Catholics, wake up! Recent pew polls have revealed that Catholics are among the least catechized of any religion and were at the bottom for passing on the faith to their children. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are at the top. This should not be!
We have reached the point of epidemic. However, it’s not the Catholic Church alone; it’s christianity in general. A lot of protestant denominations are dying out and having to combine together. They lament the lack of youth in church, the low church attendance, and the future of their congregations.
We are living in a culture that is toxic and in an age that despises truth. How did we arrive at this place?
The answer is that we have failed to pass on the faith for the last 50+ years. We have failed to stand up and defend the truth. Catholics have sat by idly and let their enemies tell our story. This is not a condemnation, but a call!
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to see your room on fire. You notice the whole building is on fire. After you panic for a moment, you fearfully realize that the whole building is sleeping and about to die. As the fire rages, you scream at the top of your lungs and rapidly bang on doors like a crazy person: “Wake up!! Wake up!! Wake up everyone!! Fire!” This is the state our church is in, and it’s time to sound the alarm and wake up!
Most people in our culture, including a majority of catholics, have walked away from God and truth. They are not walking to church but away from church. They’re not walking to heaven but away from heaven. Churches are closing. Vocations are dying in many places. Our youth are leaving in droves never to return. Many of them are not even sure if God exists. Statistics reveal that four out of five teens will lose their faith or stop practicing it before even finishing college. The same holds true even if you go to a catholic high school or a youth group.
We need to step up our game and take back our church. We need to speak the truth in love once again. We need to be trained, equipped, and prepared for battle through deep prayer and apologetics reconstruction.
1. Catechesis and Apologetics
First, we need to pass on the faith to our children. It’s absolutely necessary to provide them with good answers to their good questions. We need to help them to understand why they believe what they believe from a young age. If we do not, they will continue walking away.
We also need to have religion teachers in catholic schools that know, love, and can teach the catholic faith with passion and conviction. It’s not good enough to transfer information, we need to create mental shifts and spiritual transformations in their lives. They need to be taught how to pray on a deep level – not just how to regurgitate prayers – but how to have a deep relationship with Christ.
From my experience teaching in a catholic school, most high school students are utterly and completely bored out of their minds. Religion is their least favorite class and the one they take the least seriously. It should be the opposite. I told my classes to ask ANY question you want, to challenge me, fight me, disagree with me, prove me wrong, but don’t just sit their like a scarecrow.
They did just that! We discussed, argued, disagreed, presented information, and many lives were changed in all of my classes. Many students went to confession for the first time in many years; others would go sit in the chapel by themselves and pray, and others accepted the faith and it became exciting in their lives.
They asked questions without judgement, and they received well informed answers that made sense. This is what we need in the church: In the family, catholic schools, religious education, adult education classes and RCIA, homilies, and so on.
2. Avoid Lukewarm Living / Watering Down the Truth
This is not a condemnation to priests. It’s a call to priests. Priests, not knowingly, inadvertently are leading generations of people to hell. And why? Because every single funeral I go to, almost without exception, the priests say something like this: “You know what, we can pray to Joe now because Joe is in heaven and Joe can pray for us.” Or: “John passed away today and he lived a wonderful life. He was a good man. His family loved him, and John is in heaven now. So we can pray to John.”
I don’t even have a word strong enough of how detrimental this is. Many of these people do not live good lives. Many of these people did not even go to church. Many of these people did not live for God. We cannot canonize them. I can’t say that strongly enough because what it does tell people in the congregation is what they tell me all the time: “I only need to be a good person to get to heaven. I don’t need to pray and go to church. John didn’t go to church and the priest said he was going to heaven.” Joseph or George? Well, you know, smoke and drank like a sailor, they cussed like a sailor, and they weren’t really good people. But you know what, they’re in heaven now. What does it communicate to us? That we don’t need to do anything to get to heaven. We just need to be a good person and exist.
We basically have a whole culture existing, thinking that they’re going to get to heaven. One poll asked random people: “Do you think you’re going to go to heaven when you die?” About 94% of people said: “Yes, I think I’m going to get to heaven when I die.” And they asked the same people: “Do you pray? And how often do you pray?” The majority of those people said that they didn’t pray that often at all. So all these people think they’re just going to get to heaven by existing. It doesn’t work that way. Jesus said the way to heaven is uphill and difficult, and the road to destruction and hell is wide and easy, and many people are walking the easy path to hell today comfortably. And we’re saying they’re in heaven when they’re not living for heaven. Yes, I agree. We should preach the love of Christ. But John 14:15 and many other verses says that If you love me, you will follow my commandments. Following the commandments is loving God. You can’t love God if you don’t obey his commandments, you don’t go to mass, you don’t receive the Eucharist, you’re not baptized and you’re living immoral lifestyle that everybody says is okay to live. No. We need to preach the faith and stop baptizing and stop canonizing everybody at every funeral saying that they’re in heaven and we can pray to them.
