Speaking of finding God, of finding a place for God, there is the issue of the presence of God. Concepts of creation, individuals, and worship are impacted by how one understands the dynamic of transcendent being as perceived by immanent beings. Blasphemy, sacrilege, indifference, ignorance, or adoration are the fruit borne by the posture of the subjective worshipper confronted by the Presence of the object of worship.
Sacrifice at the heart of the Mass refers not only to what is happening, but to Who effects the reality. An authentic understanding of the sacrificial nature of the Mass includes a matter-of-fact belief that Jesus is the One truly sacrificed, really present. Jaw-dropping awe would be no surprise as a response to the realization of this profundity. The Church asks no more than a sincere genuflection.
The modern(ist) notion of presence is a dizzying array of the communal, textual, sacramental, and forgotten. Jesus present Body-Blood-Soul-Divinity is often denied, but more often deluged. Among the plethora of divine presences in word, in assembly, in altar, in chair, in cross, in presider, and in sacred space, the sheep have misplaced their Shepherd. He is lost in the "reservation chapel", called so because His flock has reservations about visiting Him there. He is lost in the sanctuary because His tabernacle is reserved for those who can overcome their reservations, and at the altar He might not be elevated, receive a genuflection, and/or be visible over the heads of the throng standing around the altar during the consecration. He is lost outside of Mass because no one pays visits to the (locked) church during the day, weekly Benedictions are unknown, and annual Forty Hours devotions are the matter of a legendary past.
De-emphasizing the Real Presence and calling greater attention to mere symbols of the divine has done more than weaken orthodox understanding of the Blessed Sacrament. It has profaned the sacred in such wise that everyday objects are not made in any sense the stuff that can lift the mind to God, and holy things are degraded and given no more reverence than things passed on the street. The pastor is not "Father", but "Just-call-me-Tom". The Church is no longer a hushed haven from the world, but a noisy "gathering space" for "community". And Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is not even given the "Good morning!" that the presider offers everyone else at the beginning of "liturgy". Few genuflect. Those who do don't know why.
The diaspora of the divine and the diffusion of the deity into the world has not strengthened matrimony, increased priestly and religious vocations, or impressed a need for penance and absolution on a people yearning for sanctity. Colloquial language is not gentler, popular cinema is not purer, and schools are not fertile seed grounds for genius and wisdom. Nor is man coping with the happy problem of finding jobs for former prison guards, obsolete military personnel, or surplus mental health professionals.
What we do have is a crisis summed up in a mother's relief for her apostate and invalidly married son, "Well, if they can't be Catholic, I'm just glad they're going to church some Sundays. And the lutherans are just like us, anyway. And, Father, the communion at their wedding tasted the same as ours, too!"
If God is everywhere, He is in other religions, too. If the presence of Jesus is equally in word, song, and people, then the protestants have that, too. If Jesus saves in the Catholic Church, and Jesus is in protestant churches, then protestant churches save, too.
It does not stop here, however. Jesus is in the Jews. He is in the muslims. He is in the hindus and the buddhists. Pagans know Jesus by being good pagans. And anyone can know Jesus in a sunrise, a walk through the woods, or in a baby's smile.
You will note that many will vehemently object to the notion that Mass obliges because it alone is an authentic act of worship - thereby showing sophistication and broad-mindedness, as well as an ability to think for oneself. But Heaven help him who opines that a walk through the woods, on the rare occasions that it actually happens, is no more Christian than a walk down memory lane. Somehow, paganism and everything else includes every good claimed by Catholics, but Catholicism is wrought of nothing but the woes and ills of the world. Evidently one can be an acceptable follower of Christ's teachings in any and every way - except by following the only Church He founded.
Modernity preaches the odd gospel that Jesus saves in every way, but not in one way. This is most strange coming in the name of Him Who proclaimed, "I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life; no one comes to the Father except through Me!" How can it be that those who do not know Jesus, misunderstand Jesus, diminish Jesus, and/or reject Jesus are saved by Jesus? One is tempted to ask, just what part of NO ONE don't these people understand?
There is a curious modern capacity of redefinition that stands definitions on their heads. From averring that Jesus is the sole means of salvation, modern(ist) christianity now asserts that Jesus is the means of universal salvation. There is an element of truth here, in that Jesus is available to all, but that truth is dwarfed by the inherent lie.
