I’m not too concerned about getting the Catholic religion up to date for people.
That’s because the Catholic religion transcends time.
Oh yes, we can tinker with this and that, use modern methods of communication and so forth, but no sense tinkering with the religion itself.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Sure we can tinker with how we help people, we can try to do better where we’ve failed as humans.
Why do we want to reform the Catholic religion when we can’t reform ourselves?
Like the portly prophet said, “The Catholic religion has not been tried and found wanting, it has not been tried.”
For those who want to change the Catholic religion itself I’d say, “Take a look at the Episcopalians and Lutherans. Look how much good updating Christianity has done for them”
For that matter I’d say, “Take a look at our own Catholic religion. Has updating it boosted our numbers, filled our seminaries, choked our religious houses with new vocations, sparked a new missionary effort to convert the world?”
I don’t think so.
So I’m dubious about any high minded plans to update the religion.
As I see it the only reason this religion is still here after 2000 years is because we’ve resisted the temptation to update it according to the Spirit of the Age.
This is why the Catholic Church is so authentic, because in every age it has been subversive. It has been the enemy of the Spirit of the Age in every age. Read your history.
That’s why when Catholics stand up to the Spirit of the Age I’m encouraged because that’s what Catholics do.
Whenever I hear people whining and complaining and saying, “We need to be more accommodating. We need to be more understanding. We need to listen more. We need to dialogue with the Spirit of the Age” Well, that’s when I begin to smell a rat or maybe not a rat, but a snake.
Of course we must be gentle and kind and loving and compassionate and merciful.
But we must also have some backbone and know what the truth is and teach it with passion, intelligence, compassion, common sense and a good dose of humor.
So Gimme the Ole Time Religion.
We don’t need a new religion, we just need to do the old one better than it has ever been done before.
People say the Catholic religion is irrelevant and out of date.
It has always been irrelevant and out of date in the world’s terms.
It has also been irrelevant whenever it becomes no more than a set of rules and regulations or it becomes a do-gooder ideology.
That’s not a religion. It’s a set of table manners.
When the ole time religion is lived out with a radical radiance it is suddenly the most vital and relevant thing imaginable.
I mean a religion that gets me ready for a better place before it tells me to make this world a better place.
I mean a religion that is more concerned for the eternal salvation of souls than the salvation of the planet.
I mean a religion that is thronged with saints and angels and the host of heaven, a religion unashamed of miracles and answers to prayer, a religion that is relevant because it heals bodies, saves souls and reaches out to rescues the perishing and save the dying.
I mean a religion that demands all and give all, a religion that calls young and old alike to give all to follow the master.
When individuals live out this faith with fire in their heart, prayer on their lips, love in their actions and intelligence in their minds it is the most exciting and relevant human life possible.
We don’t need a new religion.
We need to live the old one as we’ve never done before.