The Church Crisis & You, Me and NFP
The vision for You, Me and NFP was really starting to come together during the summer of 2018. We had defined our mission statement, created our brand identity and were starting to put together the content for our website.
The thought of creating a modern evangelization tool for sharing the Catholic Church’s teaching on sex and marriage was energizing and exciting. In fact, it was thrilling.
Then the news of Cardinal McCarrick came out. Followed by the Pennsylvania abuse scandal. And then more news of widespread abuse among our Church leaders.
It was devastating.
My heart went out to the victims. I cannot begin to imagine what they had to experience at the hands of those who were supposed to be Christ’s vicars on earth. How could these priests desecrate their vocation in such a horrific manner? These were men who were supposed to uphold the Church’s teachings on human dignity. Instead they treated those in their care as objects. Adding salt to our gaping wounds, we learned that many of their brother priests had kept silent. Or worse, they promoted the abusers to positions of greater authority.
If you are like me, you felt a mix of emotions that were all tangled up in one another: outrage, sadness, disappointment, confusion.
How could such evil occur within the Church we love so much?
Then I couldn’t help but think: “There couldn’t be a worse time to be launching a website about Natural Family Planning and the Church’s teaching on sex and marriage. Our own priests are pillaging God’s design for sex. No one is going to listen to what we have to say…”
And yet, during this time, the only place I could turn to was the Church.
We all need to remember that there are good priests. Really good priests. Priests who are living their vocation with virtue, courage and strength.
It was three of these true, good shepherds that changed my outlook.
Right when all this news was breaking, a priest I know shared some thoughts on the scandal during a weekend retreat. His words were like a call to arms for my soul: “Now is the time for the laity.”
Fr. Mike Schmitz, a popular priest on YouTube, shared his thoughts on the scandal in one of his Ascension Presents videos. His quote was shared among many of the faithful: “Don’t leave the Church. Lead the Church.”
Fr. John Lankeit, the rector at Ss. Simon & Jude Cathedral in the archdiocese of Phoenix, shares his homilies on YouTube. His September 16th homily felt like a rally cry for our mission at You, Me and NFP. In his reflection on the Church crisis, he shared the following words from St. Catherine of Siena:
We’ve had enough exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues—I see the world is rotten because of silence.
Speak the truth in a million voices. It is silence that kills.
Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.
Let us endure, let us endure … no suffering will be so richly rewarded as weariness of heart and spiritual pain. These are the greatest sufferings there are, and so they are deserving of greater fruit.
Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.
Start being brave about everything. Drive out darkness and spread light. Don’t look at your weaknesses. Realize instead that in Christ crucified you can do everything.
He goes on to say in his homily:
“Jesus is recruiting today for an army of the faithful laity who are unafraid to speak the truth in charity, like St. Catherine of Siena. If each member of the Body of Christ does his or her part—no matter how seemingly insignificant that part—the Lord will do the rest, as he has proven time and time again throughout the past 2,000 years.”
Reflecting on the words from these heroic men made me realize, Now is actually the perfect time for You, Me and NFP.
The world needs our voices more than ever. If we back down from the truth out of fear, or because we think the Church has lost its credibility, or because we don’t think we are holy enough for the mission, then evil wins.
It’s up to all of us to push back the darkness.and bring the glory of God’s Church into the light.
What about you? How is God is calling you to share His light with the world? Share your comments below. We would love to hear from you.