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Comfortable in our Catholic Skin: Reject Triumphalism, Embrace the Call to Christian Unity Comments

Triumphalism is not the way toward Christian unity. It is not being comfortable in our Catholic skin. We need to reject it. One of the most difficult obstacles in making progress toward the visible unity of the Church is the reticence of some Catholics to accept the leadership of the Magisterium, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the clear teaching of the Catholic Church on its priority. Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 33 Comments

  1. Trinbagonian
    1 year ago

    ANN: Thanks for your prayers. May God continue to bless you, your husband, and family, I pray too. And of course I concur with you ... for with conversion there is no dilution, but an aim for perfection. Conversion occurs with sincerity, a willingness to work in accordance with God. And yes, there is humility, perseverance, patience in this.
    Boy, St. Monica, it eh easy (local Trini). Help all of us!

  2. Ann Malley
    1 year ago

    Michael - regarding your differentiation between dialogue between Catholics and non-Catholics: THANK YOU, SIR! I could not agree more. Your succinct explanation linking dialogue with a certain equality in the realm of religious interactions is spot on. Catholic Truth is Truth.

    And Truth is not a bad word.

    That said, I wonder, Emma, why is it that you call into question the strength of Michael's faith and label his fidelity to the teachings of Christ as 'fear'? Stop baiting him. The man obviously believes what is stated in scripture regarding heretics. That is those folks espousing heresy. In today's Rodney-King-world of everybody just getting along, I find Michael's stance on Catholic Truth to be a draught of pure manliness and fortitude. What he espouses is very unpopular... hence it takes courage to speak it.

    Then again, when taken in proper context, fear is a very healthy attribute. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom after all. Fear of that which will damage something we highly value is just common sense. That is why, unless called to do so specifically by one's state in life, (Parent, Priest, Bishop, Cardinal, Pope) overt courting of those things and/or persons and practices which can damage our Faith would be considered the occasion of sin and/or the presumption on our own personal strength. (Just wait until your children begin to think that the Catholic Faith seems too stringent compared to the Protestants with whom you pray. And being Catholic is harder, that is when you really try to espouse what Mother Church teaches without compromise.)

    So Pope Francis may be calling for us to evangelize the world, but this is precisely because by dint of Vatican II and 'opening up the windows of the Church', the smoke of Satan aided in large part by our own laxness to do our Catholic DUTY has resulted in mass apostasy.

    Thanks again, Michael. And keep the Faith!

  3. Ann Malley
    1 year ago

    Thank you for your response, Trinbagonian. I concur that we must be converted to the idea of unity, that is we should have Faith that Jesus' high priestly prayer will indeed be answered. But again, not by us. This is not to say that we serve no purpose, but rather that we must be humble, prayerful, and submissive to the tenants of the Faith precisely so that the Holy Ghost can make use of us. And right where we are - in our families, with our friends, at work, at the grocery store, book club, wherever.

    Our Lady is the epitome of patient suffrage, courage in the face of the seemingly impossible, and complete fidelity to God's word - even as what seemed to be the whole of her world watched and mocked. I cannot imagine her diluting what Our Lord required of her one bit to win the crowd. (Even as Our Lord didn't compromise His Truth to retain followers when expressing the absolute need to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood.) I can only imagine the strength of the Blessed Mother's silent testimony at the foot of the cross.

    That's why I'm with you in congratulating Eileen for having required her husband to convert to the Faith prior to their marriage. Sadly, today there is a prevailing sentimentality that values the 'Faith journey' and 'Free Will' over 'Salvation' and the reality of the four last things. If the journey and natural blossoming of the Faith via learning and growing were paramount then there would be no need for infant baptism... or any baptism. People would just be on different levels of learning and not held accountable if they didn't quite hit the mark.

    I will pray, Trinbagonian, that your husband comes to the Faith as my own husband of 26 years was just baptized 4 years ago. Would that I had not let him (and my children) down and taken the risk of requiring what was right and good up front. A lot of heartache, recrimination and downright foolishness could have been avoided as there was no gentle flowering of Faith, but rather a series of unrelenting hard knocks. God is very good!

    So don't regret what you did, Eileen. YOU did what God, through his Holy Church, asked of you. WAY TO GO!!! Be thankful that you corresponded to God's grace in what He asked of you. And answer your husband's questions regarding religion. Live the Faith fulyl, faithfully, and with vigor. What a fine example of fidelity and love (the tough kind) for your children.


  4. Emma
    1 year ago

    Michael..are you saying that when Archbishop O'Boyle stood with Martin Luther King in the 1963 during the March on Washington and offerred the invocation, joining in prayer with a million others that that was an act against God and the church? We partake of the Living Body of Christ, not so that we can then hoard it. We are to take Christ out into the world and share with others.. Our lives themselves then become an act of worship. We offer ourselves and our lives in service to God. Love itself is supernatural. Grace a gift. You're straining a gnat and swallowing a camel! Our worship is not confined to the walls of the building. Dialogue. Seems we define that quite differently. How do you suggest that we answer the questions of non Catholics unless we know what those questions are? How do we know the questions? We build friendships and relationships with others. Did Jesus check credentials ? As for music...the Psalms ?? Oh but wait. King David was a Jew.

