The Catholic Defender: What Is Your Diagnosis
In the modern age with so many scientific discoveries and breakthroughs in medicine, it is still a fallen world. People will get sick and they will get hurt. We spend hundreds of dollars for insurance because the price of medical treatment has skyrocketed. Medicare for the elderly costs make it difficult to make ends meet. Socialized Medicine is quickly becoming rationalized care. The Emergency Room is loaded with people who are not American citizens . The problem of the Illegal Aliens is a huge drain upon our already drained health care system. Go to any doctors office, clinic, hospital and you will see the vast need people have wanting treatment for everything from fevers to cancers. It is very important to do what you can to stay physically fit. To eat right, physical training, keeping weight down, cordial workouts are good. Things to do to help keep you healthy. I would say to increase your health to stop smoking if you do, and never start if you have not. Many diseases take a rapid increase called epidemics. Disease like the flu and AIDS are contracted differently, yet can move about very quickly due to the access of the pathogens to infect other people. It is important to learn the signs and symptoms of certain disease so you can know the warning signs. Early detection can bring about healing much quicker while delayed response can kill a person with diseases left untreated that may be harmful. Spiritually speaking, we are seeing a definite "epidemic" where people are spiritually sick. We do not always detect what is going on within a person, but we see that the second largest group in the United States are fallen away Catholics. It seems because of the spiritual illnesses many are susceptible to many different kinds of spiritual "diseases". What are some early warning signs that someone might be suffering from a spiritual crisis? Revelation 3:15-16 is an important key, "I know your works; I know that you are neither cold or hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot or cold, I will spit you out of my mouth". Broken families can play a tremendous role in adding to a spiritual crisis. If Mom and Dad are not united or practicing their faith, the children will not have the foundation. I was spiritually sick because I put God on the back-burner. There are many reasons people might give for doing the same thing. I worked hard dedicating myself to Professional baseball which in itself is not a bad thing. I just was very wrong for not allowing God to be a part of my life. As a result I made some bad decisions that took me a long time to recover. A lot of us have done this as I am finding many who have come back to the Catholic Faith as I have done. We are all "reverts"! Thank God for his mercy and forgiveness. If there would have been someone in my path who could have steered me right, perhaps I might have not had the problems I acquired because of my rebellion. What are some clear cut signs that a person might be "lukewarm"? If a person goes to Mass sporadically with no commitment, that is a clear sign. If they are in college and involved in activities not cohesive to faith, that is an important sign. If they are willing to miss Mass except for things that happen that prevents them for going, that is a very important sign. If they would prefer to sleep in rather than go to Mass that speaks volumes. If a person has no interest in learning more about their faith, that is very important. The soul must be spiritually fed and if a person gives their soul junk food that will make them sick. Prayer and devotion are important signs, if a person is not praying then their relationship with God is just not there. St. Paul writes, "With all prayer and supplication,pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance for all the holy ones and also for me, that speech may be given me to open my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains, so that I may have the courage to speak as I must" (Ephesians 6:18-20). Our speech can be an important signal that can help us with a diagnosis. Foul language, constant acceptance of the worldly mind promoting lust can bring down a strong person very fast. Ephesians 4:29 states, "No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear". We certainly need to be watchful against sin. What happens many times is that a person might be in such a spiritual condition because they have been luke-warm, that they meet a dynamic on fire person who seems to be able to answer the basic questions with assurance. Bam, we are drawn in like a magnet and before you know it, we are firmly entrenched in some kind of anti-Catholic sect. This causes all kinds of problems as a person's faith is either gone or they are caught in the middle. Hosea 4:6 says, "My people perish for want of knowledge! Since you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from my priesthood; Since you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your sons". This very morning, I spoke with a couple who had been married for many years. They were walking down the neighborhood getting some exercise. The Wife told me that she was raised Catholic, but now she is a Protestant. The husband reaffirmed his wife saying they did not need a priest to forgive them of their sins. As they continued down their walk of life down the street, I really wished I could reach them with the truth. Many times I will see a fallen Catholic deeply entrenched in a heresy because they didn't remain faithful when they were younger. I spoke at a Church when I asked this question, "how many of you know someone or have family members who have left the Church". Just about everyone without exception raised their hands. There is a true spiritual epidemic today and the need is great to respond to God's call in our lives. To be spiritually alert is crucial, we are to place the teaching of Christ in our heart. To continually grow in our faith. Prayer and devotion are most essential, the Mass must be the center of your life. The rosary is a great weapon to fight and resist evil. What is your diagnosis? Do you practice your faith, love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? Or do you constantly look for the easiest answer to solve your spiritual problems? Before we can help anyone else, we must be able to help ourselves. Then, we can see the friend in the pew besides you and show them that love that comes from the Father. Maybe a kind word or even a smile might help give a person the strength to go on another day. Spread the faith, and if you need to, use words!!