Fr. Dwight Longenecker: Wake Up, Sleepy Catholics!

The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful, by Joseph Pearce
July 31, 2019
Daily Reading & Meditation: Thursday (August 1)
August 1, 2019

Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506), “The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane”

“Now is the time to awake out of sleep, for now is your salvation nearer than when you first believed.”

By Fr. Dwight Longenecker, National Catholic Register, 7/30/19

In a more creative mindset I’ve sometimes wondered if the seven dwarves might not characterize different types of Catholics.

There’s Dopey, who is dumb but cute and very devoted. There’s Doc, who always has the doctrinal details in order, Bashful, who never puts himself and maybe suffers from scruples a bit. There’s Sneezy, who doesn’t like the incense, and Happy, who goes along with most anything just to keep the peace. Then there’s Grumpy, the traditionalist who doesn’t like change, and Sleepy, the cradle Catholic who is just coasting.

Sleepy is especially dozy when it comes to evangelization. He doesn’t know about that and doesn’t see why it matters. Our Evangelical Protestant brothers sometimes say that our reliance on the sacramental system of the Church leads us to assume that a person is “saved” and leads us to neglect their need for conversion.

This is an understandable reaction from those who begin with Evangelical Protestant assumptions. For the Evangelical Protestant, conversion is a one-and-done experience. For the Catholic, conversion is a way of life. Within the Catholic perspective there may indeed be complacency, but even a marginally catechized Catholic is less likely to be complacent because Catholics are taught to avoid the sin of presumption. In other words, we don’t believe in that recently invented, unscriptural dogma that has been artificially added to the deposit of faith — the Calvinistic belief in “eternal security.”