You’ve signed the petitions, read (and possibly written) the posts, and even changed your Facebook picture to show the Obama Administration how upset you are with their attack on your religious liberty. So there, now they know exactly where you stand. You won’t take this nonsense, to you the Constitution means something, and for that matter, so does Natural Law.
In fact, you may have even joked with friends that you expect to be a martyr in all of this, with the way things are looking, and have debated what type of wood stake you would like to be burned on (maybe that is just me). In other words you have spent the last 2 weeks or so with your toes firmly set against the line you have drawn in the sand…
DAMN THE MAN SAVE THE
Ok, great… but now what? What does it mean for you and I as we move forward? If we are going to take this role of Catholic defender, of culture warrior, and of defiant religious freedom fighter seriously what does it mean, practically speaking, beyond a few harshly worded posts on your blog or Facebook?
Now don’t get me wrong, I think we need to be saying these things online. I think that the internet is a perfect place for our ideas, and in fact it is necessary but there has got to be more to it than that… right?
I was reading a post the other day by a fellow Alaskan blogger and was awestruck by how horrifyingly painful her experience has been.
And we found that, in our world, Catholics go to church, then go home. No visits. No restaurants. There’s plenty of Facebook and bloggy bemoaning the state of the country and our Church, but when I posted a status update that Rees had been hospitalized? Silence. Indifference.
And while it is intellectually stimulating to read insightful, witty commentary on the World Wide Web, Real People in your parish need Other Real People with telephones and trucks to really contact them.
Yes, YES!, and more YES!
Being a part of the Church Militant isn’t about just talking the talk. As my dear fellow blogger Allison states, being a part of the Church Militant “…is more than smart writing.” Being a Catholic means being part of the Body of Christ. What does that mean to you? How do you live that out?
As we hear more and more reasons coming from the Whitehouse about why this mandate has been imposed the number one thing that keeps ringing in my ears are the statistics about how many Catholics use these services already. While the statistics might be off a bit there is an awful stench of truth in these statements. It is just one example of how our faith is merely window dressing for some. When the White House came out and “compromised” on the mandate, and did little more than change a comma, who was waiting in the wings to give them validation and support? Self-proclaimed Catholics.
But what makes us different? Sure, we might not publicly denounce or contradict Catholic teaching, but do we do anything in a positive direction to live out our faith? Who is our “community”? Do we even know the Catholics we worship with every Sunday? In most places it is easy to pick a parish that “fits us best.” This means that we should be nice and cozy with our neighbors, but that usually isn’t the case. How are we supposed to walk hand in hand with fellow Catholics when we don’t even know each others names?
Sure, there are lots of people that are easy to be friends with, while others seem to be a burden, but I bet those that seem a burden are the ones most in need of friends. When we got to our new area, it took almost 2 months before anyone even said, “Hey, I see you are new around here, how are you?” We aren’t even talking about Church Militancy or Proclaiming the Gospel, I am talking the basics, “Hello, how are you?”
So as we move forward as a persecuted people, we will need one another to survive. It is probably a good idea if we start putting our faith into action, and start living it out in a true and authentic way. A good way to start is to build up the body of Christ and at the very least learn each other’s name. Because now that it is apparent that this who “Battle against evil” thing is for real… we will need a battle plan. It won’t do us much good if we post our posts, change our pics, but don’t have an answer when someone asks us, “Now what?”
For some, maybe this means grabbing a few friends and praying the Rosary before you go out on the weekend. For others it might mean grabbing a box of donuts as Allison suggests and popping in on a family that might need the cheer-up. Maybe, for some, it might mean something really, really big that I can’t even imagine here, but we have to start doing. Little protestant churches get the community thing, and they don’t have the luxury of sound doctrine, 2000+ years of tradition, or an infrastructure of support. Why can’t we do the same? We need to live the life, walk the walk, and truly live our faith.