Hebrews 13:8

Brothers and Sisters,

Very recently, I was hanging out with an old friend of mine who told me that he has left the Holy Faith. It’s hard to relate in writing how shocked I was because my buddy was a big part of how I learned to love the Church. I was scandalized, I am still hurt, I was thrown off my center.

Naturally I asked him how it came to be that he has stopped practicing the Faith. He responded with what has become a disappointingly common reply: I needed the Church when we were kids, but I don’t need it anymore.

That sentiment, brothers and sisters, should embarrass my friend. Though he claims to be more an adult, his statement is distressingly childish. All the more, it’s a statement I’ve heard so often in the past five years: people, claiming to be mature adults, suggesting that they don’t need the Church.

Perhaps my childhood friend (and many others) only saw the Church as an entertainment or as a comfort in distressing times. Such a thought, brothers and sisters, reveals that my friend didn’t see the difference between the Church and the local movie theatre – save for popcorn, I suppose.

The Church distributes grace; the Church brings Heaven to Earth; the Church brings us to Christ. It is terrifying that my friends cannot see that as valuable – what could be more so?. These, further, are not things that can be done on our own. We need the sacraments, we need the Holy Mass.

Saint Paul wrote it this way: do not be carried off by all kids of strange teaching; your heart is strengthened by grace, not by food (cf. Hebrews 13:9). Let’s not only be involved and practice the Faith, let’s be brave enough to bring our family and friends back to it. I’m not giving up on my buddy, but I know it is an uphill battle.

God be near, Father Jeremy Pastor