Friday, March 7, 2008


Our bishop came to the Church of Saint Clare last night for confirmation. The priests were able to enjoy his company in private before hand for a little while and chat. One of the things that we discussed was the great faith of young people. It was awesome to see his eyes light up as he talked about the promise of the faith within young hearts and minds. Those who take the faith seriously take it very seriously and can be quite surprising in their insights and their longing for the true meat of faith.

We need to hear things like this. I am constantly surprised by the deep faith of people. DAILY. (Take just for example how many of you both knew what the Liturgy of the Hours was and PRAY it! I had no idea!) Yet all we hear about in the news is the dire predictions of the faith. “Mainstream Churches are dying on the vine!” they proclaim. “Catholicism may be holding steady, but that is only because of an influx of Catholic immigrants!” Maybe true.

If you are going to have a discussion about the faith somebody will bring up a horrible experience they had (which justifies them not practicing anymore.) Either they or they heard from about somebody who had a bad experience with a priest, or did not receive a service they wanted, or acted out of the boundaries of the Church and then claim victim status when there were repercussions. I could tell you such stories myself. But was has that to do with the Eucharist? What could possibly justify giving that up? Saints died rather than give that up.

A number of times over the past few months you have left comments or sent Emails telling about wonderful experiences that you have in the Church had and these have stuck with me. “The best confession I ever had,” “The life changing homily,” “ A great mass,” “The comfort of a prayer of the Church,” these stories may not have the dirt and gritty allure of the scandal story but we must share them. They give life.

All we tend to hear about are the sordid tales. After all that is what “news” is. That is what brings about the ratings both on network broadcasts and in the gossip circles blowing them all out of proportion. Yet for every trying incident there are multiple thousands of incidents that bring life and hope and joy.

These are the stories we must find a way to share.


Anonymous said...

Another great post, Fr. V., dead on! And I think we're trying.

When I started blogging, part of what I was doing was venting my frustrations and in doing so, was focusing on the "negatives".

But over time, the negatives bored me. Because my own experiences in my return to the Church were incredible and wonderful. And as my outlook changed and I realized my frustrations were really writing changed, my focus changed, and now I do try to look at the good things and share the good things.

There's a lot of that going around. My guess is that most of us here are drawn to that in the blogs we read (like yours), because it feeds our own enthusiasm. Yeah, there are still bad things that happen, and we know it, but it's not so important when we consider the entire picture.

A bright lamp with a few blemishes on it is still a bright lamp.

Odysseus said...

-Either they or they heard from about somebody who had a bad experience with a priest, or did not receive a service they wanted, or acted out of the boundaries of the Church and then claim victim status when there were repercussions.-

A Spaniard was angry with the Church and never went to mass. He was asked why he didn't become a Protestant. He replied:

"If I don't believe in the true Church, how could I go to a false one?"

Timothy H. Warneka said...

Wonderful post! As a life-long Catholic, Catholicism is in my bones. I would feel truly lost without my connection to the Catholic Church.

Even in the face of scandal, even when there are things in the Church that I do agree with (and what family does NOT have disagreements), I could no more stop being Catholic than I could stop breathing.

Anonymous said...

For me, it is Catholic blogs like yours, Father, and other sites featuring Catholic writers that have increased my faith. I thank God for it. When you mention the people here who pray or have even heard of the Liturgy of the Hours, I have to admit that I *did not* know of it until just a few months ago. I am reading a young woman's blog, a convert from atheism and she mentioned it and linked to where it could be bought. People, family in my every day life are used to me saying "oh, I read that at so and so's blog or on Catholic Exchange" I try to get others to read what I'm reading and see that truth of our faith can be found in the lives of those on the internet.

Odysseus said...

Father V,

I just had to share this.

I'm not saying I would want this priest to be my pastor. But he'd be fun as an associate pastor. Everybody needs at least one influence in life like this.