So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
– Rev. 3:16
The global pandemic caused by the Coronavirus has granted us an opportunity to reassess and evaluate our priorities. Is it conceivable that our Lord is leading us to make a definitive choice between aligning ourselves with Him or standing against Him? It is impossible to serve two masters; we must choose to wholeheartedly love either the Father or the world, but not both (refer to Matthew 6:24 and 1 John 2:15). Lukewarmness is a sin against God’s love, and is defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the “hesitation or negligence in responding to divine love; it can imply refusal to give oneself over to the prompting of charity” (2093).
In our Catholic faith, there is no room for tepidity or ambiguity. The teachings of Catholic doctrine and morality are not mere suggestions; they demand consistent adherence and should never be taken for granted. We have a clear-cut decision to make: to fully embrace God or to reject Him entirely. We are not called to be selective in our Catholicism, picking and choosing what suits our preferences, such as when we pick items off a cafeteria menu. Christ and the Church are inseparable; we cannot have one without the other. Christ is the head, and we are the body, united as one. Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium form a unified whole that cannot be separated. One cannot stand on its own without the other as all are how we receive Divine Revelation from God. St. Alphonsus Liguori has said:
Is tepidity, then, productive of so much ruin? Yes, it brings with it great ruin, and the greatest evil is, that his ruin is not known, and is, therefore, neither avoided nor dreaded by the tepid, and especially by priests. The majority of them are shipwrecked on this blind rock of tepidity, and therefore many of them are lost. I call it a blind rock: because the great danger of perdition to which the tepid are exposed consists in this, that their tepidity does not allow them to see the great havoc that it produces in the soul. Many are unwilling to be altogether separated from Jesus Christ; they wish to follow Him, but they wish to follow Him at a distance, like St. Peter, who, when the Redeemer was seized in the garden, followed Him from afar off. But they that act in this manner, shall easily fall into the misfortune which befell St. Peter, who, when charged by a servant maid with being a disciple of the Redeemer, thrice denied Jesus Christ.
The presence of lukewarm Catholicism is destructive and there is no place for it within the Holy, Catholic, Church. It includes a lack of solid catechesis and a diluted or watered down expression of the Catholic faith. Often, there is a deficiency in teaching moral principles, which are essential for Catholics to develop a well-formed conscience and make sound moral judgments based on the truths of the Faith. How can the laity effectively engage with political and social issues if they do not possess well-formed consciences? The message of the Gospels are meant to go against the tide of the prevailing culture, challenging its sinful norms and the attempt to eliminate God from society.
The surrounding culture is rapidly evolving, with a strong inclination to eradicate Christianity from society. We are being tested and confronted by the world, and God calls upon us to remain steadfast in our faith and understand our true identity as children of the light. As sons and daughters of the Father, we must choose to defend and uphold the truth, responding with immense love to assist one another in attaining salvation and eternal life with our Triune God.
Believing in the Gospel as a Catholic is not a matter of choice; we must acknowledge and accept its truth as a part of the inspired Word of God. How can we counter the cultural confusion and stand against the prevailing norms if we ourselves are not firmly rooted in our Catholic faith? As Catholics, we are called to establish a relationship with Christ and strive for perfect union with Him, which necessitates wholehearted love for Him with our entire being.
If we choose to be lukewarm, we turn away from God’s invitation to experience His divine love and reject His loving guidance. Through our Catholic faith, we have been blessed with the truth imparted by Christ Himself. When we refuse to accept this extraordinary gift, we not only reject the truth but also reject Christ. We cannot embrace lukewarm Catholicism while at the same time embracing Christ. There is no place in heaven for lukewarm Christians.
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