Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/2/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We need a new Christian foundation for the West. The Catholic Church is in the first stage of a new missionary age.

Pope Benedict’s summons to Europe to return to her Christian roots in order to rebuild herself - and his commendation of some of the philosophical underpinnings of the American experiment ( as evident in his visit and his locutions while on our shores) - are  both oriented toward the same end. He is encouraging the building of a truly just civil and social order by proposing the Christian vision of the person, the family and the common good as the foundation for authentic and responsible freedom.

Pope Benedict’s summons to Europe to return to her Christian roots in order to rebuild herself - and his commendation of some of the philosophical underpinnings of the American experiment ( as evident in his visit and his locutions while on our shores) - are both oriented toward the same end. He is encouraging the building of a truly just civil and social order by proposing the Christian vision of the person, the family and the common good as the foundation for authentic and responsible freedom.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/2/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) It is the weekend when much of the media offers pundits and pontificators the opportunity to review the year we just concluded and make projections concerning the year we have just begun. Like most people, I enjoy listening to these efforts. I even participate to some degree, as evidenced by my short offering to Dr. Deal Hudsons efforts in the Inside Catholic article reprinted below. I wanted to offer a somewhat different proposal than what is the standard fare in a short article. To understand what I write requires that I sketch out a few important claims which flow from my convictions concerning the Church.

We live in an age when many, including some Catholics, have a view of the Church that falls short of what the Gospels and the ancient faith claim. They view the Church as an organization which we came up with - to study the bible, or to pray or to do good works. Though all three efforts are commendable, they do not define the nature of the Church. The Church is the Risen Body of Christ, a sacramental reality. The Church is not some thing, but some One. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church and we are members of His Body. The ancient Christians would have never considered a Christianity which spoke in terms such as I do not need the Church, I have Jesus. Christianity is not me and Jesus, it is me (and you) in Jesus, now made, in the words of the Apostle Peter, partakers of the Divine Nature. We become members of His Body through Baptism. In Him we are joined in an eternal communion with all who have also been baptized into Him. We are all called to live in the Church.

This is more than an allegory, this is a reality. The Church makes the Risen Christ present on the earth by carrying forward in time His redemptive mission until he comes. Through her proclamation and demonstration of his Word - and by providing through her Sacraments the grace that we need - she enables us to grow more fully into His Image and Likeness for the sake of the world. The Church is Gods plan for the whole human race. All men and women are called to find their home in the One Church of Christ. The early Fathers were fond of referring to the Church with phrases such as the world reconciled or the world in the course of transfiguration. She is a communion wherein we participate, even now, in the Trinitarian communion. She is the seed of the Kingdom to come and makes that Kingdom present in the here and now. She is the soul of the world and animates that world by her very presence.

Similarly, the teaching office (magisterium) of the Church is the fulfillment of the promise of the Lord to guide us in all truth by His Holy Spirit. It is not - as some seem to think, including sadly some poorly catechized Catholic politicians - old men in Rome with pointy hats somehow imposing rules. Rather, the promise of Christ is proven true; He has not left us orphans, he continues to guide us into all truth. The Bishops are the successors of the Apostles. The Pope really is the successor of Peter and the principle of unity. The Holy Spirit works through the Church because Jesus Christ is alive and continues His Incarnational and saving mission through His Body.

Because of this understanding of the Church I believe that what is most important in 2009 is what happened in the Church. The collapse of the West will not be remedied by any political party or philosophy. In the United States, gripped by the lies of a culture of death and use, we do not need a conservative revolution as some pundits maintain. We need a Christian revolution. It was the Christian Church which gave us the understanding of the dignity of every human person because we are created in the Image of God. From that came the understanding that we all possess fundamental human rights. Yes, the American founders carried such a notion into a bold experiment in ordered liberty but they did not come up with it on their own. They derived it from Western civilization and the influence of Christendom. That is the the influence of the Church. That is also why the seemingly inevitable collapse of the West can be averted, but only through the resurgence of the Church in the Third Millennium. It is the Church which is the vehicle for true progress. Christianity is the antidote to the descent into a new barbarism arising out of the neo-paganism currently masquerading as liberation.

The Lord who founded His Church did not intend for it to be divided. We are responsible for that. We have been created in His Image. That includes our capacity to exercise our human freedom. Unfortunately, we are still affected by the first wrong choice, it is called sin, and we repeat it over and over. That is also why we continually need the Lord - and why the Church is so important because she is His Body. The Church must manifest her four marks, One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, in our own day. The world must be awakened from her sleep. I make a bold claim, one which I will build upon in future articles; the Church will do so in a profound way in this Third Millennium. The Lord has not given up on His plan. The prayer of Jesus, May They Be One, is being answered. That is why Pope Benedict, in his very first homily, referred to Christian unity as his impelling duty. Playing off of the title of Dr. Thomas Woodss book, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, I make another claim. The Catholic Church will rebuild Western Civilization as she comes back together again in the fullness of Christian communion.

The Popes travels are not only good will trips; they are the modern missionary journeys of the Vicar of Christ. They are chosen strategically, led by the Holy Spirit and have a prophetic purpose as part of a plan for that full communion. Review his trips with that possibility in mind. Similarly, his Encyclical (circulating) letters are not merely academic exercises; they are written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They contain wisdom from heaven which can help to heal and rebuild the Church - and through her the world. Reread, or read for the first time Charity in Truth with that in mind. His work to restore the Catholic unity of the Church - including the bold overture toward Anglican Christians, pastoral overture toward the SSPX, humble rapprochement to our Orthodox brethren, and his continual encouragement to the ecclesial movements - are a part of a blueprint, written by the Holy Spirit, to resuscitate the Church as one New Man, breathing with both lungs, East and West, ushering in this new Christian missionary age.

