Real Life Evangelization: Last week I found myself reading an article in the Post Gazette that was fascinating yet confusing. It concerned the US Bishop’s meeting in Baltimore and claimed that a message had been sent to Pope Francis indicating displeasure with the Pope’s leadership in the area of pro-life. I find secular articles about the Church to be highly misleading. The press, it seems, is always looking for the controversy even when none exists. The pro-life movement in the United States is enacted specifically to confront our cultural norms and national laws−our current state of life. The pro-life movement of the Pope is that of the Universal Church speaking holistically. This does not indicate conflict between the two but rather a more focused approach in our country to our most pressing pro-life need while adhering to the Truth of faith. We are all pro-life cradle to grave! We are all dedicated to respecting and honoring all life, in all forms, at all stages. When part of the church focuses on one area for a certain period of time, it does not indicate dissension with the whole but rather the reality of life.
This idea of being in the reality of life came up within the article in an interesting way as well. The author stated that the new head of the Bishop’s Pro-life Committee was at odds with the Pope’s “call for priests to accompany people in their struggles rather than preach black-and-white doctrines.” But to be in real life, every priest (every person helping their neighbor) needs to journey with the other not in stagnant misery but towards truth and healing. Thus, any real journey of Love involves a clear teaching of Truth. This means the teaching and adhering to of our doctrine. True Love involves proclaiming the Truth in word and deed while sacrificing for others as we journey with them into a deeper relationship with the Lord. Doctrine is not the enemy of Love! In real life we must balance our doctrine and our patient leading of others through their struggles. In this there is no conflict, only real life evangelization.