By Corrinne May
To the secular world, the Catholic faith and family are often deemed irrelevant and out-of-touch with the modern world. But, it is precisely this stark contrast between the secular world and our Catholic faith that makes the Catholic faith and family more relevant than ever before, for light shines brightest in the darkest night.
A lighthouse cannot turn on as and when it chooses to. It has to stay on throughout the dark night to warn the storm-tossed ships of the impending rocky dangers hidden beneath.
In the same vein, we cannot afford to be ‘Cafeteria Catholics’, picking and choosing which tenets of faith we choose to believe in and practise. He has called us to truth and faithfulness, not to popularity.
And yet, oftentimes, many of us, myself included, fail to be that light. We fear being unpopular in the eyes of the world.
So we unwittingly end up becoming ‘Cafeteria Catholics’ who support events that run counter to our Catholic values, embrace contraception, engage in pre-marital sex, look to conceive children via in-vitro fertilisation, think nothing of embryonic stem cell research, skip mass to attend a praise and worship service at a megachurch…
John 17:14 cites “I gave them your word, and the world hated them because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.”
It is scary to think that if we were truly living our Catholic faith, the world would “hate” us.
When I told my friend that I was saving my virginity for when I got married, she was incredulous. When a female friend decided to marry a woman and invited me to her wedding, I declined her invitation and she hasn’t spoken to me since. When I was invited to sing at an event that promoted same-sex union, I turned down the invitation because I did not want to promote an agenda that ran contrary to my Catholic faith. When I took to the streets with thousands of fellow Catholics in San Francisco to take part in the pro-life, anti-abortion walk ‘March for Life’, we encountered many people who jeered and taunted us and called us names.
It is not easy to be a light in the darkness. But that’s why St. John Paul II’s exhortation to ‘Be Not Afraid’ should resound ever more strongly in our hearts.
We are fighting a spiritual battle. The enemy wreaks great damage by sowing seeds of discord amongst the bedrock of society, ie. the family. Thus we increasingly see the marital bond between man and woman treated with contempt, the role of fathers and mothers undermined. Marriages are unravelling more than ever before because the world cannot see beyond pain and chooses instead to run from suffering.
This is where the Catholic family needs to shine its brightest light, to pray as a family, live in love and find our joy even in the midst of sorrow, to inoculate our children against the moral relativism of this age. We cannot afford not to know the answer to Pilate’s question ‘What is truth?’