BLESSED JOHN CARDINAL NEWMAN. . .
LEAVING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
We can only abandon the Catholic Church
for some spiritual home which is more of a home than the Catholic Church. .
. Where are we to find such a revelation, such a spiritual home, such
sources of inspiration? Nowhere; there is no other system in the world
which dares even to claim what the Catholic Church claims. Are we to
abandon the Catholic Faith for something less than the Catholic Faith?
* * *
People do leave the Catholic Church.
With other Christian sects, the line of division is perhaps not so clearly
marked, that is why they may have differences that are not discernible.
But the Catholic Church has sharp edges. Go a little astray and you are out.
The news of such defection, even when
there were circumstances to explain it is, confess it, a tiny blow to our
faith; a gentle tap to test the stability of our own spiritual foundations.
Another's apostasy has cast a chill of loneliness over us.
* * *
What sort of influence is yours in the
parish? Are you one of the whisperers; one of the tale-bearers who
knows all the scandals of the district? Are you one of those
self-contained people who never finds time to do anything for their
neighbors? Are you one of the murmurers who tells everybody how much
better the parish was run in the old days? Are you anxious to discuss
grievances? Then, the stones of this church will rise up in witness
against you. . .it is people like you that make parish unity crumble away.
* * *
The virtue of obedience nowadays is a
specifically Catholic virtue. The Protestant and half-believing or
unbelieving world around us does not understand that it is a virtue at all.
The Protestant, in fact, thinks that
obedience exists because, without it, there could be no authority. The
Catholic is more likely to tell you that authority exists because, without
it, there would be no obedience.