The Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, the holy mother Church is built on a rock that cannot be shaken. A Church built on the faith of the apostles, hence the name, Apostolic Church. This Church attracts so much attention, everybody wants to know what is happening in the Church. The media sometimes direct the full beam of her search light on the Catholic Church to either show the world how strong and organize the Church is or to open her weakness to the world. The attention the whole world focuses on the Catholic Church and how she is sometimes criticized because of the failure of some of her members makes some Catholics worried, but do you know what? it makes me strong, happy and proud of the Catholic Church. Don’t get me wrong, I am not proud of the weaknesses some of us sometimes display. I pray daily for forgiveness of all my mistakes and show of weakness, asking God for the grace to follow him without looking back no matter what comes my way.
The Church is the people of God gathered in prayer, they are ‘Saints’ and sinners in need of God’s mercy. So, who has the right to judge and condemn? The world’s attention on the Catholic Church, the criticism, judgment and condemnation and the praises as well makes me very proud to be a Catholic. They make me happy rather than worried, they tell me a whole lot about God and the Church. So, with St. Paul I say to all Catholics, rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice (Phil 4:4). Rejoice, not in our weaknesses but in the presence and mercy of God.
The Catholic Church has been in existence from the very beginning, the very first Church on earth. Her structure, nature, teachings, actions and theology has been criticized by some individuals and the media sometimes aid these criticism. We cannot deny the truthfulness of some of the issues raised against the actions of some members of the Church, especially against clerics. These brothers and sisters of ours may have displayed some terrible weaknesses that do not represent what the Church stands for, their actions are condemnable but they as children of God are redeemable if they give God the chance. This is not an attempt to encourage anyone to continue to live a life of weakness but to learn to stand on the strength of God.
I rejoice today not because the history of the Church is so clean but because despite the mistakes and weaknesses found in the history of the Church, God is still with her. The Church is still an unshakable rock, and this tells me of the faithfulness of God. The whole world may rise against the Church, she remains the rock. From this one Church, so many broke out, yet she never runs dry. Wherever she goes, she grows even before you blink your eyes; this is the Lord’s doing. This gives me so much confidence in the Catholic Church, the Lord is indeed with the Church. The gates of hell will not prevail against her, not even when she passes through fire and turbulent periods.
Some doctrines and theology of the Catholic Church has been criticized, especially by some fanatical protestants. This cannot force the Church to go back on her teachings just as the pressure from the Jews could not make Jesus go back on his teaching about the Eucharist. Even when the people refused to accept the fact that they must eat the body and drink the blood of Jesus Christ, Jesus insist that he will not go back on his word. He was ready to let his own apostles go rather than change his teaching (Jn. 6:60-69). So also, the Church cannot be pressurize to change her doctrines, she will rather let the “apostles” go than to change her doctrines. So, “Just live and lets live.”
With every human being, we are brothers and sisters created by one God in his own image and likeness. There is no need putting our energy into criticizing others; if you are a Catholic, to God be the glory. If you are not, that does not make you an enemy of God, you can find him in your Church. Just leave the Catholics alone to worship God in their own unique way. Gamaliel said: So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to over throw them. You might even be found opposing God! (Acts 5:38-39). The Catholic Church has been opposed, but cannot be overthrown because the undertakings of the Church are not of man but of God.