Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why I love being Catholic (Part 3)

The Catholic Church has an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. It’s obvious to me. How else could there be so much truth and guidance found within it? The guidance of the Holy Spirit is especially clear within the Church as it rules on moral issues.

The US bishops get a lot of criticism for whatever they are doing (or lack of doing), but there is always something more to be done. I don’t think the Church has ever abandoned speaking the truth even if the entire world disagrees with it.

That is the beauty (or just part of it) of the Church. It proclaims truth in great matters and in seemingly smaller ones. Here are just two of the documents that the bishops have been working on. One is about end of life issues and weather it is morally acceptable to forgo hydration and nutrition if the person is unable to eat or drink orally. (The directive says that it is an obligation to do so, even if it would extend the person’s life indefinitely.) There will be a vote to approve this later this month.

The other I read is about specific issues relating to infertility. Most of what is said has been addressed before, but I found it interesting that they also discussed embryo adoption, in which a couple would “adopt” an abandoned embryo in an attempt to save his or her life. While embryo adoption may seem like a very loving thing to do (and could be the motive behind it), the bishops remind us that this is not the way God intended us to conceive children and that the tragedy of abandoned embryos only emphasizes this.

It is so important to know, objectively, what the morally right thing to do is, before emotions and circumstances get involved. Especially during the end of a family members life, the call to end life support (if left solely up to you) can be torturous. These statements have clear guidance on what is right, with the Church backing it up. What a blessing these are!

Not only is having the Church to look to on tough issues a sign of God working through it but also that history shows that the Church has it right. This article (definitely should read!) goes through the history of the Protestant view of contraception and how other beliefs held by Protestants (in particular that pastors can and should marry) caused the ultimate collapse of their strongly-held belief that contraption is evil and large families show God’s blessing. I not only love being Catholic but am proud to be one because it is so obvious one has to have the entire truth in order to uphold any of it.

(Picture is The Light of the World by W.H. Hunt)

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