Sunday, April 4, 2010

Catholic-Bashing Media is a Painful Cause for Joy

Chins up Catholics! Far from being disillusioned at all the recent negative media attention, we should be thanking and praising God at the top of our lungs!

Why?!

It's easy to forget, isn't it, that times of trial are indications of God's presence and love.

Hebrews 12:4-11

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

A recent article by Bill Underwood in The Examiner brought just these sentiments to my mind. The writer attempted to paint such a dastardly picture of the state of the Catholic Church that the only remaining question to be answered is why one would ever wish to remain in the Catholic Church.

The writer didn't even realise that he had pretty much answered his own question. The fact that the Church has been around for 2,000 years is the first indication of God's true presence. The second indication is the attempted infiltration and destruction of the Church by the evil one over those 2,000 years, attempts which have not stopped even today. The third indication is the fact that the Church is constantly being held publically accountable for its indiscretions. This public accountablity has inevitably led to correction and purification.

Dirty laundry aired - dirty laundry cleaned. This is God's work! We should celebrate!

And we already have history as our guide. Luther took the way prescribed by Bill Underwood. And what has the world learned about rebellion and running away as a way of life? It might work in other cases, but it doesn't work where Christ's church is concerned. For Christ's most fervent prayer is recorded in the Bible "That they may be one". But, instead of the unity Heaven desires, the "reformation" has taken shape over the last several centuries in 33,000+ denominations, none completely agreeing with one another - a juggernaut of chaos, confusion and disunity. And the more the disagreements, the greater this number becomes as each new self-styled leader cries "I protest!"

No, we will never abandon our beloved Church. God's will is being done here. Encouraged by this time of cleansing, graciously coinciding with this Easter season, stiffens our resolve to endure the pain and look forward to the next period of grace within the Church, according to God's great and Holy Will.

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