Date: 11/27/2003 11:17:06 AM
Name or Pseudonym: Oscar
I hear what you are saying Brigid. It is hard to set the right example all the time in the never-ending rat race we call life. But overcomming lifes pressures is something we must strive to accomplish - we cant give up. Fortitude and patience are things we might ask for in our prayers.
Can we be good enough examples for others? Based on many of the conversions throughout the last 2000 years the answer is a resounding "yes."
Some have converted based on the charitable and right conduct of Catholics, some have converted through dialogue and patient discourse, and some have even converted because of the austerity of the Mass and the beautiful devotion given to God through the use of Gregorian Chant etc.
I know, given todays sorry state of affairs, that it is difficult to imagine that as late as 1960 there were more Catholics and priests and religious than at any time in the history of the Church. Amazing that in less than 40 years we find ourselves short of priests. Nuns are virtually an extinct life form, and membership within the Church has fallen to miserably low numbers. The question begs asking: Are the recent scandals in the Church responsible for the on-going decline, or are the alterations we made and the novel innovations we introduced responsible in some way for all of the scandals?
Seems to me that the whole Catholic world needs to start setting a better example. When the Church was young She was able to truly civilize all of Europe and Chistendom - She influenced, by the Grace of God, the minds and hearts of men. Today the Church is not leading it seems, but being led by the world. Ultimately it will fall upon the Church both as a whole, and as a group of individuals to set the right example for the rest of the world follow.