One cannot begin to write about history in an all encompassing sense. First, history is so large that it would not be possible to write such a piece. And secondly, my view of history is flawed, as someone who has an opinion, and as someone who has barely been alive long enough to leave a single mark on history.
Therefore, I seek to write not on our historical past, but how we must put ourselves on the right side of history going forward. Many argue that those within the Millennial Generation and younger have failed to learn from what the world has negatively experienced in the past. We cannot think like such, we must allow for each to become who they want to be, not what a generation deems as acceptable.
Folks, I am not talking politics here. I am talking about the history and mindsets of people within Holy Mother Church since Her founding by Jesus Christ in 33 A.D.. Fallible men have strived to leave their mark on the Church, attempting to change, repeal, and often replace. Change at times is good, when divinely inspired by the Holy Ghost. The Church has been able to continually pass down the Traditions of the Apostles to every generation. It is then up to each generation to heed the call given by the Holy Ghost to continue to spread the truths of Jesus Christ and His Church.
History reminds us of the many times God's people have errored, fallen away, and altogether abandoned the truths of the Church. We could debate the things that 13th, 14th, and 15th century popes did. We could argue the many scandals that have occurred within the Church by her members. And while each of us could think of a significant event in which a member of the Church caused great scandal, scarred the traditions of the Church, and errored from her teachings, these things are not of the Church but of men. Fallible men continue to shape the Church to this very day, continuing to critique and urge change to the traditions of the Church. When our poorly formed consciences fail to comprehend all that the Church encompasses, we begin to seek change.
Change at times, is good. However, many times change is bad. Change is either divinely inspired or is not. In the 16th Century when Martin Luther split with the Catholic Church to create his own sect of Christianity, this was a bad change. This change was completely man made and not inspired by the Holy Ghost. The Protestant Reformation was the beginning of Christ’s Church to be divided and broken. Today Protestantism continues to divide into over 47,000 different sects. This change by Luther caused many infallible men to embrace their own ways of thinking, ways that would promote their agenda and allow them to live their worldly lifestyles.
To be on the right side of history is not necessarily to just submit yourself to all that the Church has taught in Tradition and Scripture over the past 2,000 years, but to live it. We must choose to follow Jesus Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church even when it seems at most difficult. We could contemplate the tough bearings to be a Catholic, in centuries past and today. We could look to the Church in China. We could look to the discrimination against the Church in America. We could look to the agendas of hierarchy surrounding the Church in Germany. There are a lot of places we could look. We must however, no matter what secular issues we face, seek to only look towards Christ and His Church. In the end, our salvation will not be deemed on our good intentions, but will be deemed on how well we stayed true to Christ and His Church, especially when it was difficult.
"The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness."- Pope Benedict XVI.
Seth is a convert to the Church and lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.