Friday, May 21, 2010

The Church Never Imposes

Pope Benedict, while visiting Portugal recently, repeated one of my favorite mantras of the Church - "The Church never imposes, She only proposes." Pope Benedict added on to that phrase when he noted, "The Church never imposes, She only proposes ceaselessly."

I tell my young people all the time in class that especially in the role of teacher it is my job to say, "this is what the Church teaches. End of story. You need to learn it and I will hold you accountable for knowing what the Church teaches, but beyond that I can not MAKE you become Catholic."

I think that is a good model for all of us in our daily lives as well - to propose but never impose. By what we say and by what we do Catholics are called to PROPOSE a way of life; to live in a way that is attractive precisely because we are rooted in Christ and His Bride, the Church. We've learned our lesson from history; imposing the faith never works and we are wiser today for that knowledge. Let us be people who propose Catholicism ceaselessly to the world!!!