“The people who are trying to make this world worse are not taking a day off. How can I? Light up the darkness!”
Once we accept the reality that the church is under assault from seen and unseen forces, we, the laity, are obliged to respond. This is our Catholic Moment.
Ephesians 1:4‑5 states "He himself has chosen us before the foundation of the world, to be saints… having predestined us… according to the purpose of His Will."
St. Alphonsus Liguori expands upon Ephesians, “…God has loved you from eternity… he has selected you from among so many men whom he could have created in place of you; but he has left them in their nothingness, and has brought you into existence, and placed you in the world."
God has placed us in the world for This Catholic Moment. He did not have us live in the early days of the church under Roman persecution, during the Crusades, the Reformation or the Enlightenment. He chose each of us specifically for this time. We must shake off our perceived helplessness, despondency and, yes, our fears and engage according to our own unique abilities and talents knowing but for the grace of God go we. These church and world crises are the crises of saints.
As the price of calling ourselves Christians, we must make our case for natural law, religious and economic liberty, the sanctity of life, and the truth about sex year in and year out, regardless of the vagaries of particular candidates and party platforms. Pragmatically, we have no other option. All those truths are inevitable implications of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which He ordered us to preach even in the face of persecution, offering us this promise:“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5: 10-12)
Millions of Christians have seen the need to keep fighting as clearly as many Catholics have. In fact, evangelical leaders and theologians have come a long way toward accepting the necessity of classically Catholic natural law reasoning, instead of relying on Biblical proof-texts, cultural inertia, and natural repugnance in fighting back against the latest outrages proposed by sexual revolutionaries. This is enormous progress.
As the ecumenical effort to fight back against the Obama administration’s HHS mandate showed, Christians can prevail when we act together—when the Protestant owners of Hobby Lobby cooperate with the Little Sisters of the Poor. There are many organizations that serve the cause of protecting religious liberty and unborn life across denominational lines, and we should energetically support them. We should also work with other organizations fighting to preserve the basic liberties of Americans, even if they are not religiously motivated, to protect our own rights to economic initiative, self-defense, private property, and free speech. We must look back to the dignified, free, responsible vision of man upon which our great Republic was founded, a profoundly Christian vision, which is Catholic because it is true.
Defending the Bride of Christ from the modernist/ liberal agenda, this will be our reason to have been here. There is nothing lovelier, nothing more profound, than the correct and true teachings of the Catholic Church positively impacting the individual, a society, a nation and the world.
"The Western world generally has lost the concept of man as a creature made to the image and likeness of God, and reduced him... to a component part of the universe... This distortion of the true nature of man was due principally to the philosophy of historical liberalism, which saw man as endowed with no higher destiny than the economic. There is no word more "dangerous" than liberalism, because to oppose it is a new "unforgivable sin."
- Fulton J. Sheen
The laity must step up.
Fulton Sheen commented that “Catholics have no zeal and all truth; evil has no truth and all zeal.” The laity must not sit back and leave the fight to our priests and Bishops. As Cardinal Francis Arinze wrote, it is the role of the laity, not the clergy, to further “evangelization of politics and government.” We must bring “the spirit of Christ into the various spheres of the secular order. Politics and government should respect God’s plan and obey the natural law.”
Spoiler alert: God wins.
Do we fear that the Catholic Church will be overthrown as if it is some mere political party or leadership of a nation? No. Even though the modernists may have success distorting the teachings of the Church, or negatively influence individuals in the Church, or lead many souls away from the Church, we know they will never prevail AGAINST the Church. Every building which is not built on that firm rock is founded upon moving sand, and sooner or later infallibly will fall. We know they are poor, crazy people banging their heads on a rock. In some ways they are to be pitied for trying to win against Jesus and his bride the Catholic Church. If the gates of Hell will not prevail against the church, the Podesta’s and Soros’ outside the church and the modernists inside the church don’t stand a chance. Nevertheless, they must be vociferously opposed with zeal, unwavering determination, and the love of Christ in our hearts. In the end, we know humility will triumph over pride. God wins.
The Great Commission.
We all share the same purpose in life: to love God and love our neighbor. Living in solidarity with the vulnerable IS living out God’s purpose for our life
Through our activist-oriented apostolate, Serviam exists to inspire the privileged to live in solidarity with the vulnerable. “Those who are vulnerable aren’t necessarily weak and you don’t have to be strong to share the burdens of the vulnerable.”
Although we live in an age of technological hyper-interconnectedness, social isolation is an epidemic. We need to inspire people out of isolation and apathy to push back on the misappropriation of church teachings in their respective spheres of influence, enjoin online petitions calling for needed fraternal correction, and doing works of mercy in our own neighborhoods, i.e., Imago Dei Missions.
Whole Life Principles.
Based on authentic Catholic social teaching here are the Whole Life Principles that are a powerful, persuasive five-point program to reclaim human dignity, protect human rights, limit government, promote peace, and restore a culture of life:
Imago Dei/ Personalism
- We are created in the image and likeness of God (Imago Dei) with an eternal destiny.
- Every human being is important, unique and dignified.
- As we love ourselves with a fierce and primal passion, so too should be try to love our neighbor.
- The proper, passionate love for of our fellow man is the starting point for every other good thing on earth.
Transcendent Moral Order
- One of the most insightful things ever said about America is G.K. Chesterton’s quip that it is “a nation with the soul of a church.”
- Our actions have intrinsic moral value- a positive or negative one that transcends the words of the Constitution, the letter of federal law, the shifting winds of elite and mass opinion, and even the demands of so-called necessity.
- In 1931 Pope Pius XI wrote in his encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, “it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also is it an injustice… to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do.”
- In other words things should be handled at the lowest level possible. As social beings, proximity is truth. Small communities of interest and connection are still the dominant force in our culture. Where we interact shapes how we choose, or not choose, to share our Catholic values.
- Solidarity refers to the debt of respect that each of us owes every other person, and that forbids us from using him as merely a means to an end.
- Each life is a person of real and transcendent dignity of equal worth to us and each of our loved ones.
- A political and economic system that starts with the freedom of the human person and allows him to meet his natural obligations willingly.
- Man’s dignity demands an economic system that provides for his needs, enables his efforts, and takes account of both his self-centered drives and his fundamentally social nature.
- The family is the crucible in which basic selfishness is refined into something nobler- a concern for the welfare of other human beings.
The habit of altruism can then be applied to neighbors and fellow citizens, and finally to every member of the worldwide family.
Sub humanism in our world is the result of Christian failures. The aforementioned five Whole Life principles are based on the foundation of Catholic social teaching and provide us with a roadmap for a better way forward that is very much focused on the incomparable dignity of each person.