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On Saturday, at a local Prayer Brunch, Bishop Oscar Cantu revealed that he’s been convicted by the question: Does the time we spend speaking of God match the time we spend speaking to God?
That question speaks to the importance of faith in our lives; that supernatural virtue which we receive as a divine gift. No matter how much time we spend thinking about God, reading about God, writing about God, etc., our faith is ultimately fed by prayer and the sacraments.
Marshall McLuhan speaks to this:
I never came into the church as a person who was being taught Catholic doctrines. I came in on my knees. That is the only way in. When people start praying they need truths; that’s all. You don’t come into the Church through ideas and concepts, and you cannot leave by mere disagreement. It has to be a loss of faith, a loss of participation.
You can tell: when people leave the Church, they have quit praying. The active relating to the Church’s prayer and sacraments is not through ideas. Any Catholic who today has an intellectual disagreement with the Church has an illusion. You cannot have an intellectual disagreement with the Church. That’s meaningless. The Church is not an intellectual institution. It is a superhuman institution. (McLuhan to Edward Wakin)
One could argue about the finer details of McLuhan’s assertion here. But the main message is important. Are we living as members of a grace-powered Body, or are we relying too much on ourselves? In this Year of Faith, during which we’ve been encouraged to DO a lot of ‘re-discovering’ our faith, let’s not forget that we cannot DO faith without ACQUIRING it from the Eternal Wellspring of Living Water.
As Pope Benedict XVI said in “Porta Fidei,” speaking about the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “What is presented here is no theory, but an encounter with a Person who lives within the Church” (11).