What the world is in particular need of today is the credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many to the desire for God and for true life, life without end.”
Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, October 2011
on being catholic
It’s been a challenge for faithful Catholics in these last decades, maybe longer. The sexual abuse that has occurred is such an abhorrent episode in the Church’s history that has brought such pain to the victims and their families, and has deeply wounded the Catholic faithful. It’s a period that may forever leave an imprint on those who’ve been impacted. It’s a period that still needs healing and reconciliation; such of the type where the peace that comes can only come from Jesus Christ, aided by the sacramental life Jesus leaves us in and through the Catholic Church.
Yet, as Catholics, we don’t turn our back to Jesus because of Judas.
We are Catholic not because we are a human institution. We are Catholic not because of the clergy. We are Catholic not because of the Sunday homilies or the music. We are Catholic because of Jesus Christ.
We are Catholic because we believe Jesus founded a church, as Jesus himself declared to Saint Peter (Mt 16:18). We are Catholic because we believe the church is the pillar and bulwark of truth (1 Tim 3:15). We are Catholic because of the new and eternal covenant Jesus left with his Apostles on the night he was betrayed before he departed to begin his Agony in Gethsemane; when, at the Last Supper, Jesus institutes the Sacrament of the Eucharist (Mk 14:22-24, Lk 22:19-20, 1 Cor 10:16, Jn 6:53-57, 1 Cor 11:23-30). We are Catholic because of the sacramental life. We are Catholic because we are members of the mystical Body of Christ, and we believe that Jesus left a Church that would be His light to the nations, not to be hidden under a bushel basket (Matt 5:11-16); rather, that this church would be a visible presence in the world that would call all people to Him and the church Jesus founded. We are Catholic because we believe in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church (Eph 2:20; Acts 1:2; Jn 6:70; Mt 16:18, Mt 10:1-5; Rev 21:14) professed by Christians throughout the ages in the Nicene Creed. We are Catholic because we understand the origins of the Bible, and we read it in the same light of understanding that the Apostolic and Early Church Fathers, and others down through the centuries, read Holy Scripture – for we agree with St. Augustine that the “New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.” We are Catholic because we understand Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are the two lungs that breathe the fullness of life into the Christian faith. We are Catholic because we know trying to live out this faith with only one lung is inviting a life of labored breathing. We are Catholic because we breathe in the fullness of life that God breathed into His Church (1 Cor 11:2; 2 Thess 2:15, 3:6; Jn 21:25; 2 Pet 1:20; 3:15-16; Rom 10:17; 1 Cor 15:1-2).
Brothers and Sisters, be not afraid!
A purely human institution would have fallen because, in our sinful humanity, no human institution could survive for these 2,000 years. Yet the Catholic Church is divine in origin because our foundation – the cornerstone that the builders rejected (Ps 118:22; 1 Pt 2:7-8) – is in Jesus Christ, cemented onto the Rock of Peter, and passed down to us to this day through apostolic succession (Eph 2:20; 4:11; 1 Cor 12:28-29; Acts 1:20, 25-26; 14:23; 1 Tim 3:1, 8; 5:17; 4:14; 5:22; 2 Tim 2:2; Titus 1:5).
As God called Noah to his ark to make anew the family of God, we are called to the Barque of Saint Peter to renew the face of the earth. His Church sails through space and time, guided by the Holy Spirit. Through wind and wave, amidst storm, trial, difficulty, and disappointment; in joy and suffering we must remain aboard this instrument of God’s salvific work, which administers the sacraments to be received in a world broken by sin. Like the manna from heaven during the desert wanderings, we are being fed along our journey on the Bread of Life in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
We are Catholic because the sacraments feed the soul. We are Catholic because we belong to this Home for Saints, we belong to this Hospital for Sinners.
All power in heaven and earth has been given to Him, and Jesus will be with his Church, always, through the end of the age (Mt 28:19-20) – thanks be to God!
For words of wit and wisdom from Fr. Donald H. Calloway, MIC, on being Catholic and the Bride of Christ, please enjoy below.
May you have a blessed Holy Week.
Peace be with you!
Where Peter is, there is the Church. Where the Church is, there is Jesus Christ. Where Jesus Christ is, there is eternal salvation.”
Saint Ambrose (340-397 A.D.), Doctor of the Church
the bride of christ
Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, a convert to Catholicism, is a member of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. Before his conversion to Catholicism, he was a high school dropout who had been kicked out of a foreign country, institutionalized twice, and thrown in jail multiple times. After his radical conversion he earned a B.A. in Philosophy and Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, M.Div. and S.T.B. degrees from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, and an S.T.L. in Mariology from the International Marian Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio. You can learn more about Fr. Calloway and his mission at his website: https://www.fathercalloway.com.
by Fr. Donald H. Calloway
The Church needs the protection of St. Joseph. According to the designs of Providence, the Church has always needed his protection, but today it needs it more than ever. The Church is being assaulted by those outside it (Satan and the world) and by those inside it (many of her own children). Sadly, the Church also has to be protected from heterodox and spiritually weak priests and bishops.
Don’t believe me? Well, on June 29, 1972, St. Pope Paul VI made the claim that “the smoke of Satan has entered the Church.” He was right. The Church is in a mess. The smoke of Satan has infiltrated even the highest levels of the Church. The only way to clear away the smoke and make the Church beautiful again is to repent and return to order. There is no other way.
Jesus never promised that everyone in the Church would be holy. The weeds and the wheat grow together. The Church in her essence is holy because she is the bride of Christ, but there are many individual members of the Church who are not holy, marring the beauty of the bride of Christ by their sinful and criminal actions. In God’s time, the weeds and the wheat will be separated. Our role is to stay close to St. Joseph. In this way, we will be wheat, not weeds.
Saint Joseph protects the Church. The days in which we live are filled with scandal, confusion, and division. It is not easy to remain faithful, zealous, and hopeful. Yet, we have reason for hope. God will never abandon us. Saint Joseph will never abandon us either. He knows what is going on in the Church, and he wants to correct it.
Credit: Excerpt from Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father, Fr. Donald H. Calloway, MIC, Marian Press, https://www.consecrationtostjoseph.org Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
Seeing there are many who think they hold the opinions of Christ, and yet some of these think differently than their predecessors, yet as the teaching of the Church, transmitted in orderly succession from the apostles, and remaining in the churches to the present day, is still preserved, that alone is to be accepted as truth which differs in no respect from ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition.”
Origen of Alexandria (184-253 A.D.), Fundamental Doctrines (220 A.D.)
Christianity is not a system of ethics; it is a life. It is not good advice; it is divine adoption. Being a Christian does not consist in just being kind to the poor, going to church, singing hymns, or serving on parish committees, though it includes all of these. It is first and foremost a love relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
When the desire for God touches men’s hearts the world will be made anew. For a man is called to be another Christ. What the world is in need of today is real manhood in the image and likeness of God Incarnate, Jesus Christ. Men: This is the challenge of our time. It is the challenge of our Age.”
Mary, seat of wisdom
Faith resembles a lamp. As a lamp lights the whole house, so the light of faith illumines the whole soul.”
Saint John Chrysostom
Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.