What the “Church” is

Friends,

Since 1993, I’ve been working full-time to advance the pro-life cause, particularly through the mission of Priests for Life which is “to fully activate the Church to restore protection to the unborn.”

This mission, of course, leads me to reflect each day on what, exactly, is “the Church.” That question, of course, is a whole branch of theology.

But it’s more than that. It’s our day to day experience in living as disciples. It’s the arena in which we relate to each other, and from which we relate to all that is not “the Church.”

If we want to “activate the Church” on behalf of the unborn – or on behalf of anything – we are, of course, talking about activating people.

But a very specific type of people – people who have already responded to the person of Christ, and who already have his Spirit living within them. 

And who gives these people their mission?

Reflecting every single day since 1993 on the problem of why “the Church” doesn’t do more about the abortion issue, I’ve become convinced that this last question is the most critical one. Who, indeed, gives you your mission to announce the Gospel and to defend the gift of life?

After all, you cannot respond to the mission without knowing to whom you are responding. And here we encounter a perpetual problem: people often wait around for their priest to tell them to do something for pro-life, and meanwhile, priests wait around for their people to come forward to do something for pro-life.

Catholic teaching tell us that it is the Lord himself who, through baptism and Confirmation, gives us the mission to evangelize.

No more waiting is necessary, and no fear is justified – except, that is, the fear of hearing God say on Judgment Day, “What were you waiting for?”

Fr. Frank

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