Father Gordon MacRae is a prisoner of the New Hampshire prison system for crimes he logically and logistically could not have committed, if in fact they occurred at all. But, as a prisoner, and a Catholic priest, he has refused to lie down and die, and he remains a witness to the faith that motivates him, and to the Saviour he loves.
He has a blog site, These Stone Walls, and there he writes heart felt and incisive articles that awaken in many the hidden depths of their faith. He recently wrote a three part series on the When Priests are Falsely Accused. From this third part, you can back track to the first two parts of this excellent series. I am grateful that a thought I had conveyed in one of my earlier blog posts became a point to ponder in the second part of this series. I had said in my article called "A Thorn in the Flesh".
“The Catholic Church has become the safest place in the world for children, but the most dangerous place in the world for our priests.”
I highlight this only to lead in to what Father Gordon published the other day in an article titled, "The Twilight's Last Gleaming: The Fate of Religion in America".
In the article Father Gordon postulates what many of us who are members of the Catholic Church have sensed to be a truth, and that is that religion, with particular emphasis on the Catholic religion is under attack from the media, and the American public. (Don't forget the Canadian media and public). I would further add that the Catholic Church is in particular being persecuted by some Evangelical Christians, who have fallen under the delusion that the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon.
It seems that my above quote needs to be modified somewhat. Maybe it should read: "The Catholic Church has become the safest target for those of little faith, and those who are determined to persecute it. However, in this culture of confusion in which we find ourselves, it will ultimately stand as the only reliable guide."
For that final part, I rely on Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver Colorado, a voice in the wilderness, whose wisdom shines forth for all to see.
He wrote for today via Catholic News Agency, about the following:
Over the centuries, the Church has often called her people to reflect on the “Four Last Things”—death, judgment, hell and heaven. She has a good reason for doing so. Life is brief. And all of us, whether rich or poor, unknown or famous, will very soon encounter the Four Last Things, directly and personally.
In essence he pointed out that life is both temporary and transitional, a fundamental teaching of Christianity. It is in effect the hereafter that we are all here after.
So, in the midst of a somewhat gloomy picture of attacks on the Church per Father MacRae, all of which is true, he himself, points us to the wisdom of Father Richard John Neuhaus, who had these three words of advice and encouragement for all Catholic men and women of goodwill, by way of encouragement and education:
Fidelity, Fidelity, and Fidelity.How do we overcome attacks on our Catholic faith - with Fidelity to the Church and to the teachings of Jesus Christ for which it stands?
How do we prepare for the “Four Last Things”—death, judgment, hell and heaven", of which Archbishop Chaput reminds us - with Fidelity to the Church and to the teachings of Jesus Christ for which it stands?
Pretty simple isn't it?
All Catholic Christians are called to know their faith, live it with Fidelity, and proclaim it in word and even more in deed, for these are troubled and troubling times we live in, and many will take their hands off the plow, making them unfit for the Gospel message.
So many Catholic Christians have been poorly catechized and we deserve to be criticized for that, but I see evidence everywhere I look, that the Gospel is being preached in the Catholic Church with greater urgency and Fidelity to the faithful.
All those who have ears, let them hear.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of the Catholic Church are greatly exaggerated.