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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Fr. Campbell, “Steadfast in the faith” (1Pet.5:9)"

“Steadfast in the faith” (1Pet.5:9) 

The Catholic Faith – how great it is, how wonderful! There is nothing else like it in this world. It is truly the treasure, and the pearl of great price of which Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke:

  “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field; he who finds it hides it, and in his joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he finds a single pearl of great price he goes and sells all that he has and buys it” (Mt.13:44-46).

In a way, it’s easy to be a Catholic. You don’t have to be clever, you don’t have to have power and influence, and you don’t have to have money. If you can say the prayer, An Act of Faith, and believe it, you are already a Catholic in your heart. The essence of the prayer is expressed in the last sentence, “I believe all the truths which the holy Catholic Church believes and teaches, because you (God) have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.”

Believe, then, but believe ALL that the Catholic Church teaches. That’s what makes it Catholic Faith. It is of no use to believe SOME of the Church’s teachings, even to the point of believing all but ONE of them. If only one of the Church’s essential doctrines is denied, the Catholic Faith is lost.

The Faith must be handed on to the generations to come. This was done in the beginning by the preaching of Peter and the other Apostles, and then by their successors, the Holy Father in Rome, and the faithful bishops and priests. 

You must know your Catholic Faith. Not the Novus Ordo drivel that the children are taught – stories about Jesus and how He loves everybody, but without doctrinal content that the children can hold on to, so that they grow up without knowing their Catholic Faith. No wonder they drift away from the Church so easily. They don’t know what a blessing it is to be Catholic.

St. Paul tells us there is “one Lord, one faith, one Baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and throughout all, and in us all” (Eph.4:5,6).

John the Baptist, wasting away in his prison cell, sent word to Jesus to ask Him, “Art thou he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Lk.7:19). Jesus sent word back to John, saying, “Go and report to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not scandalized in me” (Lk.7:22,23).

But the Newchurch no longer preaches the Gospel. It dialogues. Francis wants every Catholic to “dialogue” with those of other religions. Recently he “dialogued” with representatives of the Jain religion. The Jains respect all varieties of religious belief, but they do not believe in a Creator God. That didn’t bother Francis. He did not preach. In addressing them he said:

“We all love mother Earth, because she is the one who has given us life and safeguards us; I would also call her sister Earth, who accompanies us during the journey of our existence… Our duty is to take care of her just as we would take care of a mother or of a sister… ” (Vatican Radio, and CRUX, June 1, 2016).

So “mother Earth” gives us life? No mention of Jesus Christ and the necessity of having faith in Him? Nothing of what one must do to be saved? This is what comes of dialogue with other religions. To be “politically correct” one must pretend that all religions are equal and authentic. In his 2013 Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Francis referred to “Authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran…” But how can a false religion be in any way “authentic”?

Jesus Christ was not by any means “politically correct”, but spoke the plain and unvarnished truth to all. He sent out His disciples to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk.16:15). He did not tell them to “dialogue” but to convert. What should one do if they do not listen?:

“And whoever does not receive you, or listen to your words – go forth outside that house or town and shake off the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that town” (Mt.10:14,15).

So why pretend that we do not have the revealed word of God in the Gospels? Why pretend that we are only one religion among many “authentic” religions all deserving our “respect”? We can have no respect for the false religions. But we can, and must, have respect for the people who are deceived by them. We must preach the Gospel to them with humility.

Our faith must be built upon the rock of truth, not upon the shifting sands of unbelief. Jesus tells us in one of His great parables:

“Everyone who hears these my words and does not act upon them, shall be likened to a foolish man who built his house on sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and was utterly ruined” (Mt.7:26,27).

But about those who build their house upon the rock of truth:

“Everyone… who hears these my words and acts upon them, shall be likened to a wise man who built his house on rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, but it did not fall, because it was founded on rock” (Mt.7:24-25).

Our Catholic Faith, our Rock – how great it is, how wonderful! There is nothing else like it in the whole world. It is truly the treasure, the pearl of great price. Like our Blessed Mother, Mary, like St. Joseph, like the Holy Apostles, like the Holy Catholic Church, we must always be “steadfast in the faith,” and never be contaminated by the counterfeit “faiths” of this world.