Take a moment and view the world from the perspective of an alien and what will you see? Peace and harmony, faith and hope, a place so inviting you’d move here in a flash. Not likely. Signs of abortion are flooding our streets. Police action is rampant and shootings are commonplace. Children no longer eagerly attend school, and trust of our government is buried somewhere.
These might appear negative when we always accentuate the positive. Yet, in a realistic sense we know the above is not so far away from the neighborhoods we dwell in or one step from becoming part of its environs.
Not too many years past the Church was the force where people could look to as the gel to hold politics and social entities together. A place where respect and admiration seemed to make sense and no one dared to deny that God was the strength of our faith, the reason to belong, and the very essence of community beliefs.
Somewhere the relativeness of God and church attendance has dwindled in such staggering dimensions that one has to look into a crystal ball to find an answer to such diminished activity. Perhaps that crystal ball, being an antidote for superstition, is in front of us, but we don’t see its relevance.
Have we, as a general populace, given up on God? Are we now looking to New-age philosophies to guide us since much of the “Faith of our Fathers” has gone awry and we have lost our way as “Poor little lambs”?
My answer is the Church is here, stronger than ever and waiting to welcome those who have given up back to the Days of Old. There are men whom God is still calling to the priesthood, and those already serving the flock who stand with open arms welcoming anyone who have doubts or trepidations to the Eucharist and Reconciliation, back to the faith.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is not just a thing conferred on men but the Grace of God sending forth men to bring God’s blessings and Grace to those who are called to His Table of Eucharist and Forgiveness.
This is why the priesthood stands as a vital pathway to God through those to whom Much has been given. No bishop, priest, or deacon can remain exempt from the accountability of their responsibility that Holy Orders puts upon them. We knew, once we had hands laid upon us, that this was an awesome choice that would be upon us for life. Our dedication to God and His church (the people) remain as something each of us takes seriously. For that reason alone the flock should feel at peace when confronting those of us who have accepted our role as ordained clerics.
Each level or Holy Orders has its own duty, but all have an obligation to the people for promoting faith in God. My hope is that in some small way each of us is able to reach the flock and in a larger way allow it to spread to the community, the nation, and the world. It must be the Church that reaches to a fallen world and brings the “Faith of our Fathers” back to a realistic time of prayer and trust in God.
Let this be a call to those of us who are ordained, and to every person in the pews an open arm embracing the Holy Trinity and the Church; becoming whole, Holy, and enduring in a world of doubt and suspicion. Remember the words of Jesus: “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church” Mt. 16: 18.
Ralph B.Hathaway October 2018