AFTER DECADES OF CRITICISM FROM PENTECOSTALS AND OTHERS, IT'S TIME FOR CATHOLICS TO STOP TAKING IT WITHOUT A RESPONSE
The other day a priest in his homily mentioned how kids who attended a non-Catholic Christian high school came to him on occasion to complain that they were constantly being challenged by teachers and fellow students about their Catholic faith.
The priest told them that the fact that these folks who attacked Catholicism had to tear down another religion to build up their own told you more about their religion than about Catholicism. This doesn't happen in Catholic schools; non-Catholics are not brought to task. Against us, too often, is vandalism.
The priest wisely advised the students to call upon the Holy Spirit to guide the way they responded. For as we know, set and practiced and designed answers don't resonate as it does when the Spirit flows. When it is all "mental," when we try to memorize every word, tension is created.
But at the same moment it is time for us to defend Catholicism with more vigor, to start more firmly and informatively replying to assaults from non-denominational denominations and Pentecostals and charismatic and Baptists and mega-pastors, to begin showing force of spirit instead of taking every calumny and attack on our faith and other shots with hands tied behind the back. It gets to be too much -- the constant way they dispute anything that Catholicism has and they don't: the Eucharist, the Blessed Mother, the Crucifix, the saints.
They are "saved." We, supposedly, are not.
They even take issue with the type of Bible we use -- even though we are the Church that assembled the first Bible. (And even though the Bible condemns anyone who adds or subtracts from Scripture -- which was done when books were removed during the Reformation.)
On occasion, they need to be reminded of this.
They need to be reminded that: If it weren't for the Catholic Church, they would not know what speaking in tongues is about, they would not have the New Testament, they would have no notion what Jesus looked like (it is the Catholic and Orthodox Churches that have dominion over Christianity's holiest sites, such as the Church of the Nativity and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, not to mention the Shroud of Turin, plus, the early artwork). Do they believe what Christ said, we might ask, when He said He would build His Church on the "rock" of Peter? (The Vatican is precisely built, say many archeological experts, on the burial remains -- the ossified, stone-like bones -- of the crucified Peter). Do they adhere to the words of Jesus, Who told John from the Cross that Mary was his mother? (From the Cross, He was speaking to everyone.) They say that praying for souls of the departed isn't in the Bible -- because they removed the Books of Macabees (which refer to praying for souls). Have they listened to what Jesus said at the Last Supper when He instituted the Eucharist (which they too often call a "cookie" or idolatry)?
The answer is no and so perhaps it's time to stop taking the shots from non-Catholics lying down as we have done through humility. Through humbleness (and love), it's time to reassert Catholicism -- boldly. We must defend our faith -- though not offend theirs. We are at a juncture when non-denominational Christians are snatching away droves of Catholics (particularly in the most Catholic of Latin American countries) and swiping away many in the United States who have come from Mexico. The spirit of division? There are an estimated 33,000 Protestant denominations.
We need our cradle Catholics -- especially the young, especially those who have wandered into protestantism -- back.
We need to let them know of false accusations against our faith.
We need to educate without attacking.
It's time to stand up to this. It's time to take false accusations to task. It's time to let our people know that while we will not respond in kind, and will let the Holy Spirit flow (very important), we will let them know the truth of a faith that is behind the oldest institution on this earth: older than Protestantism by fifteen centuries.
More than anything, it's time to practice Catholicism at its original best, with far more active prayer and healing and deliverance and relevant dynamic sermons that will show everyone no matter the propaganda they have been fed that our Church is alive and well and the original one.
[link to www.spiritdaily.com