"Don't judge the Catholic faith by
those who fail to practice it"
I saw this quote awhile back and saved it and then in the past few days a reoccurring thought keeps filtering into my head. “ Who is the face of the Catholic Church?” Then the two combined in my head today. Who does represent the Church/Faith to you? Who are we putting up there in our heads? Who does the world see? Are we putting those who should be there and if not why are we? Why is the world?
Of course those who we put up there will influence what people think of the Church. Right now, we are blessed to have Pope Francis. He is a great example of the face of the Catholic Faith and also a man who people should look to as an ideal of practicing the Faith. Yet, people focus more on those who are not practicing then practicing. Those who have fallen away, either in sin or by walking away. Those who have brought shame to the Faith and to the Church become the poster “children” of the Faith and Church. We, who are living out the faith, need to learn to be better “lights” in the world so people can focus on the “Truth” that our Faith and Church proclaims.
Years back the “Face of the Church” was those Religious who took part in the sex scandal. Either those who committed the crimes or those who covered it up. Those men and women shamed the church and changed the face of the church. The church became a place of sex, crime and scandal then a place of grace, blessings and forgiveness. Why do we allow these people to become the face of the church and the policies of the church? Many people stepped back and away from the church because of the scandal and instead we should have rallied around those who really were living the faith.
We have to remember that as we profess our Faith, we are also reaffirming our place on that facet of the face of the Catholic Church. Each and everyone of us who enter into the church become a part of it, whether we like it or not. Also will add for anyone of us who then become involved in ministry or stand on the Alter have just a smidgen more of a glance at times. Before going on, we all are held to the same standards, no matter where we sit or stand in the church, or what we belong to or run but lets also be realistic. If you are putting your face and name out there more then people will recognize you a lot quicker then a person they sat next to 4 months ago in a pew. So, what am I saying? I am saying if you want to become involved then make sure you know what face you want to be for the Church. Do you want it to be a positive or negative experience?
The next part of being that “face” is that it is not just in the Church that we represent the Church/Faith. It is every where we go. It is with every person we come into contact with. We are not perfect and will slip up and do and say something we shouldn’t but maybe we need to remember that we may be the only contact someone has with a Catholic or as a believer in Christ. I know I need to remember this and rethink the words that fly out of my mouth.
The last part is that we can not allow a few people to become the Face of the Church for us as well. People will sin. People will fail. People will fall. We are all human. I do not mean to say we excuse it all when it is serious like the sex scandal but, when that happens remember the Ultimate Face of the church is the Trinity. It is the Eucharist. It is Mary. It is the Saints. It is the Doctrines. It is sad when those who are called “spokesmen” for the Church and Faith fail and change a facet of the face. We just can not let them change what the faith has done in us, through us and for us. The Church and Faith is more then a person.
We become mirrors in the world that reflect all that the Church and Faith pours out and lets remember that no matter who are, what we are in Church, we are still part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Until tomorrow, God Bless, and we always reflect the Trinity and the beliefs of the church in the world.