This recent, and unfortunately, all too truthful column in the New York Times is exactly the type of writing that is hampering the ability of Catholics who are involved with prison ministry to catechize criminals; and for those Catholics who are unschooled in their faith, to retain a strong allegiance to it.
It is vital for Catholics—particularly now when the works of evil attacking the Church from within and without, are very strong, and the flesh, buffeted by the virtually complete concupiscencialization of American culture, is very weak—to learn about the truths of their Church, her history and her pilgrim journey through time, for she is divinely mandated but humanly led, and in her humanity, often deeply sinful, regularly naïve, and slow to act against an evil she does not always understand, though her history gives her ample lessons to prompt understanding.
Peter was chosen to be the rock of the Church because he was a leader and in spite of that he was also a sinful and weak man, yet after Pentecost he arose to the task before him and set a path of courage and constancy and sacrifice the Holy Fathers have largely followed for two millennia.
With Peter, to Christ, Through Mary…Read the Catechism, study the history of the Church, read the writings of the Holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and pray, always pray; and most of all, attend daily Mass, it is the true strength and blessing outshining every other sacrament, the pinnacle of the gifts of the Church.
Hold Fast. They were the words English sailors often tattooed on their fingers to remind them to hold on tightly to the ship’s rigging when aloft lest a stray gust blow them to their death below.
The Barque of Peter is always beset with gusts and torrents of wind and mighty waves crashing as the world struggles against its slow and steady progress, and for us, the faithful crew of the great ship, we too must hold fast.