Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Guns in Disguise

Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blessed!
I had the privilege of spending yesterday on retreat with the youth of Saint Martin's Church preparing for Confirmation. Let me tell you first of all how impressed I am with these kids. Moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents: you have every reason to be proud. I witnessed prayerful homage to Our Lord, genuine compassion for each other, and rollicking solid good humor in these kids. They are an outstanding group of young people, ready and able to take up the reigns of adult Christianity in our Church. Thanks be to God for all of them!

Sister Dolorette of the School Sisters of Notre Dame put together the retreat and did an excellent job. Her stories reminded me, once again, that nobody lives life quite like a Sister!

She shared one story of two teens in a South American country, facilitating catechises in their village. The former catechists had been abducted and found near dead, yet these teens stood and taught their catechises even while government guns had them in their sights! Sister Dolorette described a Communion Service with rifles trained on the congregation, and asked the young man and woman how they dared. The man answered her, "If I wasn't willing to die for Him, I couldn't live for Him."

In America, Sister explained, the guns are not so obvious. The dangers are hidden and seductive. We are still in mortal danger, but the weapons trained upon us are subtle, even packaged as something to be desired. In our ignorance we grab hold of the barrel and dance with our own doom here, all the while thinking we are free.

So, in some sense, our teens have a harder time recognizing the dangers to faith, the threats to their very futures as whole and healthy adults. We live in a country that pretends there is no such thing as sin, except the sin of being faithful. These children are coming of age in a land where Anti-Catholicism is the last socially acceptable prejudice. They will have to fight to hang onto their beliefs. They will have to battle the subtle pitfalls of a seductive world to hang onto their God-given right to be Catholic.

And from what I saw yesterday, these kids are ready for it.

Please pray that all of our candidates have hearts set aflame for the Truth!

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