|St. John the Baptist, conscience-|
Catholics are called to treat all persons with charity and justice. That includes those who hate what we believe. It demands a conversion of heart. It demands patience, courage and humility. We need to shed any self-righteousness. But charity and justice can’t be separated from truth. For Christians, Scripture is the Word of God, the revelation of God’s truth – and there’s no way to soften or detour around the substance of Romans 1:18-32, or any of the other biblical calls to sexual integrity and virtuous conduct. Trying to do so demeans what Christians have always claimed to believe. It reduces us to useful tools of those who would smother the faith that so many other Christians have suffered, and are now suffering, to fully witness.
This is why groups that fight for religious liberty in our courts, legislatures, and in the public square – distinguished groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom and Becket (formerly the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty) – are heroes, not “haters.”The Archbishop's statement can be applied equally to other issues of faith and morality as well as religious liberty. Those who fight for the faith in the Church Militant are field soldiers. Yes, we must go to spiritual bootcamp where we constantly examine our own consciences to remove those things that will hinder us in battle. We need to arm ourselves with prayer and fasting and by putting on the armor of Christ. Once we've done that we can be sent into the thick of the battle to fight Satan and those he has enslaved by his lies.
There we need to wield the sword of salvation by speaking the truth in love. Sometimes that truth hurts. Having a conscience pricked isn't pleasant. And our own consciences need to be sensitive for those pricks for our own benefit. Nonetheless, shrinking from the fight is cowardly.
And think of the gratitude of the man or woman whose pricked conscience leads to humble repentance before God. The conscience-pricker who acts out of love is, indeed, a person of mercy. As the monks always say, "Pray and work." The work in the Church Militant is to battle for the faith and the kingship of Jesus Christ.
I have pricked a few who react so obstinately it gave me cold chills. It is a pretty awful thing to watch people commit the unpardonable sin, denying the ability of God to give us eternal life. It is one thing to argue this point or that of doctrine, but for some the unbelief goes much deeper. Sadly, I know 3 total atheists and talking with them about the spiritual world is very troubling. I wonder how they can prefer sin so much they are willing to pay for it with the promise of eternity. I suppose you could say that is the ultimate in selfisness.
Chriss Rainey, what hurts me more are the family and friends who you know have been brought up in the Catholic Faith but ignore it when it comes to "relativism" and "popular morality". Their apostasy is so sad when you know that deep down in their heart and soul they actually know the truth. I constantly pray for them and worry about their souls. However, I must leave them to Jesus because only He can change their hearts to come back to Him. I can only give example. Arguing only makes things worse. They have become what I and many others including themselves call Cafeteria Catholics, Cultural Catholics, Catholics in name only, because they pick and choose what truths they want to believe and disgard the rest. So very sad. Satan is alive and well and roaming around the world seeking the ruin of souls.
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