More and more I am beginning to believe that we as a Catholic people, as moral people, are going to begin facing challenges and trials that will ultimately cause us to draw that line in the sand. There are always instances and times in our lives that call us into an act of faith and loyalty to our faith, but as I grow I sense a great suffering of the church, and a point at which we will have to stand up for our faith, and what the Church truly teaches.
In the past it seems as though we have followed an extreme Augustinian movement. I mean that we have cared and nurtured our emotions rather than our intellect. This, I believe, caused many problems to thus erupt, the main being the misunderstanding of Vatican II. One can still see the affect our emotions play in our logic and morality that we use everyday.
I'm not saying emotions are a bad thing. On the contrary, I think emotions are a wonderful thing. They are what drive us to love God. I am saying that when we need to build these emotions, on Truths. Moral Truths.
If we as Catholics, and as Christians, use our intellect, with all emotions aside, we start to understand what the Church has to teach and why. Knowing this creates a stronger faith inside of the individual.
I believe we need both emotions and intellect. But, I believe we need to always rely and base our emotions off of our intellect and reasoning. For emotions with no (good) reasoning behind them are pointless and uncalled for.
The tide is shifting. Soon, I believe, we will be forced to fall back to our intellect and to then either stand up for our faith, and the Truth. Or, we run away, and fall. Sadly enough I think this is where most of the people who "leave" the Catholic Church get off at. They do not have the faith in God, nor the strength. But would rather flee and run from the trial (even though, I believe trial will reach you in one form of another-- you can't out run it)
Notice I quoted ..."Leave" the Catholic Church. The reason I wrote it this way is because I believe one does not "leave" the Church, just the same as one does not enter the Church. We are all Catholics. Whether we accept it (know it) or not. We are all Catholics born into this world, and coming out of it. The Church consumes us. The Church takes us on. We do not take on the Church.
The Church has always gone through trials and hard times. Thus it still expands after 2000 years. With this growth in reform and tension in culture will come conflict. This conflict, I believe, will result in a great suffering and trials that we will have to endure.
Even though the church does not seek to be counter-cultural, but when the church is countered by society and culture of our day, it has no choice. The Church IS, and will never change. The church doesn't wish to create conflict between different standpoints. Really, the Church has, in the past forty years, been too tolerant and accepting of others' views.
But, in another sense, if the culture of our church - its practices, traditions, and moral thoughts- is the culture that is the One True Truth, then it is not a matter of the church being counter cultural anymore. Some would call this an extreme way of thinking, but it is that same extremism that says that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. Christ IS the Church, so thus, our extreme claim for Christ becomes our extreme claim for His Church.
Today there is much that is counter to the Catholic way of being. Every day I encounter something that pushes me (us all) closer and closer to that line; whether it be ignorant teachers or other classmates. The moral Truth is not very popular right now, nor was it ever. But, ironically, it is us who try to follow our moral Truths that are questioned and seen as the "outcast" or "pessimist" to the rest of society's views.
Great trials have begun to come, and will continue to come in bigger forms. I think we as Catholics, as people, and as a country, need this. It is time for us to grow up and stand up for what we believe. We all need to strengthen our faith and catecheses - or else we have nothing but the fire. But I am not afraid. God will deliver. God will bestow upon us however much we can handle.