Values that Sustain CatholicFind.com

Some perspectives:

  • Faith and reason: Evidences of God abound in the ordered universe in which we find ourselves. Goodness, truth, and beauty surround us. Human reason lays the foundation for our understanding; it is the launch pad for the leap of faith that opens up entirely new perspectives.
  • The Magisterium; Think of the Magisterium as the accumulated understanding of many millions of Christians over seventy generations each reflecting through their lifetimes on life's meaning. There is give and take in this process through which over long periods insights take root as they are shared among the faithful. Doctrine does not so much change as develop, and the Church from time to time declares its Imprimatur on these broadly shared understandings.
  • Authority and unity: Authority is the price of unity. Somebody has to call the shots: "This is the way it's going to be." But that authority is marvelously constrained to work objectively within reason and within the developed understandings of the millennia. The alternatives are not pretty. Religion that forswears reason can come up with horrendous atrocities presumed to be the will of God. Religion that invests authority in "the Bible and the Holy Spirit" has a well established track record of subjectivity, doctrinal chaos, and conflict among 30,000 brands of teaching. All this, when it is very clear in the Christian faith that our unity is a fundamental requirement that reflects the unity of the Trinity. Unity is not an option; it is an absolute obligation. Constrained authority turns out to be a good way to move toward that goal.
  • Goal to become more like Christ: Is a lifetime long enough? No. Would 800 years be enough? Probably not. But in the Catholic faith we receive graces through the sacraments to support us in our daily striving to become more like Christ. It turns out that it is the process that matters. When we cross the line at the end: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you. But only say the word, and I shall be healed." We go forward in trust. We look back and can see subtle ways in which He has been at work in us.
  • Religious freedom: Why does the Roman Catholic Church come out so strongly on religious freedom? (See for example Dignitatis humanae: Declaration On Religious Freedom from Vatican II.) Once we grasp that freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin, it becomes simple. God gives us all kinds of freedom (all kinds of responsibility). That's how He deals with us. We had better afford the same freedom to others.
  • Life is about giving: The writings of John Paul II put self-giving at the heart of the daily life. Love might be defined as persistence in the free choice to pour out self for the other. (No freedom? No real love! No persistence? It surely isn't love.) Love is a choice, not an emotion. We are called daily to this self-emptying.
  • Meaning in suffering: This is perhaps the greatest surprise for the convert to the Catholic faith. Suffering is not random and meaningless. We are not to seek it, but if it comes our way, we find a context in which to offer it up, participating with Christ in some of the richest depths of life.

Douglas Lowry
Professor of Business and Marketing (ret.)
Franciscan University of Steubenville