The coddling Christ preached through endless cotton candy (much sugar and hot air) sermons of our times has left our poor Catholics quite uninspired and searching for something; ANYTHING to give them a sense of purpose again — to set their hearts on THE cause that has been divinely hard-wired into us.
The “challenge” given to us by the Son of God is: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt 16:24).
The abandonment, in love, to the Divine Will of God remains our very reason for existence, which was revealed as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but your will be done” (Luke 22:42). This obedience remains THE way of reversing the curse of the original sin in the Garden of Eden.
Compromise, we have come to experience, has been the abysmal failed experiment of the past 40+ years following the Second Vatican Council. Many want to point to “dogmas” and “devotions” as the reason for the mass exodus within the Catholic Church, but it wasn’t until we began to dismiss these pillars that we began to see an epidemic of indifference infiltrate our pews.
Below is yet another article throwing light on the essential nature of the situation.
From a recent article by Fr. Eugene Hemrick entitled, “Where Have All the Catholics Gone?”
“’If everyone raised Catholic stayed (with their religious affiliation), Catholics would be one-third of the population.’
This observation was made by John Green, a senior research fellow and a principal author of the “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey” recently conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
With Catholic adults presently comprising 25% of the American population when they should be 33% of it, we need to ask: Why are so many Catholics leaving?
Researchers found that the one reason the Catholic Church was so strong was because of the creed. Our clear-cut understanding of and commitment to what we believe not only attracts people to Catholicism, but keeps Catholics in the Church.
As much as we sometimes resisted being a dogmatic Church, our dogma was and is the ballast that keeps us balanced and strong.
If we focus on this finding alone, it gives us several reasons why we might be losing Catholics.
Could it be, as the last two popes have pointed out, our present age is becoming increasingly resistant to absolute truths and is moving toward greater relativism?
Applying this question to our Church, do we believe in the one true Catholic Church? Does this truth hold strong appeal for us? If not, why remain a Catholic since it then becomes relative to how a religion is seen?
Could it be our truths are watered-down and have weakened the beauty and strength of the Church? In the apostolic exhortation On Evangelization in the Modern World, Pope Paul VI points to the bite that truth must possess to be attractive:
‘For the Church it is a question not only of preaching the Gospel in ever wider geographic areas or to ever greater numbers of people, but also of affecting and as it were upsetting, through the power of the Gospel, mankind’s criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration and models of life, which are in contrast with the word of God and the plan of salvation.’
Here we learn that the truth of the Gospel must be upsetting, challenging people to rethink their present values and what inspires them most.
Could it be our people want to be challenged and it isn’t happening; that we aren’t making people stop, think and rethink; that the presentation of our beliefs don’t have bite, cutting-edge thinking, or that they don’t reveal deep commitment on the part of those presenting them?
No doubt many other reasons exist for the exit of Catholics. Whatever they may be, they come down to one question: ‘Are those who are leaving doing so because they never experienced the backbone of our creed?’”