December 30, 2013 by mattfradd
Someone recently wrote to me saying that she had stopped going to Mass.
She says she can’t find peace there; that she “connects” with God in nature.
I’m not sure that she denies the lordship of Christ. She says things like, “I think we should follow Christ in a way that means something to us . . . the main thing is that we love him.”
You’ve probably heard things similar.
Sometimes Protestants (even some Catholics) will say, “why do I need to bother with these sacraments, with what the Church says, all that matters is Jesus and him only.”
How should we respond to this?
Here’s one way; I used it just today with the lady I mentioned. Here’s how the back and forth went:
Me: What would you think of a man who said that he didn’t need to bother washing the dishes or bathing the kids, and that what mattered most was that he loved his wife.
Lady: Your really comparing the church and sacraments to dishes and bathing the kids…haha. I spose in a way baptism washes kids. ;p
Me: Humor me and follow the thought experiment.
Lady: Id say he’s a lazy so and so.
Me: Perhaps, but shouldn’t he love his wife in the way that means something to him? For this man, making love to his wife is the way that he “connects” with her, the rest is secondary, unessential.
Lady: shouldn’t he be interested in her needs? the dude’s a pig!
I think she’s right.
The man in question should be interested in what his wife wants. Loving someone entails, to some degree at least, doing what pleases them, doing what they ask of you, right?
Now, while we’re not required to do everything our spouse asks of us, (she may ask me to do something immoral in which case I ought to refuse!) we are required to do everything God commands of us.
So since Loving God entails a desire to do what he wants of us.
and God wants thing of us.
therefore we should desire to do the things he wants of us.
“Lord, Lord” Is Not Enough
As Christ himself put it, “Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 7:21).
He also instructed his apostles to teach us (future Christians) to “observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt 28:20)
So If God has commanded us to be baptized (John 3:5) then we ought to be baptized. If he has told us that the Eucharist is his body and blood and that unless we consume it we will not have everlasting life (John 6:53) then we should consume it. If he has given authority to the Church (Mt 16:18), he he has said of the Church “He who hears you, hears me” (Lk 10:16), then we should take him at his word and submit to his authority.
Join The Discussion
How would you respond to someone who says “all that matters is that you love Jesus”?