By Matthew D. Ruhl, SJ
Wednesday/October 4, 2017/Frisco, Colorado
The Catholic Church is an institution of sinful persons. No question. We openly admit it. Yet we are also an institution born of and inspired by the Holy Spirit. The truth is if the Scales of Justice were ever applied to the Catholic Church, our historical goodness definitively and lopsidedly outweighs our historical sinfulness. But evil is noisier than good, ugly is louder than beauty, so there are many leaving the Church, or failing to embrace the Church, without a broad historical and spiritual appreciation of Jesus and this ancient institution of ours. For my part I confess to loving the Church. I find great joy and wisdom in the Church. Now I do not love the Church because I am a Jesuit and a priest. The truth is I am a Jesuit and a priest because I love the Church. It might, however, justifiably be asked, “What occasions this little tribute to our beloved Church? Why is your blog going in this direction?” Let me explain.
Look at these United States of ours: another mass shooting, this time of particularly horrific proportions; behold the opioid epidemic, a true national emergency; we have a President the vast majority of citizens disapprove of; a Congress incapable of working together; we are angrily divided on the issue of race; illegal drugs flood into our country as gangs in our cities grow more destructive; and let’s not forget this return to nuclear saber-rattling. The United States is struggling. Is it so inconceivable that our 2,000 year-old Catholic Church just might have some answers for our 231 year-old nation? If I thought not, trust me, I would no longer be a priest, Jesuit, or a Catholic.
In the next few blogs I hope to write about why I love the Church, why the Church is worthy of our love, our adherence, our vibrant participation. I will write to give encouragement to those looking for hope in these days that can be so discouraging to so many. I will begin to address some of the reasons why so many of my fellow citizens are unfairly dismissive of this Church.