That's religion today. In our global world, believers of every religion rub elbows with each other every day. Some would say fraternizing with "the enemy." Because one of the things religions have in common is a pretension to truth. Each religion believes that it has the definitive answer to man's quest for happiness. And they can't all be right. Either Allah is God, or the Holy Trinity is. You can't have it both ways.
Does that mean we're all at war?
If Catholics have the truth, common sense dictates we defend it. Pull up the drawbridge. Man the walls. Defend the greatest treasure ever seen. And do what humanity has done for centuries when unwanted guests show up: throw unpleasant things down at them until they give up and go away. Hopefully for good.
That would be conventional wisdom. All across the board, Catholics are faced with enemies at the gates. Persecution throughout the Muslim world. The intense debate over homosexual "marriage" in France and many other countries. State-mandated abortion coverage in the US. Wisdom dictates we brace for the siege. And wisdom is very wrong. Our faith - the truth - isn't like other treasures. We don't defend it from others. We share it with them.
If Catholics want to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, we have to open the gates and let the light of Christ shine out into the darkness. We can't keep it bottled up, because it's not just for us. It's a gift. The gift. The whole world needs it. Especially the people knocking on our front door.
God gave us the key to happiness and fulfilment. Opening the door, and sharing that gift is up to us. As Pope Francis said last Saturday:
"We think today of Jesus, who always wants us all to be closer to Him, we think of the Holy People of God, a simple people, who want to get closer to Jesus and we think of so many Christians of goodwill who are wrong and that instead of opening a door they close the door of goodwill ... So we ask the Lord that all those who come to the Church find the doors open, find the doors open, open to meet this love of Jesus. We ask this grace."
It's true. The truth has to be cherished and defended. But only so we can share it with others in all its beauty. Open the doors.
Go here for the Pope's whole homily.
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