Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"How many saints is your parish creating?"

The following are excerpts from an online article from Matthew Warner, the founder of Flocknote, "Why the world doesn't take Catholicism seriously".  To view the full article, click HERE.

..When I travel, I always get asked by parents how they can get their adult children back to church. It's an epidemic. We know this.

And we can talk about catechesis and community and leadership and orthodoxy and the sacraments and the fullness of truth. We can complain about politics and how we need more preaching from the pulpit. But here is the core problem. Here is the practical reason why people are not convinced of the Catholic faith anymore:

We Catholics don't look or act any different than non-catholics. It's that simple.

The question we must answer is "if Catholicism offers a better way, why don't Catholics' lives seem any better?"

...What we must focus on most is what the Church does best. Our competitive advantage. What nobody else can do like the Catholic Church does: Create saints.

Saints are beacons of Christ to the world. They are the most tangible fruits of the sacraments.

How many saints is your parish creating? That is the ultimate metric.

Saints will not lose their faith because of your bad liturgical music. They can suffer bad preaching, small budgets, poor management and every single one of the many fools we have in this hospital for sinners. They will still be there at Mass, quietly and slowly winning the world for Christ. Slowly transforming the Church. Recruiting other saints and fixing all of these other problems (and yes, they are problems that need fixing) in the process.

A saint is a powerful weapon in this culture war and every war to come. They are compelling in every age and from every angle. They need few words to be understood. They need no defense. They need no money, glory or fame. They have but to be themselves and the world can't help but change.

But we've gotten bad at making saints.

Because we've gotten bad at teaching. And I'm not talking about what we say in the classroom or preach from the pulpit. I'm talking about our example.

The best teachers show. As children we learn more by what we see our parents do than any words they ever say. We've forgotten this when it comes to handing on the faith.

...Instead of lecturing people that they have to go to Sunday Mass, inspire them to want to go. Instead of telling them to dress more appropriately for Mass, give them something worth dressing up for. Instead of telling them not to be unchaste, fascinate them with chastity. And on and on.

It must not only be an affirmative orthodoxy, but also an active orthodoxy.

Instead of talking about how beautiful the faith is, show them its beauty. Instead of insisting upon how good the Church is, be Good. Instead of lecturing about truth, live a life transformed by it.
You don't have to beat people over the head with the truth. You just have to open them up to it. Prepare the way. Then get out of the way. Open the cage door and the Truth will speak for itself. It will roar like a lion, who - once encountered - needs no help being taken seriously.

Taking Catholicism seriously

... We need more people to answer the radical call to sainthood. We need saints. Not just saints of the past, but your sainthood.

When the world sees you, they don't have to see a saint, but at least let them see a sinner set on sainthood. We shouldn't need to tell people we're Catholic. They should smell it in our sweat. They should see Christ radiating authentically and naturally from every move we make. If they can't, we need to shut up and stop talking about what's wrong with everyone else and we need to start living a more compelling life.

We need an army of saints willing to live a radical life for Christ and others. Saints are compelling. Empty words and prideful lectures are not.

...Each of us have been called to live a radical life. To be a saint.

"If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!" - St. Catherine of Sienna

1 comment:

Christian LeBlanc said...

"Instead of telling them not to be unchaste, fascinate them with chastity." Yes. Catholicism vividly lived and winsomely explained is irresistible and compelling.