Are You Guilty?
Part Six of
CATHOLIC IDENTITY CRISIS IN THE USA
The greatest problem with Catholics today is that they have become more like the Church of Laodicia from Apocalypse 3: 13-19. They have become lukewarm and because of this indifference they have allowed Satan to march right in and thoroughly infiltrate Christ's Church, turning it into a den of iniquity. Worse, few there are today who would stand uncompromisingly for the Faith and not fear persecution. That is the sad state of Catholicism in the U.S. today, nay, the world.How will you be judged by the Supreme Judge?
"Whether we believe it or know it or not, we are being judged every day. Despite what we claim to be, it is our actions, our words, our writings, our conduct, and our beliefs that will ultimately mark us as true Catholics, as somewhat Catholics, as tourist Catholics, or as mere visitors. Christ took His marks out of love for us. Will we have any marks to bear proudly out of love for Christ? Ultimately, it is the evidence or lack of it that will determine where we spend the rest of eternity and how we will be perceived in this secular, modernist, twisted society."
Suppose you are arrested for being a Catholic. You are dragged through the streets by police as onlookers mock and spit at you. Humiliated and beaten, you are propped before a judge who makes every judge who ever voted for sin and against justice and innocence look like a novice. A man stands before the proceedings and begins to read the claim against you:
This man is accused of being a Catholic. He stands accused of following the so-called Christ Who some believe was The Son of the so-called God.
He stands before this court as an alleged believer in this Christ and this God, as one who reflects everything that this Christ stood for and preached. If one is to believe these claims, they are that salvation is only possible through the so-called true Catholic Faith, that love and mercy and contrition and forgiveness are the only paths to that salvation, and that this Christ is, in fact, the only way to that salvation. These are the claims against this accused, that he is a believer, a follower, of this Christ and is a true Catholic!
You watch as the different kinds of evidence are presented against you. There is direct evidence of your reported behavior, your actions, your words, and your writings. There is indirect evidence from witnesses and others who have heard, seen, read, and experienced your conduct and beliefs. There is circumstantial evidence placing you in locations, gatherings, and connecting events and items to you and your beliefs.
How much evidence and how strong that evidence is will greatly determine how convincing that evidence will be of your true Catholic Faith.
Are you simply someone who sometimes seems to be a Catholic?
Are you a boomerang Catholic who comes and goes?
Are you a cafeteria Catholic who picks and chooses?
Are you a spotty Catholic whose words and actions do not always mesh?
Are you a lukewarm Catholic whose positions shift or evaporate when convenience dictates?
What does the evidence say about your commitment, how resolute you are, how dedicated and consistent you are in your faith and upholding that faith? Finally, how "extremely" Catholic will you be judged to be based on this evidence? Will you be a mainline, diluted Catholic like so many today or will you be seen as a "radical extremist" pushing ultra-conservative and over-blown ancient standards?
The jury will be shown an image of Christ and asked to focus on His conduct, His words, and His appearance. That jury will then be asked to compare Christ's behavior, verbal, and visual markings with yours. Do you act like Christ did? Do you say the kinds of things that Christ said? Do you have wounds from following Christ? Jesus took His wounds for our sake; will we be shown to have taken any marks for His Name?
They may ask you to bear your shoulder for the judge and jury. Is the mark of true Christianity there on your shoulder, bruised and worn from carrying your cross willingly?
Those accusing you of being a true Catholic will be looking to mark you as a threat, as an enemy of peace and unity, and as a radical, intolerant extremist. Those trying to "defend" you as not being a true Catholic will look to focus on your lukewarm, undecided, inconsistent, twisted, rationalized, modernized, and sinful nature and ask the jury how could such a defective, confused person ever be a threat to anyone and how could such disorder ever lead to God? Both sides will passionately and forcefully argue their respective positions, and the final judgment will be left to the jury and the ultimate Judge, God Almighty.
Whether we believe it or know it or not, we are being judged every day. Despite what we claim to be, it is our actions, our words, our writings, our conduct, and our beliefs that will ultimately mark us as true Catholics, as somewhat Catholics, as tourist Catholics, or as mere visitors. Christ took His marks out of love for us. Will we have any marks to bear proudly out of love for Christ? Ultimately, it is the evidence or lack of it that will determine where we spend the rest of eternity and how we will be perceived in this secular, modernist, twisted society.
"Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for they persecuted the prophets, that were before you." (Matthew 5: 12).
"If the world hat you, know ye that it hated Me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember My word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake: because they know not Him that sent Me." (John 15: 18-21)
NEXT: PART SEVEN: The Economics of Perdition
Columns in this series thus far:
Editor's Note: Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, submits regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes are music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.