Similarly, his speech in Regensburg is the first step in engaging an ascendant Islam with the Truth claims of Christianity. He will do so with respect, but he will do so and we must do so as well, as part of the Church. The hungry secularism which has fueled what he so aptly called the dictatorship of relativism opened up the void into which Islam has rushed. However, that void resulted from the decline of a truly Christian vision for the human person, marriage and the family and civil society built upon it and a true understanding of authentic human freedom and solidarity. The future will not be secular. Secularism does not have any content to sustain a future. The challenge of Islam is an invitation to the Church to offer the true humanism which is Christianity as the path to the future.

Pope Benedicts summons to Europe to return to her Christian roots in order to rebuild herself - and his commendation of some of the philosophical underpinnings of the American experiment ( as evident in his visit and his locutions while on our shores) - are oriented toward the same end. He is encouraging the building of a truly just civil and social order by proposing the Christian vision of the person, the family and the common good as the foundation. In short, we need a new Christian foundation for the West. The Catholic Church is in the first stage of a new missionary age. The Dictionary tells us that a prelude is an introductory performance, action, or event preceding and preparing for the principal or a more important matter. The Year that was and the Year that will be are a just that, a prelude, there is much more to come.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More U.S.

St. Michael the Archangel, Defend Us in Battle: Pope Francis Takes on the Devil Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Now the new People of God is the Church. That is the reason she considers him her protector and support in all her struggles for the defense and expansion of the kingdom of God on earth. It is true that "the powers of death shall not prevail", as the Lord assured ... continue reading


Need milk? Eggs or flower? The Post Office may have you covered Watch

Image of Amazon partnered with the USPS to provide daily grocery deliveries to people in the San Francisco Bay area, a program the USPS wants to extend to the rest of the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Postal Service has revealed a new plan to reverse its six-year streak of billion-dollar losses, which is as ingenious as it is simple. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The USPS wants to deliver your groceries to you, and the agency sent this proposal to ... continue reading


Where the buffalo roam... Native Americans plan return of free range Bison on the American Great Plains Watch

Image of Bison calves are playful and eager to roam free.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Buffalo are part of the American west. Across the vast prairies of the Great Plains, herds grazed and migrated, crisscrossing the open grasslands in great, thundering tides. Each year, some of these buffalo were hunted by Native Americans who used everything, from ... continue reading


What did he drink to stay alive? Prison guards suspected of murder after inmate dies of thirst Watch

Image of Investigations continue into the death of a mentally ill man at a North Carolina prison.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mentally ill North Carolina man died of thirst after being placed in solitary confinement for 35 and having the water to his cell shut down by prison officials. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Michael Kerr, an inmate at the Alexander Correctional Institution ... continue reading


Who Are the Mother and Brothers of Jesus? We Are Watch

Image of The Father of Jesus becomes our Father also, as we enter, through Him, into the inner life of the Trinity. He underscores this truth right before He ascended when He instructed Mary of Magdala to tell the disciples

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In this exchange, Jesus opens up for those with eyes to see and ears to hear the deeper interior importance and meaning of the motherhood of Mary  and the interior meaning of all family relationships renewed by the Holy Spirit. He gives to those with ears to ... continue reading


Oklahoma City beheader linked to radical Islamic groups Watch

Image of Alton Nolen, the Oklahoma City man who decapitated his coworker last week had attended a local mosque with ties to radical Islamist groups.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Alton Nolen, the Oklahoma City man who decapitated his coworker last week had attended a local mosque with ties to radical Islamist groups. Suharto Webb, an Imam with ties to former Al Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki, had been the leader of the Islamic Society of ... continue reading


The Lesson of Herod: Developing Our Spiritual Senses Watch

Image of As we receive the Lord Jesus today - as we read and reflect on His Word and feed on His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist - let us enter into the communion of prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to open the ears of our hearts. Ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of our heart. Then we will see the Lord with eyes of living faith and hear Him as He speaks.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In the Christian tradition there is a body of beautiful reflection on what are called the spiritual senses. These senses, in a way, parallel our physical senses. Through prayer and intimate communion with the Lord we can cultivate ears to hear the Lord speak to ... continue reading


Last year, Obama let 300,000 Muslim immigrants into the USA. Security concerns develop. Watch

Image of The Islamic State can easily sneak into the U.S. via the southern border, or tap into the growing pool of foreign born Muslims living in the United States.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over the last three years the number of immigrants in the United States has jumped by 3%, a new study from the Center for Immigration Studies reveals. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 2013 there were a record high of 41.3 million immigrants in the U.S., and ... continue reading


Thousands of Catholics in Oklahoma City join procession against satanic Black Mass Watch

Image of A heavy metal rock band lent their support to the black mass in Oklahoma City -- which reportedly only drew about 42 worshipers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thousands of Catholics from across the United States gathered at the Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Oklahoma City to defy Satanists who were holding a "black mass" nearby. More than 600 people filled the church for a prayer service led by Archbishop Paul ... continue reading


Former Crystal Cathedral undergoing Catholic makeover Watch

Image of The Diocese of Orange purchased the Crystal Cathedral in February of 2012 from the Protestant community which founded it.

By CNA/EWTN News

The Diocese of Orange announced Wednesday the new design plans for Christ Cathedral, saying they are intended to transform the former Crystal Cathedral into a space that is "liturgically and intrinsically Catholic." (CNA/EWTN News) - "Through this innovative ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
1 In the end it was Job who broke the silence and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8
2 may my prayer reach your presence, hear my cry for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:51-56
51 Now it happened that as the time drew near for him ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 30th, 2014 Image

St. Jerome
September 30: St. Jerome, who was born Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius, was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter