It is Time to be Alert and Awake
In the beginning of my life as a priest I was crippled by a hyper critical attitude towards the Church. It was picked up during the course of my seminary formation. But by the mercy of God gradually I began to see the beauty of the Church. My life and journey along with the laity who were endowed with a deep faith contributed a lot to build up my love for the Church. Now it is time for all who love the Church to be alert and to stand firm united in faith.
We are living in a time of aggressive attack on faith throughout the world. “The Jewish former mayor of New York is affirming that “continuing attacks” by the media on the Church and Benedict XVI have become “manifestations of anti-Catholicism.” “The procession of articles on the same events are, in my opinion, no longer intended to inform, but simply to castigate,” Koch asserted. He noted that “ many of those in the media who are pounding on the Church and the pope today clearly do it with delight, and some with malice .” He continued: “ The reason, I believe, for the constant assaults is that there are many in the media, and some Catholics as well as many in the public, who object to and are incensed by positions the Church holds, including opposition to all abortions, opposition to gay sex and same-sex marriage, retention of celibacy rules for priests, exclusion of women from the clergy, opposition to birth control measures involving condoms and prescription drugs and opposition to civil divorce. ” 4/12/2010 Zenit News Agency.
The secular world, with its powerful electronic media is continually attacking the Christian faith and is influencing all believers including the religious and the clergy. It is attempting to change our way of thinking according to its ideologies. The ideologies of the present world are essentially the result of the rejection of the objective truth and have given birth to what was referred to by Pope Benedict XVI in his first homily as a “Dictatorship of Relativism”. The faith of many believers and clergy today are crippled by the influence of relativist ideologies. As a result some have embraced what could be called a “super market spirituality” or a “cafeteria Catholicism” - choosing what parts of the faith they will follow. Others profess the Creed but confine its influence only to participation in the Liturgy on Sundays and many are not even aware of what the Church teaches. “Do not confirm yourself to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rom 12, 2).
The situation as it is, calls for urgent renewal, a re-evangelization of the whole community of the faithful - the clergy, the religious and the laity - and developing creative and effective methods of communicating the message in ways that are fitting for the present world. The greatest urgency is the renewal of the clergy and the religious because they are the ones to impart the teaching of the Church to rest of the faithful.
In the modern world passivity and indifference has no place. Institutions, companies or organizations that take things for granted and are indifferent quickly disappear. Either fervently strive forward or die out are the only two options. If some of the religious congregations are dying out it is because of indifference. At a time like this when the faith is under attack, the clergy, the religious and the laity must be clear about what the Church teaches and firmly stand for it. Jesus says, “He who does not gather with me scatters.”
The new evangelization can only take place only “if Bishops, clergy, those in the consecrated life and the laity are themselves on fire with the love of Christ and burning with zeal to make him known more widely, loved more deeply and followed more closely (Ecclesia in Asia 23). Let us declare our solidarity with the Church, think with, work with and pray with the Church for the Church is the body of Christ. In this Age of Relativism, the Catholic Church is the Voice of Truth in the entire world.
Fr. Dheeraj Sabu