The more stories I hear of Christians being persecuted and killed for their faith in the Mideast the more I wonder what is wrong with the Church in America. Over there people are sacrificing everything for their God and faith. They are lucky to escape with their lives and too often they haven’t. They have all the reasons you can possibly think of to convert but they don’t. They have endured centuries of religious persecution and stayed true to their faith.
On the other hand the second largest denomination in America is fallen away Catholics. American Catholics have abandoned the faith in droves often over little issues like the comment a priest or nun made. Maybe a third of American Catholics bothered to go to mass this Sunday yet in Iraq they go knowing there is a possibility of being killed. We need to ask ourselves serious questions.
What is wrong with us? What are we missing? What is it that Catholics in the Mideast know that we don’t? Why is their faith so important to them that they are willing to die for it? Why do we feel our faith is so unimportant? Why are we willing to abandon it so quickly?
Do we really know our faith? Too often we think it is about us or the priest who hurt us, boring music or boring homilies. That is not what our faith is about. It is also not about rules or punching a time clock every time we attend mass on Sunday. It is about the greatest treasure we could ever find, the greatest love we can ever know or experience, a love worth everything we possess including our lives, a love that would never leave us.
Do we get this? The Catholic faith is about a relationship with Jesus, the God who loves us and created the Church to make it easier for us to experience His love especially in the Eucharist. It is about the God who passionately loves us with an infinite love and ardently longs to bless us, who wants what is best for us. It is about coming to know this passionate lover and opening our hearts and souls to the blessings He yearns to pour out upon us in the Sacraments. It is about our glorious loving Father who longs to draw us close to Him.