For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Friday, April 10, 2009

Are You Capable Of Loving?

As a subscriber to the Cardinal’s Network (Cardinal George of Chicago), I receive in my email bucket some rather thought provoking material on a weekly basis; and I get it more often during Holy Week. Today’s message got my wheels turning. Here it is:

The Day of the Great Sacrifice

“Christ became obedient for us unto death, even to death on the cross.” Sacrificing things is a sign of generosity; sacrificing yourself is a sign of love. Christ loved his Father and he loves us, so much so that he gives himself freely to death for our eternal life. Jesus’ crucifixion by others is a sacrifice of himself, “a death willingly accepted.”

When we look at the crucifix on Good Friday, Christ might seize the moment to ask us who or what we are willing to die for. If we don’t have a ready answer, he might then ask us whether we are capable of loving.

That last line (my bold) raises a question that secular fundamentalists, especially liberals in general, find most uncomfortable. For when you get specific and ask them if they are willing to die for their country, they usually reply with an emphatic “NO.” And when you ask them if they are willing to die for anything at all, they stare at you blankly and shrug. Though I used to be one of them many years ago, it wasn't until now that I realized the reason for these answers.

The secularization of our nation has far reaching implications. So many children today are being raised in families that have never been to church, have only heard the name Jesus when said in anger and frustration, and are totally unaware of the ultimate act of His love for us ---the sacrifice at Calvary. Years ago there were the occasional oddball families like that living in every neighborhood, though greatly outnumbered by the Christians, but these days the heavily Christian families are the outnumbered oddballs. God is completely removed from schools and other public places, and is shown mostly disrespect in all media sources. Children are being raised in a society that no longer teaches that we were created by an unearthly power greater than or more loving than we could ever be.

In 1993 Pope John Paul II wrote the encyclical Gospel Of Life, (Evangelium Vitae) in which he stated that the warnings of Pope Paul VI have come true. That is, a modern day society that doesn't respect human life in the beginning (artificial contraception) will not respect it in the end. He predicted a dramatic rise in abortions, euthanasia, divorce, broken families, etc... and was proven right. A society that once professed love for Christ has taken a downslide into selfish hedonism, where the only people they love are themselves, and the only lives they are willing to sacrifice for others are those of the innocent unborn. Evil like that becomes infectious...and spreads. Look around you. Now start getting ACTIVE in church!