Why We Fight

But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: “Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.”(12) To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. — Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christanae, 14

For those of you who have been told to keep your mouths shut and the collection plates full while all around you occurs a cavalcade of impiety, sacrelige, and heresy;

For those of you who have been wrongly and falsely identified as prideful rebels for daring to challenge those who abuse their authority;

For those of you who are told to “tone down the rhetoric” lest others who are on the fence about critical issues join the fight;

For those of you who understand your duties as Christians, Catholics, and citizens in the face of errors and evils;

For those of you who have been subjected to the subtle academic propaganda that implies that any claim to truth is a form of extremism or oppression;

For those of you who have been called intolerant, insensitive, or divisive for refusing to submit to lies;

For those of you who love God more than you love the world and the opinions of men;

These words of one of the Church’s greatest popes are for you.

“Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph…” (From the same section quoted above)

12 Responses to Why We Fight

  • The preservation of Catholic orthodoxy is not simply the duty of the clergy but also the duty of the laity. Catholic laity have not simply the right, but the responsibility, to speak out when heresy is being passed off as Catholic Truth.

  • Hoo-Aah, Sir!

    No wait, AMEN!!!

    Plus, (I hope) guilty on all counts.

  • Thank you—I needed this reminder.

  • What is the point of speaking the truth, Joe?

  • Nate,

    To speak the truth is our duty. And we fulfill our duties to please God.

  • It strikes me that the line “for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good” could be an unconscious source for the quote frequently attributed to Edmund Burke “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for enought good men to do nothing.” [I remember seeing the Burke “quote” in advertizements in the Saturday Eveing Post 50+ years ago. Since it does not appear in Burke’s works, I wonder if the advertizing copywriter made it up, perhaps drawing upon some partially-remembers source such as this.]

  • Is God pleased when we speak the truth, regardless of how and when we speak it?

  • Or rather, is God pleased when we tell the truth always, or only sometimes?

  • I suspect if we even spoke the truth sometimes the world would be better off. Unfortunately, we probably only seldom speak the truth and so the multitude of problems.

    This added to by those who deny the truth or, worse yet, deny that we can even know the truth.

  • “Is God pleased when we speak the truth, regardless of how and when we speak it?”

    Obviously there are times when discretion and prudence change the manner and the time in which we speak or reveal the truth.

    I may get an ugly sweater from my aunt for Christmas, but I am not obliged to begin proclaiming my feelings about it in front of her and all our relatives.

    But that isn’t really what I am talking about here. I am talking about proclaiming truth precisely when it is called for and in the manner it is called for.

    Did you read the quote from Leo XIII?

    “To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind.”

    Note the “when.”

  • With you all the way Joe.

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