These liars would have it believed that by virtue of staking a claim to human fulfillment, any and every religion participates in the salvation won by Christ. Some go farther and claim that Christ makes all religion possible. The antipodal position to an ubiquitous divine presence is the equally emphatic assertion that there is no hell. Eucharistic pantheism leads to universal salvation and ends with the impossibility of perdition.
So much for free will. Not only can you be saved. Not only may you be saved. Not only will you be saved. But you must be saved. Whether you want to be or not. And, of course, you want to be. If you don't want to be saved, you don't really know what you want. We know better.
This absurdity in the Church actually has its roots in secular society. There was a time when a subject rejoiced in his sovereign majesty's rule. Later, the subject was told that he would be happier as a citizen in a democracy. Now sovereign nations are surrendering self-determination to the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations.
Bigger is not being billed as better. If that were the case, everyone would be Chinese citizens and faithful Catholics. What is being sold is the bill of goods of "unity". To effect this unity, it is necessary that all claims of uniqueness, of distinction, of autonomy be handed over to various ruling elites.
Fittingly, in both secular and spiritual realms, Catholicism stands as a sign of contradiction. Faith in the supremacy of Christ the King precludes relinquishing absolute authority to any secular power, local or global. That same divine sovereignty forbids worship in any way other than what Christ instituted when He established the Mass as the participation in Calvary.
The cacophonous, arrogant, irrational demands that everyone should acknowledge the equal validity of every faith, governmental system, and moral ethic is foolhardy at best, frequently demonic. To acquiesce to this mindset would not be a cooperation by Catholics, but a capitulation of Catholicism. Christ and belial have no communion. When it is demonstrated that a government or religion even partly divorced from commitment to absolute divinity can honor free will, uphold reason, condemn divorce, strictly sanction sodomy, absolutely forbid abortion, and acknowledge divine omnipotence, then the impossible will have occurred. Man will be revealed as his own means of salvation, and truth will express itself in lies.
Until never happens, Catholicism must insist that Christ is present Body-Blood-Soul-Divinity in the Mass. He established only one Church to offer His sacrifice to God for man. That Church is not one among many, it is the only one. No government, no policy, no human enterprise can be legitimate in opposition to Christ and His Church.
Liberalism has triumphed in the mind of modern man. According to liberal "values", claims of absolute truth, efforts at proselytizing, and sovereign nations are the source of war. Finding peace by way of liberalism means reducing truth to the empirical, allowing any and every form of worship, and seeking a world, or at least an international, government. By a fair distribution of goods and a benign tolerance of all beliefs, man (unaided by God) will eliminate the motivations of war. Contemporary politics and religion, about which polite society is not to talk, dialogue incessantly toward this end.
On two levels, liberalism is correct. Such a sameness throughout the world, if successful, would end war. But peace is more than an absence of war. This sameness must be imposed, yet could never be wholly self-imposed. Naked force is the iron hand that eventually will set aside the velvet glove of liberalism. Free will in such a context would be freedom to dissent from one's neighbors, but one could never wholly assent to God. This is because, in contradiction to the divine mandate to teach and baptize the nations, one would be forced to stand aside in impotence as the nations apostasized, divorced, sodomized, and aborted their humanity. But, yes, war would end.
The second level of liberalism's correctness is its assertion that faith brings war. Again, however, it must be clear what the nature of war is. The war liberalism dislikes is actually due to violations against faith. Covetousness, lust, greed, hate, and pride are sins. Sin's wages is death. One of death's favorite currencies is war. But blame not the faithful here; blame the faithless.
Remember also, though, that the Church on earth is the Church Militant. She will battle the thrones, powers, and principalities besieging the world. She will grind satan's head, the fount of sin, beneath her feet, treading all the while the path of grace, the Way of the Cross. She will destroy the enemies of God, enlisting the hosts of Heaven in her war, confident of victory in Christ, who has overcome the world.
It is not to inhibit freedom that the Church mounts her battle. True freedom lies in obeying God. Mother Church uses force - moral, mental, and, yes, military - to protect her children's right to obey God in all things. Anyone who comes between her and her children will know her wrath. Any who desires to be her child will know her protection, wisdom, and love.