Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Turning our backs on death and facing the Life of Christ

This is bound to get a bit earnest, but give me a chance.

I want to share a truly moving post from Protect the Pope about a former abortion practitioner who gave the abandoned instruments of abortion to the Holy Father who prayed over them that evening. I was particularly struck by the doctor's words:
“The instruments of death were abandoned at the foot of the successor of Peter in the world, as death is put at the feet of Jesus in favor of life.”
I wish I had the courage to give up my will to sin like he has, to say like he does "never more death until death".

I can intellectualise and have all the external signs of faith, but unless I actually find the courage to live out my convictions, as the doctor has done, it is nothing more than a mind game. I am not naturally a desparing person, I see the goodness of God before noticing the evil committed by those he loves, but I can't say that this Christian life is easy. I was struck by something in the talk I heard today from the local ordinary. He was asked to take the title of "Can I really be a Catholic?" and he said very plainly "no". I can't really be a Catholic, but in the context of the Church, with the support of the community of faith, we can.

What I took away from that is that it's not only that the Church dispenses the sacraments and so I couldn't be a Catholic without it, or that it speaks with authority on faith and morals and so I couldn't be a Catholic without it or even that it provides a structure into which I fit and so could not be Catholic without it. These are important and I cherish them, but above all of these, I find great comfort in the other Catholics in my life, in other members of the Church. We all know just how hard trying to live the Christian life is: we have that shared experience of struggle and failure and of renewal and rebirth. I never wish so ardently that I could deny the existence of God as when I am cut off from other Catholics for extended periods of time. I find myself just wishing I could ask Him to go away. I know that if I did so he would respect my free will and do so, but then I would be nothing. No man is an island and certainly no Catholic.

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