What's the Least I Can Do?
American Catholicism is having a rough go. The funny part about it is, none of it has anything to do with Church teaching.
The Church, thankfully, is curiously consistent. I say curious because I can think of no other organization that is as consistent as the Church. I do not have to worry about waking up tomorrow or on my 90th birthday to the headline, “Church encourages birth control” or “Pope: ‘Abortion is a private matter, not any of the Church’s business.’” The Church is who She is and She doesn’t need to change for any one, any thing, or any agenda.
Yet, with this mysteriously transparent Institution, we still race to the bottom. The problem with American Catholicism is very simple. It all points back to one simple question, “What is the least amount of effort that I can put in and still make it to Purgatory?”
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
It is an attitude that we don’t limit to our faith. We do it with our education too. “What is the lowest score I can get on the exam and still pass the class?” And our work. “What is the least amount of work I can do and not get fired?”
People, Men, we are in the fight of our life! Our eternal salvation is on the line every day. Eternal, forever. As in, there’s nothing after that. That’s it. It’s even longer than that awkward moment when you run into your ex-girlfriend in the cafeteria with her new boyfriend. Eternal… that’s a long time.
And really, when you consider it, you’re cheating yourself by asking questions like that. You ignore life as a blessing and opportunity and treat it like a chore.
You show up late to Mass, in blue jeans, chewing gum. You tweet during the homily or read the bulletin. You go to Communion without considering the state of your soul, and then don’t bother returning to your seat. Your pew mates start to worry that the rapture just happened and they missed out.
The goal of our faith life, the bedrock of our family life, should not be to get a D-. It shouldn’t focus on just passing. We should strive to excel!
We are not compartmental beings. We cannot, no matter how much we tell ourselves, keep different aspects of our lives separate. If you’re a lazy employee, you’re going to be a lousy spouse. If you try to live your Catholic faith on the bare minimums, thats the same effort you’re going to put into our marriage.
You’re better that than. We’re better than that.
Boys aim to pass. Men aim to excel.