THOUGHTS ON THE CATHOLIC FAITH NO. 4
(Fr J. O’Neill, P.P., S.T.B)
Christianity was founded by a hero, a Divine Hero. Heroism was essential to start it; heroism is essential to keep it going. Heroism is in the essence of Christianity, and is, therefore, called for in the Christian. There are plenty of words of the Divine Founder to show us He wants us to be heroes: “ Take up your cross...he who loses his life for my sake finds it...unless the grain of wheat dies...”
Heroes go straight to heaven when they die, and we are all invited to be heroes in these times when false disciples are rushing through the garden that is the Church, to kiss the Master whom they betray with their false teaching and self-centred practice.
What is a hero? A hero is one who gives himself to the cause, no matter what the consequences to himself might be: one who is prepared, like Paul, to “suffer the loss of everything that he might gain Christ.”
In the context of the worldwide civil war in the Church, the base white flag has been hoisted on nearly all fronts:
ecclesiastical authority, from parish level upwards, largely has joined the Duke of Plaza Toro, who “led his regiment from behind,” seeming not to know where to go, nor how to redirect those going nowhere;
theology and scriptural scholarship largely have caved in to false science and reconstructed history, the deception having infiltrated our texts and our teaching organs;
liturgy largely had collapsed by shifting its foundation from the action of Christ to the ambitions of would-be performers;
religious life has all but disappeared, many religious having become an ever-decreasing, habit less, confused disarray of disconnected individuals;
family life is dying from the lack of the fresh air of prayer and sacrifice, the “cars not kids” philosophy of happiness well- entrenched behind the protective wall of contraception;
aping of political parties, feminist movements, green movements and public service has suffocated apostolic zeal and destroyed the language of the Church;
-just to mention some of the symptoms of a society in its death throes, dragging much of the Church membership and organization with it (or vice versa!).
So we need a few heroes! Can we get them? Yes, if we can still find people who are afraid of nothing except the loving face of Christ having to reject them for cowardice and the lack of faith which produces it; if we can find people who know that the only thing, really, that can hurt a human being is sin, and therefore stand ready to hurl aside what others might think of them as they stand up for the real Christ.
We need bishops who will not be afraid of their theologians and their bureaucrats and their clergy, priests who will not be afraid of their committees (and better still, dare to have none, except the canonical ones!), religious who are not afraid to lose themselves in the obscurity of true religious life, parents who have enough trust in Christ’s words to “seek first the kingdom” and so receive “all the rest,” having children, surviving on one wage (dad’s!) - in all, Church members at all levels who will do fearlessly what Christ wants, which can be known still, even in this age of stupidity.
I know plenty of heroes, but we need plenty more. Christ deserves them. If only the self-seekers and the trend-junkies knew the key to the realms of genuine joy! John the Baptist has it: “He must increase, I must decrease.”
Father John O'Neill
17 Cameron Street, Doonside NSW 2767 Australia
Ph: +61 (2) 9622 3426
Fax: +61 (2) 9622 3376
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