Are We Salt of the Earth, or An Assault on the Holy Spirit by Our Acts

Are We Salt of the Earth, or An Assault on the Holy Spirit by Our Acts May 13, 2022

To be a disciple is to deny one’s self, to discover how dependent on grace we are not to be depraved –not just today but every day. The seduction of the world is a constant press, which disguises itself as a means to a “greater good.” When ministry becomes an end in and of itself, as opposed to a means, it ceases to be a ministry. It becomes a carnival with a barker. It means that we are not witnessing Christ but marketing religion. Catholic writers/media should set the world on fire, and if it follows the Holy Spirit, rather than the money, it will be a catalyst for the creating of saints, rather than a Catholic flavored Book of the Month club seasoned with Gospel of Prosperity marketed as beauty.

Many venues no longer feel like ministries or communities, they feel like marketing and commodities.  Their writing and outreach seems designed to ensure there is a start up base for purchasing whatever next thing comes from whatever CATHOLIC SO YOU SHOULD TRUST US ministries in the pipeline.    What began in many cases (And I believe as such), as earnest attempts to help people draw closer to the sacraments, now feels like a market place in the temple.
The result of this grocerification of the Gospel for books and digital exclusive content and speaking engagements and custom rosaries is the equivalent of swag for your favorite saint, as if this were a sporting venue and you’re merely showing your preference,  as opposed to creating any actual discourse about the hard challenges life throws at us, things that require us to integrate our faith into everything.  We are not converting hearts by our words and our books and our talks and our special products, we’re collecting those who approve of what we say.

Catholic Dialogue should be robust and full of both imagination and reality.  We have much we should be wrestling with as a Church, and as individuals.

For example: What is the just response of a nation to another nation’s injustice to our neighbor (US to Russia), or how do we address grave abuses in our Church effectively so as to not ignore victims or glory in stoning sinners. What do we do to invite people who feel removed by the teachings of the church to come back? How do we help divest our faith as practice in this nation from identifying with one party or another as proof of vice or virtue? How do we teach the virtue of fasting and abstaining and self sacrifice to a culture that embraces every appetite instantly? How do we address the desperate need for beauty in our music, art, architecture and liturgy in a world/culture that values efficiency? (All those things take time). What must we do today and each day going forward to witness to the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, so as to create a culture that cherishes the existence of people irrespective of status, and wants all not to merely survive but thrive?  How do we ensure we do not succumb to the seduction of honor, fame, glory or power? How do we correct each other in full charity when we stumble?   These are just the beginnings of the questions that could be discussed by the many people of good will in the whole of Catholic media if it were unleashed from the tether of fidelity to a particular political party, or to a celebrity priest, or the latest book/materials created for purchase.
The measure of a ministry’s success is not how many followers or likes or books get sold, but how many souls turn to the sacraments. How many people live the Gospel and share the good news with all they encounter through how they live? How many who witness how they live, feel likewise inspired? There should be five to twelve baskets brimming over from what we feast upon here, not dependent upon whether or not we’ve purchased the latest materials from Whatever The Flavor of the Month Ministry industries created.  We need to step back and ask before we write, before we act, before we speak, before we stay silent, before we fight, before we buy, before we sell, is this Our Father’s will?  Will this action reveal Christ to others?  Holy Spirit, breathe on us and guide us in all our endeavors, so that we will not grieve You.
LESSON IN THE LEFTOVERS | Grace for the Race
And if we’re still not sure, we need to look at the fruits.  Does what we do inspire others to go and live the Gospel, or does it simply churn for its own sake…like bitcoin?

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