On Being a True Catholic

This fantastic homily by Fr. John Ehrich this past weekend is a call to arms for Catholics who have been living outside the Faith or ashamed of living it fully. Fr. Ehrich discusses St. John’s admonition that we are liers if we say that we know Christ–if we say we are Catholic–and we do not follow His–or the Church’s–commandments.

Listen here (especially after the eight-minute mark).0270

I meet people all the time who are “Catholic, but.” That is, they are “Catholic,” but they think abortion is okay. They are “Catholic,” but they think the Holy Father is out-of-date and out-of-touch. They are “Catholic,” but they do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

I suspect that these people do more damage to the Church than anyone from outside. And what will be the result? Cardinal Ratzinger hypothesized in his Salt of the Earth that we would see a decline in the overall members of the Church (at least in the West), but that where people remained in the Church, they would be a strong and vibrant example of what it is to live as a Catholic.

I’m not sure that is such a bad thing. A smaller, more devoted, more “authentic,” a group more representative of the Church’s teachings would be a very attractive thing. It would allow those of us who try to live out our faith to have some community with other like-minded Catholics, and it would be immensely attractive to others outside the Church as it once was in the past. Many churches today have RCIA programs that do not attract individuals. The institutional weight has changed to individual encounters with Christ and the Church that lead to a process of conversion. But how wonderful it would be to see the Church in all its fullness, welcoming new members each year who believe what the Church does, and who are welcomed into a community that believes the same things.

Let us rededicate ourselves this day to living out the fullness of our Faith. Let us walk without fear into a culture that is against us, and let us proclaim openly to those who have fallen away that they may return and experience the beauty of the Church’s teachings.

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One thought on “On Being a True Catholic

  1. It is not for man to dicide who is and who is not Chatholic,
    That would be considered a judgement and therfor would be in violations with the basic principales of christianity. Christianity is a vision of god saw through mans eyes and felt through mans heart.reliogon must be like the people who belive in it.Your personal relationship with god is all that matters. There are far too many christians out there who are good and worthy to be part of our comminity but feel they dont measure up because we as a comunity failed them (EXILED) them, Led them to belive by our body langage and strict adherance to format that the are not welcome as much as another who is weel versed in church protocal. You cant hear the word from outside the church doors.. In a hurrican buildings crumble,metal twists and all ridged things are in jepardy but the palm tree seems to bend and survive and always teaching the lesson of life which is. almost always it is better to bend, better to give a little and the whole while growing and understanding its relationships and always having the ultimate offering afterwards, Yes the gift of life, The coconut and its milk… too many riddles to many back allyways and two many translations that can be taken a million different ways. you can sum up god with one word LOVE. We are his watered down seed just trying to reconnect with all to achive oneness

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