Fear, doubt, and suspicion have become as much a part of the Catholic experience today as Rosary beads and iconography.
Is this a modernist Catholic, or a traditional Catholic? Is he a traditional Catholic or a Radical Traditionalist? Is that priest orthodox, or left-leaning? Are the people in these pews actually Catholic, or just mass-goers? Is the Synod on the Family going to change Church doctrine?
It can’t be denied that there are real reasons behind these doubts and suspicions and fears. There are those in the Church who just aren’t towing the Catholic line; at least, not the real Catholic line. Instead they’ve created their own denomination of Christianity, while continuing to call it “Catholicism”. Some of them are in the pews. Some are in rectories. Some are in Chanceries. They have confused generations of people—inside, and outside of the Church—as to the nature and character of the Truth Faith.
So make no mistake about it, there are genuine reasons behind the atmosphere of doubt and fear that we find in the Church today; it’s not just paranoia.
But while doubt and suspicion seem, to me, to be fast on the rise—with everyone scrutinizing everyone, and wondering about everyone—I wonder if a spirit of faith is suffering as a result.
Why are we so quick to worry, if we have faith in Jesus Christ? Knowing that all things in time will submit to His holy Will, why are we sometimes fearful? Have we become the products of our environment? The world has mastered the production of the atmosphere of fear. And have we in the Church become the world’s good students? Is this yet another secular virus that has infected the faithful? Where is our faith?
Suspicion comes from doubt and doubt grows where fear grows. Fear is the root. Doubt and suspicion are the poisonous vines that grow from those roots, faithlessness and disloyalty are the fruits of that vine. The Devil is the sower of the seeds of fear. Doubt and suspicion are the vines he uses to choke the life out of the faithful, until the time of the harvest when he plucks them from the Church. If fear is the root, then pride is the soil in which it grows, and ego is the fertilizer that nourishes it.
Faith is a root, too. Our Lord is the sower, and the Church are the fieldworkers. Some of the field workers are lazy. Some secretly do not love their master. Some are villains replacing good seed with diseased seed. And yet some are the heroes who labor tirelessly in the Lord’s vineyard. Hope grows out of faith. Where there is hope and faith there can be no fear or doubt. The faithful, charitable, balanced Catholic is the fruit of those vines. Not just beautiful fruit, but also full of life and zeal.
If we are faithful, then we must meet an atmosphere of fear with an atmosphere of faith. And we must put the faith into action, not simply sit around complying and worrying.
True faith, undoes true faithlessness. If we let modernists define Catholicism, then Catholicism will continue to be modernized. Resist it with true faith, and with an evangelical spirit, letting True Catholicism flow from your mouth, and be put on display by your actions. If we let Radicals define Catholicism, then Catholicism will continue to be split in two; again, and again, and again. Resist it with true faith; be balanced, humble, and loyal to the Church, understanding that Catholicism isn’t simply a mechanism, as the Radicals make it out to be, but it’s also an organism that lives and breathes and grows without changing. If we let those too sensitive or intimidated by a secular agenda, whether it’s a gay agenda, a political agenda, or an agenda of devilry disguised as charity, if we let them define Catholicism, then Catholicism will be nothing more than a lie. A mutant of the Mystical Body. Resist it by being the ones who voice and live the standard of charity that conforms to TRUTH and not to demand, the standard of God, and not the standard of mankind. The standard of the divine character, and not the standard of the character of fallen man. If we live this standard correctly, for the world to see, it’ll be much harder for deceivers to peddle their cheap imitation of the True Faith.