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Happy Canada Day everyone. I hope this July 1, 2022, will be the beginning of a fun-filled weekend for you all.
Today, as I go a little deeper than usual this month, I am excited to share with you a new “claim” out there and let you ponder its validity yourselves.
As we all continue to follow the distressing world news on topics like US politics, the war between Ukraine and Russia, the talk of new Covid 19 sub-variants, mass shootings, obscure US gun laws, the effects of extreme weather patterns throughout the world, I want to tie in these cultural issues to a claim that we often hear in our culture today about the Catholic church.
These deeper than usual “food for thought” reflections I am sharing with you are for each of us to discern personally these simple truths in our lives that may speak to our individual hearts and to decide if they make sense to each of us distinctively.
So this month’s claim is this: “The church must move out of the pre-modern era, and embrace the current state of knowledge, of science and society.”
Actually, science doesn’t tell us anything about the morality of human actions. So let me ask you this. Does the church need to get with the times? Dr. Mary Healy says, that the moment that she does get with the times, she stops being the church. The sign, the sacrament, the breaking of the Kingdom of God, of Jesus Christ, the son of God, who came to give us life, eternal life.
Do we really want a church that looks like the world? Do we really want a church that simply accommodates itself to the prevailing winds of the culture? What kind of a church is that? Who wants a humanly invented church? Doesn’t anybody who is honest, want a church that is actually speaking the truth that comes from God? In season, or out of season, whether it’s politically correct or not? Whether people like it or not? Only that can be the authentic church.
So, doesn’t it only make sense that Catholic bishops, priests and lay people proclaim the undiluted truth of the Gospel, not a gospel that is accommodated to the world, or subordinated to worldly values? Or that apologizes to the world for not being to its liking.
Dr. Healy goes on to say that the true gospel is revolutionary. The true gospel offers authentic freedom and actual authority over our passions that can seem so powerful. The true gospel offers us what God alone can provide, the fulfillment of our deepest desires, if we trust Him.
Consider what St. Paul says in Ephesians: “This I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds, they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from their life of God, because of their ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart that is in them.” They’ve become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ.
Perhaps people in our culture don’t see what God is doing, because we are self-reliant. Perhaps we don’t think we need Him. So what do we as a people tend to do? We walk away from Him and turn to other idols. Money, material possessions, casual sex, and addictions, to name a few. Perhaps that’s when we become spiritually blind, deaf and stubborn. We haven’t turned to Him, we haven’t sought Him. That’s often when people make a lot of mistakes, and suffer a lot because of their mistakes and self-reliant attitudes.
Often, their suffering can then lead people back to God, and there comes a day when some will be humbled. It is only then, that God can change their hearts and folks can come to know Him and love Him with all their hearts and souls. That is often the turning point when finally some folks will see and hear it, and then get it. Get what He’s done for them, with gratitude and humility, and then they will be able to respond to Him with wholehearted love.
I think that in today’s fallen and confused world, as we watch the world news and can step back and observe political and world leaders who have ruled through self-reliant attitudes and ambitions, it’s still important for us to pray. To beg the Lord to pour out His mercy on sometimes a confused church and world.
We can beg the Lord for purity in our thoughts, our words and our deeds. If we can each change where we have all fallen and trust in the Lord, then He will purify His church, each one of us, and our society. Then He will renew His church and each of us who trust in Him. He will enable the gospel to resound once again, loud and clear to a world that so desperately needs to hear it.
There you go, folks. A little more food for thought this month for all of you to ponder. Enjoy your Canada Day celebrations. MJ.xo


Program Facilitator

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A program of spiritual friendship and healing for separated and divorced catholics

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