As you know, the last eight months have been totally crazy for the entire world, with Covid and such. There has been a lot of information (and disinformation) flying at us. It’s easy to get totally freaked out and overwhelmed….on an hourly basis.
As a Catholic, the last several years have been a rollercoaster ride. Many scandals have come to light. And when Pope Francis opens his mouth, I am not sure what will come out. When the Holy Father seems to lose his focus on the Kingship of Jesus Christ, this thing happens; the faithful become confused.
A part of me has not wanted to write about any of this, but when I moved my blog to The Parenting Dare, I decided to go all in and write about the FAMILY on a deeper level. (Even though we all need to make supper, I wanted to write about more than The Best Ever Meatloaf.)
I wanted to delve into what makes our families work. I wanted to hold our families up to the light and see their beauty amid the chaos. I wanted to encourage you and me to be intentional and Create a Beautiful Family Culture.
So today, if you don’t mind, I want to be real with you and talk straight about the challenges facing Catholic Christians. I believe it’s important to look unflinchingly at the humanity in the hierarchy and to be at least a bit informed.
Why is that so important? Well, mothers are the heart of the home, the hub. We have children to raise and it is our duty to form them in the truth. To do that well, we need to become centered in the Truth, not in propaganda or watered down truth.
Let’s start with a foundational question: what does it mean to be a Christian?
If you were in a coffee shop with a friend who had not yet heard about Jesus and she asked you, “What does it mean to be Christian?” how would you respond?
It’s a good question.
To be a Christian is not a way of speaking. It’s not a designation that we will “get” one day.
To be a Christian is to be aware of an incredible, life-transforming truth:
The Son of God became Man so we could become children of God.
It’s a knock-your-socks-off truth. By the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, God delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his BELOVED SON. ~Colossians 1:13
As sons and daughters of God the Father, we have His Divine Life in us now. We are heirs of an eternal Kingdom.
This is incredible news. Why? Well, Lori Doerneman’s strength does not rely on the visible expression of Faith in our world today.
So yes, I see the blatant struggles and hypocrisy happening in my Church. And yes, I wonder what the heck is happening. It looks pretty ugly.
Then I read these passages from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
“Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.” CCC 675
“The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.” CCC 677
It seems the CHURCH has to undergo a similar Crucifixion that Jesus went through.
As you know, the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ was pretty ugly and it did not LOOK like Salvation for all of mankind!
And since the Crucifixion did not look like Salvation, I think we can trust that God the Father has a specific plan for what is going on in our world right now.
We can trust in His way. He is a good, good, Father and He knows what He is about.
So let’s do something radical. Let’s not let all of the fear oppress us. Let’s not freak out when our leaders say and do things that are contrary to the Faith.
Let’s not fear the issues facing our government, let’s not freak over the Bill Gates of our world and the power moves they are making.
You and I, as followers of Jesus Christ, were born for such a time as this.
If we believe that, then we must also know that He won’t abandon us. In fact, He is ALWAYS ALWAYS with us, supplying everything we need.
How can I be so sure?
Well, in the Old Testament, there is a POWERFUL story, which has been a continual source of strength for me.
Elisha was a prophet, and he kept meddling in the king of Aram’s business, telling the king of Israel when and where the Aramean army would attack the Israeli army.
Well, the king of Aram wanted to know why every plan he had was outmaneuvered; he was informed that Elisha was a prophet and that he heard every word out of the king’ mouth.
Well, that ticked off the king of Aram and he decided to take Elisha by force, sending horses and chariots to attack him.
Here’s where it gets interesting. When the servant of Elisha saw all of the forces surrounding them, he grew alarmed and wondered what they were to do. Can you imagine his panic? “Um, boss….we have a problem here.”
Elisha was calm and answered with assurance, “Do not be afraid….our side outumbers theirs.”
The servant thought Elisha was on crack (although that is not a precise Biblical translation).
Elisha realized that his servant could not see what he saw so he prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes, that he may see.”
“AND THE LORD OPENED THE EYES OF THE SERVANT, SO THAT HE SAW THE MOUNTAINSIDE FILLED WITH HORSES AND FIERY CHARIOTS AROUND ELISHA.”
Do you get that? There was an ARMY of HEAVENLY ALLIES that OUTNUMBERED the enemy of the king of this world.
(Read this for yourself in 2 Kings 6:13-23.)
Friends, without a doubt, the Catholic Church is going through a terrible time of confusion, with enemies from outside and from within doing and saying some crazy things.
Not only that, but the world as we know it seems to be under siege.
May the Lord open our eyes. The sky all around us is filled with heavenly forces.
Satan cannot win. He just cannot. He does not have the power, even when it seems like he does.
Have confidence in the POWER of Christ. He is our hope. We cannot save ourselves from the mess we’ve made of this world. God is the only way.
Trust in Him.
What that means in practical terms: first, we are called to obedience to the True Magisterium of the Church that Jesus founded.
That doesn’t mean we deny the scandals and sin that are obvious in our Church. It does mean that we know our Church is Divine. And we work with God to fight the forces of evil, praying and sacrificing for our leaders.
Pray especially for our priests. I love priests. I love the priests we have in the Wichita diocese. I love the priests that are in the Lincoln diocese (where I was raised). I’m sure you have your favorites, too. Priests bring us Jesus. They bring us blessing. They bring us life. PRAY FOR PRIESTS.
Remember this massive truth: the CATHOLIC CHURCH has always been sustained with the supernatural power found in humility, prayer, hidden acts of kindness, fasting and sacrifice.
As you and I pray and sacrifice, something happens within us. And that is the gift. It is always about conversion, as we leave our fear behind and put all of our trust in the One who loves us.
P.S. Our Lady has stated that many of the faithful will be led astray by wolves dressed as lambs. This is also stated in Scripture: “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them.” ~Acts 20:29-30.
I don’t know about you, but I am super duper trusting. If someone says something, I believe it. Unfortunately, not everyone speaks the truth. (That’s the whole wolf/lamb thing.) I had to stop and assess if it was prudent for me to know more. I decided several months ago that yes, I should probably get a bit more educated, especially since I love to talk and write about my faith!
The bad news, there are a lot of rabbit holes and Lori Doerneman has gone down many of them.
The good news, you don’t have to do that.
Here are some of my favorite resources:
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