We are 24 days into the Celebration of the Year of Faith. As Catholics whose Church and Faith is under daily attack, no matter what country we live in, it is imperative that we honestly assess what we are doing to honor and learn and live and share our Faith. Since there are no coincidences with God, we know that it’s not an accident that Benedict XVI decided to invite us, all of us, to look more soberly at our Catholic beliefs and how we live them out in daily life during this critical year. Sad to say, the fact is that the deposit of Faith, as it used to be called, that was passed on to us has neglected, in large part, to be passed on to the generations coming up behind us. We can easily see that the vacuum created by our lukewarm lives of faith is being rapidly filled up by nihilism, marxism, secularism and muslims.
I say ‘our’ because I include myself in the generation that still believes that the world is our playground and we are created to be entertained. Entertainment is our right, any entertainment we choose, where, when and how we want it. As a result, in developed countries at least, we are entertaining ourselves to death. Jesus said that ‘Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.’ The fact that the bulk of our time and treasure is invested in our entertainment devices not only attests to where our heart is but is also cutting our hearts off from what they truly need, time with God. That is, we are spiritually starving ourselves to death.
So what to do? Observe the Year of Faith. There are countless graces available whenever the Church specifies periods of prayer because Jesus told the Apostles that “Whatever you bind on earth, will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed in heaven.” That means that God in heaven honors the Church’s decrees on earth. So let’s not allow this Year to slip through our fingers unnoticed.
Although there are countless ways to entertain ourselves to death, there are also countless ways to learn and grow in our Faith. For example, consider the tradition of making a Marian Consecration. If the St. Louis deMonfort format is too arcane and hard to understand, obtain an updated version such as “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Fr. Michael Gaitley. The pastor of our parish has purchased copies for anyone who wants to join him in making this consecration this year.
Or consider the fact that, if the Church doesn’t have priests, we don’t have the Eucharist and, if we don’t have the Eucharist, we die, as many martyrs have said. We all know priests who have walked away from their vocations and we know priests who are in love with their Bride, the Church, and are heroically giving their lives for her. Supporting them is as easy as going to http://www.nunsforpriests.com and signing up to adopt a priest, whose name will be sent to you, to pray for daily.
Or make a pilgrimage, or sign up for a weekly hour of adoration, or answer the phones at your local crisis pregnancy center, or go back to confession if it’s been awhile, or read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The list is endless but the time is not. To quote our dear Lord again, “To whom much has been given, much will be expected.”