This was a question posted in a Catholic Business Forum that I saw today and saw so many good answers and responses to it. Thinking on what I just said I guess it is NOT a "good response" when we are speaking of not being able to do more for our brothers and sisters.
My response was given in two parts;
I think I can craft and entire Series of Talks based upon this discussion! (smile).
I think all have a valid point and in my humble opinion, from the perspective of a convert to Catholicism as well as one who speaks and preaches to thousands of Catholics (and other denominations) around the Country, it comes down to two key points:
1. Lack of Catechesis (on-going): Most of us do not know our Faith very well and we take the Sacraments off the shelf in the closet, (so to speak) when we need them; e.g. Marriage, then we put it back on the shelf, until the baby comes...then Baptism...back on the shelf, etc. More often than not, we are not living out our VOCATION (for those of us who are married as well as the single laity) which calls us to GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES...but we just don't know HOW. We don't know or understand just HOW to live a Sacramental Life. I heard Fr. John Corapi put it a GREAT way and it is SO TRUE, "Protestants to more with less (speaking of Sacraments as well as the FULLNESS of the Means of Salvation in the Roman Catholic Church) and Catholics do LESS with MORE." How sad, but how true.
2. FEAR. We are afraid to put on our Catholic Faith when we enter the Secular world. We are AFRAID to sign ourselves when having dinner out, because everyone will then know you are Catholic. We are afraid to engage our Protestant brothers and sisters in conversation, because we feel that most of them will run all over us quoting Chapter and Verse and we are often times not prepared. One of our other shortcomings is that we do not have the equivalent in Catholic/Religious Education as we do Secular, e.g. if you have a Graduate Degree in XYZ, do you have the equivalent in your Catholic Education as well...most of us do not nor do we wish to do so...which is also sad. As someone wrote above, Catholics MUST UNITE! We MUST continue to grow and understand the Deep and Rich Traditions and History we have in our Church and we MUST be willing to do something NEW - We must craft for ourselves NEW Wine Skins to let the Holy Spirit Fill us with New Wine. To often we are trying to put New Wine in our Old Wine Skins and it just don't work. KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON brothers and Sisters. Wear those Crosses and Catholic Crucifix's in public, show our devotion to our Blessed Mother and the Saints, use Holy Water, Blessed Salt, ask the Holy Spirit for "the Gifts" and God will give them to us ALL, to Understand what He wants from us in our lives and not what we want from God!
By the way, my GREAT looking website www.CatholicEvangelist.net is done by and hosted by a great Catholic Business Owner! Thanks Dave! www.ConnectingMembers.com he does CATHOLIC Church Websites!!!
Richard Lane (PROUD to be a Catholic Evangelist) www.CatholicEvangelist.net