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Practicing Catholics

February 4, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


A Catholic acquaintance recounts having been asked, while being interviewed in preparation for hiring by a particular agency concerned with national security, “Have you slept with your friend’s girlfriend or wife?” His impulse was to answer, “No, I’m Catholic,” but only yes or no answers were allowed.
That reminded me of an occasion in the Army or Navy when I was filling out benefits paperwork with the help of a woman who asked, “Do you have any dependents?,” which means children, for purposes of financial support. And I responded, “No. I’m not married.” She came right back with, “Good for you.”
Before I realized what was happening I had confessed publicly what it means to be a practicing
Catholic. What I believed was having an effect on how I lived.
A moral connection between having children and being married still held powerful sway with me personally in a world in which the divinely ordained link between the two had long since been broken. The government and military were asking everybody if they had children without any evidence of a marriage.
I’ve also recounted the story of going cycling with two Marines. Since I’m a priest the subject of faith inevitably comes up in such circumstances. One of the Marines described himself as a “devout” or “staunch” Catholic. I can’t remember exactly the precise compliment he paid himself, but it was a high one, anyway. In response I asked him, “Do you go to Mass on Sundays?” I reacted to his answer in the negative by lecturing him briefly on the subject of the Ten Commandments, in particular the one about keeping the Lord’s Day holy.
You cannot be a devout Catholic if you’re not acting like one. Attending Mass on Sundays is indeed evidence that one is living as a devout or staunch Catholic. But more is necessary. People are all over the map today on exactly how to define what it means to be Catholic. And whether one is a good or bad Catholic. The postconciliar cockeyed optimism about everybody understanding their faith “now that Mass is in English” somehow lost its way between 1965 and the present.
For many of us our moral choices both private and public are indeed guided by our faith. What we do is determined by the teachings of the Church which are based, of course, on the teachings of God.
There is much talk lately about “devout” or “practicing Catholics” and what that means exactly now that we have a president who was baptized a Catholic and attends Mass. Whether in the White House briefing room or in the news, persons who have no connection with the Church are pronouncing on the matter as if they are experts.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, was asked by a reporter about Biden’s abortion positions and whether he would once again export abortions around the world by violating the Mexico City policy or force taxpayers to pay for abortions by lifting the Hyde Amendment. He didn’t get an answer to his question but he did get a quick lecture on Biden’s “devout” Catholic faith. “He goes to Mass, you know,” she sputtered. As if those words put the matter to rest.
No, not so fast, Jen. We’re not that stupid. The fact that he goes to Mass will satisfy all the bad
Catholics or people of bad will who are abortion-mad and bloodthirsty for innocent human flesh, but there are a few of us good ones left, those who realize that superficial is not good enough for God, and that “you have to walk the walk if you’re gonna talk the talk.”
Yes, Biden does attend Mass. At Holy Trinity in Georgetown. Where bad Catholics seek out heretic Jesuits who tickle their ears and suit their fancy. No chance that bad Catholic Biden will be challenged there. Not on abortion, anyway.
A recent Sunday at Holy Trinity brought a homiletic rebuke in Biden’s presence against Trump for his stand on capital punishment for the benefit of Democrat political advocacy. Guilty murderers on death row get a hearing with these grandstanding moral and intellectual lightweights, but innocent babies in the womb don’t have a chance.
Even some Catholic news outlets are calling Biden a “practicing Catholic,” further enabling the lies of the left and failing to serve the Catholics they purport to inform, and upon whose money they depend for their continued existence.
No: Claiming that Biden is a practicing Catholic because he was baptized and goes to Mass on
Sundays while he publicly and persistently disobeys Church moral teaching is disinformation. It bears repeating, and probably not for the last time here, that full assent to all that the Church teaches in matters of faith and morals is necessary for one who deems himself a “practicing Catholic.”
A quick revisit to the Catechism is all that’s necessary to remind us that the reason it’s a known fact that Catholics are supposed to attend Mass on Sunday is that God commands such in the fourth item of the Decalogue, as I reminded my Marine acquaintance in the Blue Ridge Mountains quite a few years ago. Picking and choosing which Commandments one will follow is not an option for a real Catholic.
And that includes “Thou shalt not kill.”
The effect of the general confusion over fake Catholics and real Catholics is offering the satanic press a boom opportunity. One magazine clamoring for attention is engaging in sheer fantasy by publicly conjecturing as to the possibility that Biden may now change Church teaching on abortion. Finally those medieval Catholics who just cannot keep up with the times might join the rest of us civilized folks, “for fellowship’s sake.”
Fellowship in Hell? No thanks. The troubles that come of being a good Catholic in this world of duplicity and betrayal are precisely for the purpose of escaping Hell, thank you very much. The command of suffering for the sake of faithfulness to the Father, displayed before all the world in the image of the Man on the Cross located prominently in all of our churches, has yet to find a hearing with His many comfort-loving betrayers, it appears.
Joe Biden and the worldly power elite are getting their heaven now, you see? They have fallen for the ancient temptation avoided by the Lord Himself in the desert.
“Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to Him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Begone, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve’” (Matt. 4:8-10).
Too bad for Joe Biden. He’s deaf to the Gospel truth proclaimed in his presence every Lent. At Catholic Mass.
There’s still time, Joe. This Ash Wednesday you might hear when you go to Mass, if you’re listening, “Remember, man, you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
It’s not too late for any of us with ears yet capable of hearing: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
“Believe” — walk the walk if you’re gonna talk the talk.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ now and forever.
@FatherKevinMCusick on and Parler, which may be returning later this month. Blog:

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