accept the legal killing of unborn children. We can’t build a just society, and at the same time legally sanctify the destruction of generations of unborn human life,” he added. . .

Science and technology are “enormously powerful tools” but they can undermine human dignity just as easily as they can advance human progress.

“Virtue does matter,” the archbishop said as he finished his talk.  “Courage and humility, justice and perseverance, do have power.  Good does win.  And the sanctity of human life will endure.”

Our diocese is very fortunate to have Archbishop Chaput as our spiritual leader.  Please remember him in your prayers.

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