The Devil has duped God's people. Somewhere along the way we lost our story for the most part and the Devil has so distorted virtue and goodness that many of us now seem to perceive vice as good and honorable. No virtue has been abused and distorted more than the greatest of all the virtues, and that is Love. Most of us really don't have a clue what true love really is and what it really means. We are so caught up and addicted to our feelings and sentimental notions of love that the real concept of Love gets lost. Sure, there is an element to love that involves feelings and sentiment, but this experience of love is of a more superficial and lower level than the kind of Love the Christ calls us to.
True Love does not equal Nice, and it doesn't make us feel all warm and tingly inside. It might not even make us happy. As a matter of fact, true love is going to make us downright uncomfortable, for both the giver and receiver. Love is sacrificial, it costs us dearly, and honestly it should make us uncomfortable. True love is demanding and it is NOT self seeking, which is why so many of us defy the true reality of what this virtue is and instead follow Satan's version of it, which is selfish, lustful and seeped with pride. True love is going to challenge us, and it is going to hurt.
What does true love look like, well it reeks of the TRUTH, even when the Truth is not popular and might hurt someone's feelings. True love is going to threaten earthly ideologies and philosophies. It is going to go against the norms of society. Love is action, love is obeying God at all cost. This obedience might cost us our livelihood, as we see with so many business owners who refuse to celebrate sodomy and sin, it might also cost us relationships with friends and family, as the intolerance of Christianity widens and vilifies. It might even cost us our lives, both literally as in death, as it has cost the lives of so many holy and righteous martyrs throughout the ages, or it might just cost us the life that we thought we wanted for ourselves. The kind of lives that the world says is desirable. Jesus never pulled any punches when he spoke about this type of Love and the obedience to the Father's will that it requires. Jesus was not nice when it came to the requirements of being his disciple. He spoke often of the narrow road that leads to eternal life with Him and the broad road that leads to Hell. He spoke more about Hell than he ever did about Heaven as a matter of fact. Why do you think that is?
Jesus knew what we were up against. He knew how easily swayed and fooled we would become when vice and vulgarity would be shoved in our faces and down our throats, he knew how cunning and effective the lies of Satan would be, and they haven't disappointed, they have been more terrible and persuasive than any of us could ever imagine, because many of us are so caught up in this deception right now and we can't or won't even try to recognize it.
Is there any wonder why so many are leaving the church, especially the young. We have Catholic schools celebrating Gay Pride month and "Same Sex Marriage. I know personally of a local area Catholic High School teacher who took his students to a protestant church and re-baptized them himself. Our local Catholic college just had Father James Martin come and speak. I see posts from Catholic teachers frequently celebrating horoscopes and grown Catholic adults who where educated in "Catholic" institutions espousing the idea that we become angels when we die. We have become and continue to be so ignorant of our Faith that we don't stand a chance against the evil genius of Satan. So many of our clergy are too afraid to speak of Truth and are so imbedded in scandal that there is really no way out for them, not without sacrificing everything, which is exactly what Christ demands. That right there says it all. We sleep in and attend soccer games instead of attending our weekly Sunday obligation of Mass, we are too busy to pray, and we deny the authority given to the Church, and I mean the only Church the One, True, Holy and Apostolic Catholic Church, by Christ himself. There is a school in Indiana right now, right up the road from me, that is thumbing their nose at the Bishop of that Archdiocese who has taken the brave step of proclaiming them unable to label themselves a Catholic School, because they will not cancel the contract of teacher carrying out a very public same sex marriage. An act that violates his legal contract, and evidently most Catholics are giving this Archbishop grief! We should be supporting and celebrating Bishops who stand for Truth, God knows there aren't many who will! But of course why would so many of do this, when we turn our liturgies into happy clappy events that celebrate us instead of God the Almighty Father and Creator of the Universe. We go to God and Jesus to feel good, not to praise, thank and subordinate ourselves to the the one who made EVERYTHING there is and who gives us our every breath.
So why in the world would we be eager to embrace a notion of love the involves self-sacrifice and the Cross. It is much easier to be nice isn't it. Nice means we can be tolerant, I mean Jesus was nice right, he ate and hung out with sinners, didn't he? Well, he did, but those sinners that actually embrace Christ and all he requires were and are transformed by Him, and most of them died brutal deaths because of that Love and devotion, and those of us doing the now, may meet that same fate. At the very least that transformation leads us into leading lives much different than we thought we might before that transformation.
Don't be fooled. Christ IS NOT tolerant of sin and he will let those who want to embrace what is easy and nice walk away. If you don't believe me, check out John chapter 6, verse 66. Jesus stood behind hard teachings even when everyone but the 12 walked away. He was so focused and steadfast on what he came to do, that He would have even let those 12 walk away. Think about what would have happened if those twelve didn't stay. Who would have proclaimed His mission, who would have established His Church? Yet, he left it up to them. He straight out asked them if they would leave as well, and if they wanted to, He would have let them, just like he let so many others leave and lets so many leave today. It is incredible because these people knew Him, lived with him and witnessed his miracles! Yet, if we are true disciples we should know him, live with him, and witness his miracles as well. Jesus during his time on Earth let many leave him. The most obvious being Judas. We all have the option of being Judas, and many of us are taking that option. Judas didn't realize he was a traitor at the time either, he soon though found out, and so will many of us.