FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2023
THE ESSENCE OF FAITH AND LOVE IN THESE TIMES
September 20, 2022
Our theme for 2023 is “Firm in faith, founded on love.” Our theme verse is: “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. Your every act should be done with love.” (1 Cor 16:13-14).
The theme focus is on two virtues—faith and love. These are especially crucial during these evil times, when liberal and modernist forces, even within the Church, are confusing the faithful as to the true meaning of these words.
First, there is faith. Many Catholics have lost their faith, and apostasy is growing. Indeed, 99 of the 100 sheep are lost. So-called Christians are no longer truly Christian, but just nominal or cultural. And so faith for Christians is not to be taken for granted. Thus we need to be firm in the faith. This means that we know the word of God and we act on it. This means that we look on Jesus as our Savior and Lord. This means that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Among many Catholics today are those who are not living out their faith. In fact, many of them are living in opposition to the faith. There are those who are rabidly pro-abortion but insist that they are devout and should be entitled to receive Holy Communion. There are those who support and promote the culture of DEATH and insist that such abominations as active homosexuality are to be accepted and even celebrated.
Then there are those modernists within the Church who twist the faith in order to suit their purposes. Some hierarchs teach what is modernist and heretical, contrary to authentic faith. They teach such falsehoods as all religions leading to the divine, as LGBT being acceptable and not intrinsically disordered, as cohabitations with fidelity having the grace of real marriage, as no person going to hell, as proselytism being wrong.
In today’s secular world where there is confusion, oftentimes abetted by the silence or acquiescence of pastors, we need to know the authentic faith and stand firm in it.
Second, there is love. The virtue of love is the more excellent way. God is love, and love is the core and foundation of the Christian faith. But today the word love has been abused, confused, and misused. What is now regarded as love by the secular world is actually the opposite of authentic love. But love cannot contradict truth.
Take the justification for same-sex relationships. It is when two people are in love, and love is such a beautiful thing. Why should such a couple not be allowed or accepted to manifest such love? Those who think in this way are called haters, bigots, and homophobes. But authentic love is pure and not sinful. And according to the design of God, it can only be between a man and a woman. Two homosexuals can certainly have a relationship, that of being friends. But to have sex is not love but just sinful lust.
Or take political correctness of liberals. They say that sinners, out of Christian love, should just be accepted, accompanied, and embraced, but their sin is not to be discussed, since this is hurtful and contrary to love. But authentic Christian teaching is that we are to love the sinner but hate the sin. Thus, not to talk about a sinner’s serious wrongdoing is to keep that person in that sin. Thus it is manifesting false mercy. It is not love but a failure to love.
So authentic Christian love is agape, which is unilateral, unconditional, and self-sacrificial. It is the very love of Jesus that brought him to the cross. It is that same love that we are called to. Thus our very lives, our very actions, are to be founded on love.
Being God’s people and God’s holy warriors, we are to be on our guard, mindful of all the lies being propagated by the evil one in the world and even within the Church. Then we are to be courageous and strong in standing firm in the faith and being founded on love.
One final point. The theological virtues are faith, hope, and love. What happened to hope? Well, if we are firm in faith and we are founded on love, then what we look to is a future full of hope.
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