“It is impossible to deny the crisis of division and widespread confusion that characterizes the Church in our day. Nor can anyone who loves the Church ignore the strong theological undercurrents that Dr. Martin identifies in his book, currents that try to separate what cannot be legitimately divided: pastoral charity from revealed truth.”Bishop Scott McCaig, C.C. Military Ordinary of Canada -As a review for the book: A Church in Crisis, Pathways Forward
Bishop McCaig is right.
We cannot deny the crisis of division & widespread confusion that exists in our Church today.
Some would say “to question this” is a lack of obedience.
I would counter to say that “to not question” what goes against Scripture & Church doctrine is a complete lack of trust in God.
Because God is not a liar.
I have always been a rule-follower. I also consider myself to be extremely obedient; especially within the teachings of the Church, and I plan to continue living my life in this very same manner.
However, to deny that I and countless other faithful Catholics – nay Christians – are not confused would be a flagrant lie.
And remember: I. Hate. Lies.
I am not looking to enter into the active discussion over any one specific example contributing to the widespread confusion, (of which sadly there are many.) After all, there are many many wonderful articles and blog-posts which offer the wisdom I cannot bring to the discussion. Here are just a few:
I write today instead to encourage each one of us, who find themselves in this troubling time in our Faith, to remember the HOPE which still exists.
The Hope that will always remain if we simply keep our eyes upon Him.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.Colossions 3: 1-4
To remain in Hope or to keep our eyes upon Him does not mean put your head in the sand! It does not mean ignore those who are fighting the good fight! It simply means to remember at the end of the day, after gathering all the information you need and the passionate emotions have calmed down, we once again place our trust in HIM.
Moreover, I read a wonderful book recently which was the best encouragement I needed to do so!
Dr. Martin’s book is filled with a plethora of information on the former & current climate of our Church. My copy of the book is now littered with highlighted and underlined nuggets of wisdom which have really helped to clarify and process for myself the over-whelming confusion I’ve had to navigate through. But here’s my Reader’s Digest version of what I’ve whittled down my take-away to be: a.) continue to keep myself informed b.) remember that the truth is always within the scriptures & doctrine and c) continue to ask God to deliver me from fear of men and fill me with the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Spoiler alert: the following excerpt comes near the very end of the book with Emphasis added by me.
Let’s ask God to set us aflame that we may all become “apostles of the last days,” filled with zeal for the holiness of God’s house, filled with love for our fellow human beings, filled with fire to preach the Gospel with our lives and words, ready to accept and suffer opposition, more concerned to be faithful to Jesus than to be popular among people. I know that as we fervently ask God to deliver us from fear of men and fill us with the prophetic Spirit of his Son, he will do so. And as we rise up with a new boldness and courage, more and more under the control of the Spirit, others will be inspired to join us. Together we can be used by God like the Maccabees of old to rally the fearful, fanning the dying embers of faith into strong flames and allowing Jesus to be more and more our Lord, and Lord of his Church.
He is with us! He is risen! And he’s the same, yesterday, today, and forever!Ralph Martin – A Church in Crisis, Pathways Forward
hugs n’ blessings for all those seeking to cry out in radiant joy, Maranatha!
Come Lord Jesus! Come!