  5. Trinbagonian
    1 year ago

    ANN: I just wanted to share with you that I agree with you regarding charity and praying for unity. However, in praying for unity, we ought to be converted toward it. In this way we will be a vessel of The Holy Spirit and its Work even in little things as with regards to our neighbor. We are challenged by the Gospel (and lately by Pope Francis) to "go make disciples of all the nations" (as others have done for us). This we do in love for God and love of another (Charity). The Spirit's-a-moving, (hence this discussion) and open discussion helps us to listen to the Spirit clearly, for we are sinners not immaculate.
    Remember how Elizabeth praised our Holy Mother. Let us learn from our Holy Mother who believed that the promise made to HER would be done. Our Holy Mother took the promise personally though the Saviour was promised to the world.

    MICHAEL: Michael, Michael, Michael, you are full of courage and fire and I like this. You are like your namesake, our Archangel with his sword to defend. Your energy/yearning for Truth is truly admirable and a blessing. Just a word of advice from me to you in your noble purpose: be careful to listen. Listen to the Heart of God.
    God came down for each one of us conceived in flesh as Son willing for a grueling/painful passion and a humiliating, lowly death. Michael this shows that no flesh is better than another. Laws are created for us because of what we lack in the heart. We are all equal, Michael.
    I know you said it was your last post, but I hope that you will continue to allow yourself to touch our Saviour's Heart that you may increasingly discern your Call for (and use of qualities in) the Spiritual Warfare as glorious Archangel Michael who even in his battle with devil over Moses refused to condemn satan, but only said instead "Let the Lord correct you." Jude 9. I hope you will learn to subdue your passion with the Heart of Jesus. God bless.

  6. Kevin Nolan
    1 year ago

    Michael: I suggest you read again the references that are included in the article by Deacon Fornier . Then prayerfully seek God's direction in this matter.
    I humbly suggest that the critical features are faith in Jesus Christ, accepting baptism, seeking to know and acting out the will of God in one's life.

    FOR EXAMPLE 1 John Paul II wrote in his encyclical letter on unity:
    "It happens for example that, in the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount, Christians of one confession no longer consider other Christians as enemies or strangers but see them as brothers and sisters.
    FOR EXAMPLE 2 Catechism paragraph 819:
    "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth" are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements." Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."
    Remember that once in time salvation was considered to be available only for the circumcized (men I assume, not referring to women). Jesus founded a Church but he did not establish denominations.

  7. Ann Malley
    1 year ago

    Didn't Christ instruct the Apostles to go out and preach the Truth as He revealed it? Didn't He instruct His followers to correct those straying into error and to avoid heretics? (Not out of meanness, but out of true charity.)

    The prayer of Union from John's Gospel was directed toward God the Father from whom Faith comes. Not to us. Not to the Faithful and not to the Apostles whose duty was to spread and safeguard the Faith. (We are to follow, not facilitate by taking on a role that does not belong to us.)

    So what is it since Vatican II that has the Bride of Christ mistakenly believing that it is Her mission to dilute Truth and take up the role of God the Father in answering Jesus' prayer? Ours is to be humble, to wait on the Lord to grant this unity. Much like grace, unity will come in God's way, in God's time. But not if we, the unfaithful Faithful, grow impatient like proud children who think waiting is boring and/or not important enough of a job and try to push God's will by either diluting his most precious gift at the risk of everyone's salvation. To do that is really just doing our own will of 'Unity now, Truth later."

    Ann - A former fallen away Catholic who was too ignorant of her own Faith to stick up for it up front.

  8. michael
    1 year ago

    @ Emma...this is my last post on this topic. Three quick points....first, the Bible is clear as is Catholic teaching, namely, that there is UNA Faith and that Faith is the Catholic Faith. Secondly, dialogue is an inappropriate way for a Catholic to deal with a non-Catholic, for it puts the two parties on an equal level. Catholics have something to give and that is the truth of Christ. This puts us in the position of teacher with the non-Catholic being a student. There is not an equality here. It is our duty to evangelize not to dialogue. Thirdly...forgive me for going into this...but you state that you and your husband "pray and worship" with Protestants. It has been the constant teaching of Almighty God and His Holy Church that "active participation in non-Catholic worship is against the Divine Law." Protestant prayers and hymns are often times erroneous in their content. You might think this as being arrogant, but truth is truth. Unity of Faith is the foundation for any unity in Charity. Without Supernatural Faith there is no supernatural love.

  9. Stephen Spencer
    1 year ago

    Deacon, I see it the opposite as you: it is stumbling around trying to avoid saying the Truth that makes us Catholics uncomfortable in our skins. It is trying to avoid saying that Christ founded the one true Church, which is the Catholic Church.

    Christians (in general) are more or less accused of triumphalism--words to the same effect--for claiming that Christianity is simply true. That's humbling: but true. The Church is the Church of Christ: that's humbling, but true as well.

  10. Emma
    1 year ago your faith so weak that you fear dialogue or sharing prayer with fellow CHRISTIANS a threat or is it that you are so blinded by arrogance that you think it's necessary for you and you alone to reeducate all the rest of us billion or so fellow Catholics? Which is it? I attended the March For Life with people from many faith communities and horror of horrors, even GAYS and LESBIANS! My husband and myself frequently worship and pray with fellow CHRISTIANS. We also follow Catholic Teaching and have the opportunity to clear up misconceptions re. our church and beliefs. We haven't "gone to the other side ". How weak our faith would be if we could be turned from it. Christ First! I attend Mass to worship God, to share in the Eucharist. I pray for my fellow Christians to join me. "I can speak God's Word with power, revealing all it's mysteries, but if I have not love, I am nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. " Sound familiar? If anyone's post should be deleted, it is yours. It is mean spirited and not at all representative of the church that I love or the God that I worship. You don't lead people to Christ by beating them over the head with the Bible and finishing them off with the Catechism! You lead them to Christ by being an instrument of His Love and Grace!

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