Many identify as “Catholic” but there really is such a thing as a “good Catholic” who is well-studied in the Catholic Faith and committed to preserving the authentic Catholic Faith. Being a “good Catholic” has as much to do with what a Catholic knows and believes as it does with whether one behaves in a holy manner, for if one knows and believes lies, then one’s aspirations are to a lie. Good Catholics live in reality — the one true reality — which is God’s will, and when they apply reality in their lives to the fullest, they become the “Best Catholics” — Saints.
Good Catholics know the history of humanity, through the experience of the Hebrews and the nation of Israel before the coming of Christ; through the Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ; and through the life of the Church since. Good Catholics have learned from reality, not from a perversion of reality. The more the world abandons reality, the more the strength of our faith in God’s one true reality is tested.
Good Catholics know that it is not only our Catholic Faith that puts us at odds with the world today, but also our perspective on history — our worldview, if you will — as we have “been there, done that” throughout history. Good Catholics know what happens when governments become hostile to the Church. They know that people of all faiths and of no faith will die in large numbers when atheism becomes the official “religion,” if you will, of a country. The promises of “freedom” from atheists have always turned out to be lies that are told in a quest for power over people of faith, and the people of faith are those whose mission is characterized by love for the weak.
This point about atheism is laid out very clearly in an article at National Catholic Register by Tom Hoopes: Year of Faithlessness? 2013’s Year of Faith Badly Needed After 2012.
Atheists always follow the same cycle — peaceful beginnings grow to angry denouncements and, often, to violent force. But the Christian cycle of persecution, death and glorious resurrection is always more powerful — because it is founded in love and not hatred.
Not only have we read the Bible and know how it ends, we’ve read our history books and know that good eventually conquers evil. The Year of Faith gives us an opportunity to become “good Catholics” to ensure that the conquering of good over evil happens before many more millions die from abortion, and also from persecution at the hands of those deluded into thinking that Christianity is the enemy.
So, let’s get to work, shall we?
From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: What is the Year of Faith?
At certain times in the history of the Church, popes have called upon the faithful to dedicate themselves to deepening their understanding of a particular aspect of the faith. In 1967, Pope Paul VI announced a Year of Faith commemorating the 19th centenary of the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul. The 1967 Year of Faith called upon the Church to recall the supreme act of witness by these two saints so that their martyrdom might inspire the present day Church to collectively and individually make a sincere profession of faith.
The upcoming Year of Faith declared by Pope Benedict XVI is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta fidei 6). In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The pope has described this conversion as opening the “door of faith” (see Acts 14:27). The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.