Unity in the Catholic Church
On the twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we are taught that we are all one in Christ:
For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise. -Galatians 3:26-29, NAB
From this weekend’s readings, St. Paul tells us to focus on our common faith in Christ, and I want to take this moment to write about finding unity in the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church is surrounded by a number of opponents who wish to divide our faith. From twisted mainstream morals to our Protestant brothers and sisters, there are many forces trying to pull us away from the Catholic Church?
Why, then, do we harm ourselves by division?
There are traditional Catholics, modern Catholics, charismatic Catholics, orthodox Catholics, and a host of other names. We need to forget all of those and realize that only one thing matters: we are Catholic. Finding unity in the Catholic Church requires that we stop preoccupying ourselves with labels.
Dividing ourselves with senseless labels only serves to weaken our efforts as a Church. Our focus shifts inwardly on our differences, instead of outwardly on sharing the Gospel. We may practice our Catholic faith slightly differently, but it should not matter as long as we are within the guidelines of the Magisterium.
Instead, many of us use our own personal preferences to look down on other Catholics for “not practicing the right way.” This is nonsense. Who are we to judge anyone for their beliefs – especially when they are loyally following the Catholic Church’s teachings?
Shouldn’t we all respect the traditional ways of the Church? Shouldn’t we all grasp the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Shouldn’t we all be a part of a timeless, relevant Church? Shouldn’t we all just be Catholic?
Let’s stop using labels that only serve to divide us as a Church. I am Catholic, pure and simple.