In today's world, I have observed many hardships over many years that have affected many of us in the Catholic Church today. I wonder: when did it begin? Was it with the Vatican II Council, or did it really begin after the crucifixion of our beloved son, Jesus Christ?
This may be something we will never fully understand, but we can indeed look into them in today's world. Many hardships, I'm sure, can be found in our families and in our societies today, but there is a solution that can be surely resolved by praying as a family, as a group or as an individual.
If you allow me, I would like to ask this question: "Do you believe that praying is one of the strongest things that a person can do?" I am sure that you would answer an absolute, "Yes." Then, having looked at each day that we live in, I feel that many of us set aside our own personal prayers and sometimes only look at the negative side of many things that affect this outlook in today's world.
When our beloved Bishop Edward U. Kmiec was the bishop of Buffalo, he instituted a new program in 2005, called "A Journey in Faith and Grace," which affected many churches in the Diocese of Buffalo and Wester New York. As our newly appointed Bishop Malone came to Buffalo due to the retirement of Bishop Kmiec, he had to be making many more changes because of the conditions that continued to challenge many parishes and Catholics.
These changes in the diocese were needed, such as mergers, closings and consolidation of many Catholic parishes, which affected everyone in the long run. Many people were not in favor of these changes, and they were not very well received by many, but they were definitely needed.
When this occurred, everyone was now asking the question: "What is happening in our church today?" I, too, wondered what would happen to many of these parishes that had a Holy Name Society, and just what would happen with these men and women in these parishes. We know that it's very difficult to give something up, such as our church that we have loved for many years, but I was told it's only a building and that life must go on and so does our society. Therefore, we should look forward as to what is in store for us in this new horizon.
We as Catholics must believe that our faith will save our souls, and that this, in turn, will please our Father. He, in turn, will reward us by sharing His happiness with all of us in His kingdom forever. As Catholics, we further believe that one of the greatest commandments our Lord has given us is to "love him with our whole heart, with our whole soul and with our whole mind." If we all believe this greatest commandment, then and only then will we be able to cope with everything.