Friday, May 3, 2013

Faith Makes a Difference

When preaching last week, I made a reference to Cardinal Newman that I hadn't included in my written text (see below). I took the quotation from a new book that seems interesting: The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church, by Christopher Kaczor, a young philosophy professor at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. I've only skimmed the book, but it looks good.

Although I quoted Newman in a rather different context than Kaczor, I thought I'd reproduce the whole passage here--especially since there will be no homily on the blog this week. I'm preaching to students receiving their First Holy Communion and to the candidates for the permanent diaconate so I will not write out my homilies.

"Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, the great Oxford convert to Catholicism, wrote a beautiful sermon about a venture of faith. In it, he asked, if you found out that Christianity was false, demonstrably false, would your life change? If your life would be exactly the same, even if they found the bones of Jesus in the grave and so Christianity was false, then you have not yet made a venture of faith. Most of us, I certainly count myself among them, have not ventured terribly much in faith. We are not missionaries in foreign lands; we have not given up husband or wife, children, or property for the sake of the Kingdom. But one venture we can make is to live, as best as we can, according to the teachings of Christ’s Church even in areas where these teachings challenge us. The most difficult teachings have nothing to do directly with contraception: forgive those who wrong you; love those who hate you; do good to your enemies. We all are called to give ourselves totally to the service of God, even when it means following difficult teachings such as contraception."

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