The Next American Awakening Starts Here

May 14, 2022 | The Catholic Thing

Some people say that there has never been a harder time in the United States to be Catholic. One can understand why. Public approval weighs against us: today, a furious secularism repudiates ancient Christian teachings about marriage and family, even as rebellion against those teachings produces ever more bitterness and dysfunction. Social cachet weighs against us: for some time now, defending or even mentioning certain parts of the Catechism has all but guaranteed exclusion from the headiest parties and most glittering prizes. And, of course, for nearly fifty years – until this very month! – even the magnificent institution of Constitutional law clashed every minute of every day with sacred teaching. Since 1973, the highest court in the land mandated indifference to the incineration of many millions of the unborn, and to the seismic scars these losses have left across America.

The bad news could continue – and in truth, it would be easy enough to go on. Yet on this joyous occasion, let us do something different. Let’s put aside the anxieties familiar to today’s religious Catholics. I want instead to share a story with you – one with a very different message to remember from your Commencement Day. It’s an anecdote that has haunted me, in a good way, for quite a while now. And it is more apposite today than ever, as your Commencement coincides with the news that Roe vs. Wade may soon be history – a point to which we’ll return in the end. Meanwhile, if, ten or twenty or fifty years from now, you remember nothing else about the other words spoken on this happy day, I hope you will remember this story.

Pin It on Pinterest