Sunday, April 3, 2011

Truth and Opinion

In an article a few months back, the writer indicated that technology today has dramatically affected the way people view religion. The availability of vast amounts of information through the internet has resulted in people making their own decisions regarding what to believe. He opined: "Lay people are staking out moral and ethical positions on issues that were once the exclusive domain of an educated hierarchy. Clergy can either fight and trivialize this irreversible movement and be marginalized, or embrace it and find ways to meet the needs of wandering flocks while still preserving their eternal messages." (A. James Rudin, "Religion is going global," The Star-Ledger, Dec. 20, 2010, section two, p. 3.)

This "cafeteria" attitude with regards to faith is nothing new. It even predates the invention of the printing press. There has always been that temptation to pick what one wants to believe and to leave in the dust those doctrines considered unpleasant or difficult. What we sometimes forget is that our religion is a revealed religion. Faith is a supernatural gift from God. That is why among believers there is unity; it is based upon the revelation of only One: God Himself. When left to ourselves, there are as many beliefs as their are personal opinions.

Our Lord, Jesus Christ was not a product of his day. He did not reflect the customs and culture when it came to teaching the truth. If He did, then women would be relegated to servitude and children would be seen as an annoyance. Rather He revealed God's love for everyone: children, women and men, whether rich or poor, healthy or sick. He loved sinners too. He was not only marginalized because of his teaching, but was also arrested and put to death.

Jesus established the Church in order to be with us until the end of the world. The Catholic Church teaches as He taught. She speaks the same truths that cannot be changed by public opinion. Her aim is not to "fight" against or to "trivialize" public trends concerning religion. Her purpose is simply to proclaim what is true for our salvation. The Catholic Church does this because she loves as Jesus loves.

Father Stanley

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