Now, please, for the love of all that’s good priests, I beg you never to do that again because you’re inadvertently telling everybody that they don’t need to do anything to get to heaven. You’re just saying: “This man was nice, his family loved him and now he’s in heaven.” And that’s what everybody thinks anyways, which is why so many people don’t go to church.
We need to call people on, not only with the love of Christ, but also with what that means. Like an army leader, Jesus said in the gospels, if you want to follow him, you want to make sure that you have troops to conquer the other side first before you get started. Or if you’re building a tall skyscraper, you want to make sure you have enough resources to finish. Because if you don’t, you’re not going to succeed and you’re going to fail, and people are all going to make fun of you. Living Christianity is hard, and you ought to make sure that you’re all in. So, I want to call on bishops and priest to speak the truth. Preach the truth. We need you to, we’re desperate for it too.
The Catholic Church has historically taught and preached the truth for all of history, and you’ve taught us what we need to know to get to heaven. That’s your job, that’s your vocation. Too many priests want to just tell jokes in their homilies, and just want to make friends with the people, which is fine. I get that, but not in the homily.
We need to be challenged. We need to be told what we’re doing wrong, how we can do right, where we’re going astray, and how we can follow God better. That’s what all the Saints did. The Saints challenged us to live for God. Every time I read life of one of the saints I feel like they’re slapping me across the face with that book, but it’s making me holier. It’s giving me a reality check that I need to do better. I need to follow God more faithfully. I need to be less lukewarm in different things.
We are not helping anybody by just watering down the faith, by just giving a homily where we summarized the points of what was going on. No, we need to be challenged. We need to be called on. We need to be taught how to pray and how to have a close communion and intimacy with Jesus. We need our deepest, darkest questions answered. And if that means you need to have bible studies and adult formation and Catechesis at your churches and parishes, then you should and, in fact, that should be non-negotiable. We should all have these things at our parishes. What do you have at your parish for people after confirmation. The answer is many times nothing. And this is a call to lay people to start something. If you have something at your parish, great. If you don’t start a bible study, start faith formation, start RCIA. Anything that’s not there already. It’s your job to start it. God might be calling you. We are the body of Christ and we can’t say the church is dead, if we’re not willing to do anything about it. Maybe we are dead and we need to rise up, we need to start that fire and we need to spread it. The bible says that the Holy Spirit is an all-consuming fire, and we need that fire in our hearts to let it spread to everyone around us.
That only comes from having a deep loving relationship with Jesus Christ and letting him change your life. Not living lukewarm lives, not just getting by, not just doing the bottom of the barrel of what you’re supposed to do. Not just going through the mass, but really making it the best it can absolutely be and giving God the most.
This is a challenge in our day and age when we’re super busy, but parents, you have a responsibility to train your kids in the faith. Maybe you didn’t realize it, but you promised God, that you would raise your kids catholic. You would have them know their prayers, know the commandments. You would teach them their faith and have a relationship with Jesus. If you haven’t done this then you literally have failed with God. Many parents don’t even take their kids to church. They might drop them off at catechesis classes, or if the kids are required to go to mass, they’ll drop them off and leave themselves. Many parents are teaching their kids to sin by thinking that religion is not important. Many parents are teaching the kids to prioritize religion as bottom, below college education, below sports, and below hobbies. All of this is absolutely nonsensically unimportant compared to our eternal souls going to heaven or hell for all eternity. And many parents are driving the car to hell. They’re leading their families to hell and they’re behind the wheels. They are teaching their kids that they can watch any movie they want, listen to any music they want. They are listening to ACDC and Ozzie Osborne and watching all of these raunchy shows online. And Jesus said if you lead even one of these children astray, it is better for you to tie a millstone around your neck and throw yourself into the ocean.
That goes for you, priests, and bishops. That goes for any corruption in the church. You will answer to God and Padre Pio and other Saints say people who have one of the highest authorities in the church but are corrupt and do evil things, are going to occupy the lowest, hottest, most horrific places of hell, right next to the dragon’s own tale. This life is not a joke. This article is not a joke. It’s a call. It’s not a condemnation to anyone. It’s a call to reject sin and the devil. It’s a call to hate hell and to run away from it as fast as possible. It’s a call to turn your life around now, to get a prayer life now, to go to confession. Now, do you really think you’re going to get to heaven when you don’t ever confess your sins? It’s not going to happen. We need to confess our sins and repent and get right with our God. We need to have a relationship with our God.
We don’t just get to heaven by accident. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people, and we need Jesus. Jesus says in John 15: “Without me, you can do nothing.” But in Philippians 2:13, it says that with Christ, we can do all things. So it doesn’t matter how far you’ve walked away, it doesn’t matter if you shirked all of your duties and you should have raised your kids in the faith, and now they’re all a bunch of atheists and they don’t practice anything and you realize that you totally failed. Guess what? Jesus is the God of second chances.
