Archive | 3:24 am

Giving What We Got

7 Jun

Sr. Evangeline with her family

Last month my family drove to Ann Arbor, Michigan to visit our daughter, Sr. Evangeline. This was our first opportunity to visit her since she received a new name and religious habit as a novice with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist last summer. We were all so excited to see her!

With this upcoming visit in mind, I was recently pondering a light-hearted comment that one of the Dominican sisters once made at a gathering of Catholic leaders. She said, “We need your prayers. We need your money. We need your daughters.” On all three counts, I can’t think of a better recipient than this thriving, faithful religious community.

Yet, our society and especially our government are competing for the same things!

The money, of course, is a no-brainer. The government wants as much of it as it can get away with taking, and our consumerist society is ready to pounce on whatever is left.

But what about the others? What does our secular society, let alone our government, care about our prayers? It would seem that if anything they don’t want us to pray or acknowledge God at all, especially in public.

Maybe instead of prayer we could say our “hearts.” They want our “buy in.” They want our allegiance, our adherence to their agenda. They want us to be Americans who happen to be (nominal) Catholics, not Catholics who happen to be Americans.

As sincere Catholics, we pray to God, trusting that our heavenly Father knows what”s best for us (cf. Mt. 6:31-32; 7:11; Lk, 12:7; Phil. 4:19). We want to grow in union with Him.

Society and the government want us to trust them instead (never mind what it says on our money!), because they think they know what’s best for us. They don’t want us to be counter-cultural witnesses to Christ. Instead, they want us to “go with the flow” and follow the fashions and political correctness of an increasingly “godless” society in the West.

And, like the good sisters, they want our kids. That makes sense economically, not only when it comes to selling them (with us picking up the tab!) things they don’t need, but even more in ensuring a labor force as the effects of reproductive “choices” affect us on a macro level. Immigrants as well as large Catholic families are prime sources of the next generation of children, which is America’s greatest resource.

But it’s not enough for them to wait for a pay off on this resource (when our kids become laborers/consumers/taxpayers). They want to “program” them now, which makes things a lot easier on the back end. That explains much of the indoctrination that goes on in public schools (and before that, in daycare), as well as some of the institutional hostility to private Catholic schools and especially homeschooling families.

More on all that later. The question I’d like us to consider today is who gets our hearts, who gets our money, and who gets our kids? As much as we’d like to think so, we can’t have it both ways (cf. Mt. 6:24). May Our Lord Jesus Christ truly be the center of our lives, and may we truly give Him our best in all that we do.

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” –Matthew 6:33