There is a huge problem within the Church today, especially the Church in America. Many a priest, bishop and cardinal absolutely refuse to preach the truth, because they fear that they may be labeled as “offensive”, “unpopular”, “bigot” or a litany of other words that society would label as rude and insensitive.
As we recall when Jesus gave the Bread of Life discourse in John 6, Jesus told those that gathered that unless they eat the flesh of man and drink his blood, they would not have life in them. Immediately, those who were with Jesus began to murmur among themselves and complained that this was a hard teaching, and who could possibly follow this? They all got up and began to walk away. Jesus immediately said “Guys, wait up, I was only speaking metaphorically, and in parables, and I was only talking about signs!” Those who were walking away turned around and said “Oh, okay Jesus, we totally understand now”. Then everyone was happy again.
Except the last part there I made up. This didn’t happen and in fact as we read, Jesus let them walk. That’s right, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second person in the Holy Trinity let those people walk away. He didn’t change the message, but the Truth that He proclaimed was just that, Truth.
Through the history of the Catholic Church, we have seen a great many of saints proclaimed by the Church. There is quite the list. The one thing in common among them is how they have proclaimed the Truth of Jesus Christ and His Church, whether through the life they lived, the life they gave up, how they spoke, how they lived and all sorts of combinations. More importantly, they have all died in the state of grace.
Going back to my original point, many priests, bishops and cardinals, do not preach this faith. The faith that they preach is that of modernism, relativism and popularity. This needs to stop. Right. Now.
This doesn’t entitle any of us to go around and demonize these religious. This does nothing for either side and in fact allows us to fall with them. We need to pray for them as well as point out the error of their ways. Since we live in the era of Facebook and Twitter, we can actually correct them a lot easier than the old days. For those in higher offices where forming a friendship is a lot more difficult, we can Tweet directly to them, we can Facebook message them, we can even email, or if you don’t like technology (or just like that added personal touch) you can write them a letter via the old snail mail.
However, the best way to evangelize is on a one on one basis. If you can, form friendships with your priests, religious, etc. If necessary, you may need to bring more people to help represent the Truth. Unfortunately, if this doesn’t work, you may need to go to the higher up (generally the Bishop) in order to have the issue addressed. Keep in mind, I’m referring to matters that are contrary to Catholic teaching and in accordance with our faith, not minor disagreements over preferential styles.
On a final note, keep track of the times that these religious actually do hit the ball out of the park and score a home run for the side of Truth. Far too often when we encounter a religious who we dislike, we focus more on the negative and ignore the positive. Is it difficult to keep track of the positives when the negatives seem like such big deals (and in many cases are)? Absolutely. But that doesn’t negate the good that may come from the times that Truth is preached.
Stay strong. There are many positive things to look at from the view point of the Church. Yes, there are a lot of negatives, but, when you focus on the negatives for too long, you may lose hope. Focus some on the positives, so that you may be reinvigorated to tackle the negatives. Pray the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplets, Memorares, and all sorts of prayers that help us to identify with our Catholic identity. Form a relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Spend time with your Mother Mary, your confirmation Saint, the Saints in Heaven and the Angels, especially our Guardian Angel.
We have an arsenal at our disposal, and rest assured, Christ formed the Church in 33 A.D. on St. Peter. He said that the gates of Hell will not prevail and they have not. Use the sacraments, and the sacramentals. Become a living saint and inspire those around you.