Jesus can let you start over again. Maybe you’ve been a priest who has been scared to preach the truth. Maybe you’ve been a priest who really wants to live the faith, but you’re afraid of what your bishop might say. You’re afraid of what other people might say. You’re not willing to go to the way of martyrdom like the Saints did. Jesus is the God of second chances. The Holy Spirit is the power and the fire of the universe. He can wake us up. Our church has a need of being woken up. We are basically dead in many ways and we need to wake up.
We need the fire. And that goes for bishops, priests, the pope and lay people. There’s no exception for this rule. We all need a relationship with Jesus Christ and a good one that we will prioritize. We need to do spiritual readings and bible reading. What are we prioritizing? Netflix? Is that why we don’t have time to pray at night? Are we prioritizing just binge-watching movies and shows or video games or jobs or a career? Or are we gym rats? We spend all day at the gym, and we don’t have time to pray? None of these things are necessarily bad, but if they take all the time that we have and we don’t have a good prayer life with God, then we’ve broken the first and foremost of his commandments. First, we need to put him first.
The first commandment is: Have no false Gods. Money can be made a God if you work all the time. You skip mass on Sundays. If you sleep in on Sundays and you don’t go to mass, you have broken commandments number one and three.
I want to challenge you if you haven’t confessed your sins in a long time, to please consider going to confession and if you need help with that, if you’re scared about that, which is totally understandable, refer to some of our videos that can help you on that. Trust in the fact that he wants to forgive you and bring you to heaven. He wants to get you there.
Our church is in dire straits. Honestly, that’s why I started Catholic Truth. Precisely because so much of our church is confused. So much of our church is not pointing the way or preaching the truth. So we need a clear voice in this age of confusion and a clear light in this age of darkness and that’s what Catholic Truth is for, to preach the truth. How many times can we just let people drive to hell and not tell them, because, well, it’s not nice to talk about it. Hell? No. It’s not nice, but it’s even worse to let them go there and not even knock on their doors and tell them there’s a fire in the building, that there’s something going on, that there are people insidiously laughing in the building because they’re the ones who lit the fire and they’re running out. They’re the ones who claim to love us but they’re the ones who are killing us, and that’s many people in our church too. They claim to love us and then they poison us with the fruit of heresy, of apostasy, of perdition, of legalism, of secularism, of modernism, of liberalism, and all the rest of it. They’re poisoning us while they say they love us. It is like they are saying eat this food and then they’re trying to kill us with garbage. That’s not from Jesus Christ. We need to hold fast. We need to stand up.
Catholics, if you’re still reading, you need to be the soldiers. You need to be the ones who stand up and take the sword and hand with me. This doesn’t come through fighting or getting angry. This doesn’t come from demonizing or calling people stupid idiots or pontificating all the time. Actually, we rarely write these kinds of articles, but sometimes we need a call. A good sword and a good fight are a good prayer life. It’s growing in humility, love, purity, patience. These are the fruits of this spirit, and this is what Jesus Christ calls us to. This is what the saints had. The saints did not sit around whining like a bunch of babies all day long. They prayed harder. They fasted more. They prayed the rosary, they read the scriptures, they mortified themselves and they tried to reform the church from within. And the more they faced people who resisted them and resisted their message, the more they prayed, the more they tried to grow in holiness and the deeper the relationship they tried to have with God grew.
So please pray for me that I can do this. Please pray for me that I can become holier, that I can pray more, that I can be the Christian that God wants me to be, and not a fake or phony Christian. I’m going to pray that you guys can change the world in some way no matter where you want to run your journey, no matter what you’re struggling with, whether you’ve failed up to this point or whether you’ve succeeded and just need to do more.
I am going to pray for you because we’re all on a journey. Have hope. If you’re struggling with your failures, we have articles on the love of God. If you’re struggling and you want to know more about this topic, check out our video Catholic crisis where we give a lot more information. In addition, we talk more about the problems in the church, where they came from, why they’re here, and how they can be overcome.
Make no mistake. Jesus is the only solution to the problems in this church. And the reason why we have so many of these problems is because over the last 50 years in this Church, we have walked away from Christ and his truth. Too many Catholics indulged in the sexual revolution, anarchy, the New Age movement, liberalism, modernism, and many other things that have eroded and destroyed the foundations of our Church.
It’s because many priests and nuns compromised the faith for a counterfeit, and they will be accountable on judgment Day, make no mistake. Even bishops have walked away from Christ and continue to. Just look at the evil mess in Germany with the priests and bishops embracing false and heretical views. Getting back to Christ is the only solution to our problems. Check out Mother Angelica’s story and all the bishops she had to fight and all the priests she had to face just for preaching the truth. She has a wonderful biography, and I would highly recommend it. It’s called Mother Angelica: The Remarkable story of a Nun, her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles. So, if you need some inspiration after reading this article, certainly check out that book.
Thank you for listening to the warning. Thank you for listening to the message we need so badly. Now please help share it with others in your own lives. You can also consider supporting our ministry so we can keep doing this dire work that God has called us to do: To keep saving souls, to keep changing lives and to keep bringing people home to the fullness of the truth.