From emails and conversations I have had, I am aware that there are a good number of conservative Catholics who are confused, bewildered and distressed by the current state of affairs in our country and in our church.
They see the disastrous presidential candidates our system has produced and they wonder what on earth is going on. They see the violence in the streets, the threat of jihadist terrorists, the looming financial crisis and the church in which they felt secure (a church dominated by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict) being “reformed” by a pope they do not understand and do not trust.
What’s to be done? Well here are ten suggestions for finding stability in a turbulent world.
- Regarding Politics – for heaven’s sake, stop obsessing about the presidential election. The terrible candidates we have should remind us that the majority of politicians are lying crooks and always have been. Why are you surprised? The transparently awful characters we have running for the White House should remind us that we don’t put our trust in princes. Instead we serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Lift your sights higher and focus on the Kingdom of God, not the kingdom of this world. If we have a terrible president who despises the Catholic faith how is that any different from what we have usually had (with a few notable exceptions)
- Regarding Islam – Use common sense. We all know that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, ordinary people who only want to follow their religion and culture in peace. We should distinguish between the religion of Islam and the Jihadist terrorists. They are the enemy and we should be clear about that, but we should not fall into the trap of scapegoating all Muslims. Is the Islamic religion abhorrent to you? Be at peace. It’s not your battle. Christ has overcome the world. He will eventually prevail.
- Regarding Abortion – Abortion is a terrible, horrible evil. Are we likely to see a reversal of Roe v Wade in the United States any time soon? Probably not, but we can continue to pray and work towards pro life solutions at the local level. We can work to restrict abortions, close abortion clinics, and most of all we can work to support women in crisis pregnancies, families who have chosen to adopt, we can choose to help the poor who often choose abortion, we can help the children and the needy. All of these are ways to make a pro life difference while we still work and pray to eliminate abortion completely.
- Regarding Pope Francis – Many conservative Catholics are troubled by Pope Francis. They think he is a textbook 1970s liberal. He’s not. Take time to understand his context and background from Argentina. Read this post to put things into perspective. Get to know the man and pray for him. It is ok to disagree with him and question his judgement. He’s not infallible all the time you know, but you can do so with an open heart and a desire to understand and be with him and learn from him. What’s the alternative? You set yourself up as the judge of the Holy Father? Hmmm. There’s not much mileage in that now is there?
- Regarding Cafeteria Catholics – Are you maddened by so called “devout Catholics” who openly endorse same sex marriage, women priests and are “pro choice”? Join the club. They annoy me too. Are you also annoyed by the bishops and priests who take the same view? I’m with you. However, remember that the Catholic Church is universal. We’re not a sect where everyone agrees. We’re inclusive and that’s why we’re Catholic. The Church has always had dissidents, rebels and downright bad Catholics. Have you ever read the Old Testament or taken a close look at the twelve apostles? The saints and sinners are all in together. The weeds and the wheat, the goat and the sheep are mixed. Jesus will sort it out one day, and stop for a moment and ask yourself, are you a perfect saint yet? I’m not. I’m still learning and growing and repenting. So I guess we must offer the mercy (and benefit of the doubt) to others that we would wish to receive. Continue Reading