A problem that has plagued me for a long time is the fact of so many turning away from God. It didn’t happen yesterday, and the tenets of its tentacles have reached deeply into the very essence of the Church; the Mystical Body of Christ. As most parents remember, the tireless hours of getting our children to catechism classes if not already in a Parochial School. It was important then and just as imperative now to have them receive the Sacraments of the Church. It was and still is the Tradition of Holy Mother Church. Has something changed? O for sure the baptisms are number one and we dare not waver from that. But, what happens when our children fight to attend Confirmation classes? The decry is “I can’t go today; did you forget I have football or band practice, or all my friends are attending a school play.” “Anyway, I can get through the questions the Bishop will ask at Confirmation, and isn’t that all I need?” Sound familiar?
Let’s face it, we are not living in the time of St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assisi, and many others who gave us reasons to follow God through the Roman Catholic Church. Or are we? These saints lived through sacrifice, criticism, and many doubters to pave a path for us to walk. We need more saints like that. Today it is not uncommon for newly confirmed children to stop attending classes in Mystagogy and even worse dropping out of Mass. They reappear when marriage is their next agenda.
Move ahead to the current dilemma we face; empty pews, once staunch Catholics looking for other religions, or none at all, and excuses that leave many of us who remain in wonder and dismay. Are these dissatisfied Catholics becoming fodder for anti-God proponents? Listen to some of the outcries; “do away with “In God we trust”, The Pledge of Allegiance should not contain “Under God” following “One Nation”. “Prayer in schools? Are you kidding?” “A woman has a right to what happens to her body”. “Let them work for food, I did and will not adhere to pubic welfare” “The Ten Commandments or the Creche at Christmas on public land, remove them,” On and on go the very words that defy God and His simple words of Love.
Take a good look at what we have inherited; our local community, the state we live in, and the very country our forefathers fought to secure with the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and the Blood of martyrs. If we remain stoic waiting for someone else to change the path of society each of us will remain as that; waiting and becoming recipients of a world gone awry with no positive return. Our forefathers didn’t wait and neither did many saints of our Church. God never meant for us to be puppets waiting for the puppeteer to pull the strings. Silence is an ever-growing evil that if left to its own feeding frenzy will encompass the very freedoms we have and like a cocoon will smother our God-given rights. Stand up and be counted. Teaching our children to love their country and their Church as well are two reasons to follow God, his Church, and to support the rights of all. Two documents that do support this idea; The Pledge of Allegiance and the Apostles Creed. Read them both and see how there is duplicity of faith and support of country and church.
Ralph B. Hathaway, January 2020