Days without electricity always teach us about the speed of time fleeting and how much we should treasure the day time we have. During the past three days, I finished the two books of City of God and class plan for the a week which really make me doubt how I used my time in the past a month.. I complain I did not have enough time?
In the miserable time, some friends always like to send you something entertaining to keep your mind away from the disaster.. After typhoon, when I am out of power, cell phone and ipad are the only things I can us to keep me connect to the outsider world. My friends this mornings send me a article about the Forbes Rich List, year of Faith, the top five priests in XXX archdiocese ( in China. in case.) The title of this article is already full of sarcasm. I guess the majority of you can guess what it is talking about. besides it is funny and sad, it does remind me of our responsibilities as lay people for our church in this world.
After I become more openly to talk about my faith in front of my friends, the most questions I received from people about our Church is often the questions like: what do you think about the child abuse of Catholic Church…besides patiently explained to them that the news are often distorted by the liberal media and not all the priests are like that.. I think the deeper questions behinds that is “why do you believe in a Church full of problems and listen to the people who are not prefect…”
Admittedly, I ask myself these questions all the time, especially, now i am in China.. the problematic things and people are happening everyday. the funny article of the rich priests are really just the tip of the iceberg no matter in China or worldwide.I don’t have a better answer than the answer that i firmly believe in the Catholic Church is the holy apostolic church. Faith is the answer I can give to all those doubts and questions.
Faith is an interesting to many people who do not have faith. when I am seriously talking about the importance of deathbed confession, some people can just easily talk to me that they do not care about going to the hell…while…. City of God talks about that we believe in God is not because we have to ask God for any things temporary ( it is superstitious) but for life eternal. Eternality is always the center of western philosophy (also the philosophy in China..but we pursue it a different angle…)
If we do not care about life eternal, questions for me become what else can we care about ? If everything will pass away, why do we even pursue them at the first place? Chinese people know that slightly better than many other people. This is the reason why we focus so much on the relationship within the family. we know that even when our life ended, our kids will carry on what we have. Traditional Catholics also know that better too. They often talk about there are only two vocations in the world: getting married or marry to the church. Within the marriage life, people carry on physical life until the last judgement comes and with in the Church, one carry on the life eternal of our mother church. This is the reason I guess i told some of my friends that we will never be able to be true friends, because when you do not care about life eternal. We just pass by for each other in this life. While for my real “friends”, we know you in this world and I wish to be friends with you “forever”. (Michael does think I should pray for seeing my enemy in the heaven too… I do pray for that, but I think I need more faith in doing that, we can discuss this topic in some other blogs…lol…)
Some might think that I am already away from the title I was trying to talk about. No, I am not. After these couple months being away from good liturgy, I understand more about what I hold my faith on. Now, if my friends still complain about the horrible liturgy and some priests, I would tell them, “Hey, do you want to live in this world forever?”
No, definitely not, we desire for life eternal, for the kingdom of heaven to come So the difficulties of this world won’t stop our faith but make it stronger. The world saints used to life was not better than ours. They faced prosecutions and problems. Those problems did scare some( maybe many) away, but at the same time, they made a lot of saints who are the model for our lives.
Complaining won’t work, and staying away from Church is just the plan of devil. No matter how much I dislike the problematic sides of church, It is still my mother Church. I have to pray for that and sacrifice for that….and I do have a lot of work to do on that…
For that entertaining article about rich priests, I guess it gives us a list of priests we have to pray hard for… for their souls.. and the souls they are supposed to take care of…