Live the Faith, Change the World
By Fr. Robert J. Carr
©Catholic Online 2004
If one were to imitate the example Jesus uses of the Party, you would find that the first time you threw such a party, your neighbors would think it is cute. The second time, the police would be at your door several times during the night and the third time you would be doing it in a new neighborhood.
But what is Jesus really telling us here. He is saying to put our faith into action. Let our faith inspire our action. Indeed, St. James reminds us that if we do not put our faith into action, then our faith is dead.
OUR PRAYER STRENGTHENS OUR ACTION
Now you know that I do not like Voice of the Faithful. Recently, I cited on these pages a letter put out by Voice of the Faithful that reveals plans to stage a coup of the Roman Catholic Church. If you read the letter, you will notice that writer cites an agnostic from Cambridge who taught her the techniques that Ghandi taught on overthrowing governments. Here is the problem, besides the fact they are using the teachings of a Hindu who had a huge amount of respect for the teachings of Jesus to overthrow the Catholic Church, something that the Hindu would never do. They are also forgetting that his techniques were prayer based. This is why VOTF makes so many bizarre errors. They act without a good prayer base using the teachings of a revolutionary who was prayer based.
Ghandi had the power to cast the British out of India via non-violent resistance, because Ghandi was rooted in prayer. He was not Christian, he understood Christianity. Indeed, the reason why he did not become Christian is because of the way he was treated under the Apartheid system in South Africa. But he said that if Christians lived their religion there would not be a Hindu in India. That is how much respect he had for Christianity. Even so, he was a man of prayer and was open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, through his prayer.
MEN AND WOMEN OF PRAYER AND ACTION
The same can be said of the other powerful men and women of prayer throughout the latter part of the Twentieth Century.
* Corazon Aquino a Catholic woman of prayer working with Cardinal Jaime Sin and brought down the Marcos Regime in the Phillipines through the Peopleís Power Revolution, a Catholic woman of prayer. (Talk about how crazy Marcos was, I was in the Philippines in the Fall of 1979 when Ferdinand Marcos held a birthday party for seven years of Martial Law.)
* Lech Walesa a Catholic Man of prayer who led the Solidarity Movement that brought down the Soviet Union.
* Even Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many people forget to note he was a man of prayer, a Baptist preacher, who brought down racial separation.
So we deal with this movement taking wholesale the teachings of Ghandi led by someone who does not believe in God. What do they come up with, "Keep The Faith And Change The Church." That is a standing order anyway. Our role as Christians is to work together to live the faith and to work with each other to strengthen our faith in light of the teachings and the wisdom of our salvation history.
But Jesus calls us to a deeper level. Live the Faith and Change the World. This is what he wants us to do. If you do not believe me then listen to these words, "Go out into the whole world and preach my gospel." What do you think that means? You and I are called to live the faith to such a degree that we bring change radical change to our world by paving the way for Godís Kingdom to Come.
SIN, REPENTENCE AND THE HOLY INSPIRATION
This is also why sin and repentance are important. The closer we are to Christ, the more we turn from sin, the more we are open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That is why confession and all the sacraments are so important. When we confess our sins and repent, we are turning away from those things that blind us, that obscure our relationship to Christ and leave us uninspired and mediocre. When we repent we are more open to the renewal of our mind that Paul talks about in Romans. We have a sharper vision and are more inspired by the Holy Spirit, We can and are called to do many powerful things.
Ghandi was quite aware of the relationship between turning from sin and opening one self up to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He also practiced celibacy.
However, why do you think we are living at a time when parishes are closing. The answer is where is the dynamic of the faith? Where are the people who seek to live the faith so radically that they change the world. Many are caught up in a concept of Catholicism that says we have outgrown sin. Have we? Such an attitude is a harbinger for a Christianity that is all about making me comfortable and turning me from living Christ, radically.
Let me give you an example. You know many people say ...
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