3 Threats To & Opportunities For The Church
Sometimes the same things that threaten us are also opportunities, if we have the eyes of faith to see them that way. Think of how Jesus approached the threats to His ministry. He didn't avoid them, he tried to change them.
1 - Contraceptive Mentality - This is the idea that sex is for pleasure alone and it is whatever we want it to be. Therefore, sex is not for making babies or for bringing two spouses together. It is purely a selfish act of fulfilling a 'need', not a giving of self to another. This mentality is tearing apart our culture. It happens when sex between two people becomes about me rather than you. It happens when pornography entangles someone in it's snare. It leads to such things as abortion as a backup when contraception fails and the idea that lust can't be controlled.
The opportunity is found in the Church's teachings. This mentality ultimately leads to misery and emptiness. The Church has hope and life in her teachings on sexuality, relationships, marriage, family, and chastity. So, we must teach, proclaim, form, and educate our culture in these teachings as an antidote to the contraceptive mentality.
2 - Same-sex Marriage - The family is the fundamental building block of human society. In fact, because of the natural ability to procreate, marriage is the very source of life and even the future of our world. The role of the government is to promote the common good. So, promoting relationships which re-define marriage harms children (the future of our society) and is a failure to promote the common good. Marriage isn't just about the romance and feelings between two people. There are serious social consequences. Traditional marriage is the foundation of the values that govern life in our society and therefore the core social unit of society itself.
Many times Catholics are told we are bigots when we speak out to support traditional marriage. This isn't the case. But, we are going to have to change hearts on this issue one person at a time. First we must become more informed on the social consequences of such radical ideas. Then we need to speak out, vote, and influence others. Don't forget to do it with kindness, love, and courage - covered in prayer.
3 - HHS Mandate - I know many Catholics are very worried this is the merely the first step of suppressing religious freedom and it may be. If a right is granted by the state, it can be taken away by the state. Rights are above the government. This is why the power of our government was purposefully limited by the Constitution: to prevent oppression — ESPECIALLY religious oppression.
Yet, the Church has an unprecedented opportunity before it. Never before have the Bishops in the USA been as united as they are today. They clearly understand the threat that the current policy is to all people of faith. They are speaking with one voice, but we must also speak with them. This is not just a fight for our Bishops to face without us. We must reach out to others who support us - Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, etc. and see them for what they are - allies in the culture wars, not enemies.
The Catholic Church faces a culture of religious apathy, relativism, utilitarianism, and needs bold and holy Catholics as a response. This is our opportunity to make things better!
The Catholic Church has the answer for all the world's problems in the fullness of truth and the fullness of grace she offers to the world. The Church gives us a moral anchor, an answer to broken families, addiction, sin, war, violence, abuse, and all the other issues in our culture.
More than ever the world needs the Catholic Church, if our culture is to last. This answer is the personal relationship with Jesus that the Catholic Church offers to us all through the Sacramental grace, teachings of the Church, and in our own personal prayer we all need.
Jesus created one Church. We are that Church, the Catholic Church. If the world needs the Catholic Church, then the Church needs saints. We need to be holy if we are to change the world.
Holiness is the key. Holiness is the answer.