II. Restoration Of The Church

"She (the Church) will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.”       

                                                                                     —Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger  (POPE BENEDICT XVI)

"A great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely… Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret… She (the Church) will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.” 

                                                                                                                                                                                   —Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger 1969 (POPE BENEDICT XVI)

         Just as the Catholic Church, as the Body of Christ, is not just another inanimate institution, but a living entity created by God Himself, so too does her renewal, her restoration require an organic, grass roots, natural approach, as opposed to contrived corporate marketing, public relations campaign, pre-packaged program, focus groups, or best practices, utilized in the secular realm. Because the Catholic Church is organic and animated by the living Body of Christ and His Holy Spirit, her renewal must be organic, beginning with her members through the grace of God. That’s why subsidiarity, as a bottom up approach, has always been a pillar of catholic social teaching, realizing that those closest to the situation have the greatest impact and investment in the common good of those around them. It begins with the person –not the individual – because individual connotes an isolated approach, and people are social beings, and members of social units, especially the most basic social unit, the family.

      For we are the cells of the Body of Christ created by God to perform a specific function for the vibrant life and growth of this divine/human organism. Families then are the tissue, groups of cells closely connected by DNA and mission for the good of the Church. If people and families, the cells and tissues, are unhealthy, infected, diseased, they fail to do the will of Christ the head, they fail to divide, grow, flourish, and the entire organism, the Church is far worse off as a result. Yet, if, on the other hand, we as people and families simply do what we ought and be who we were created to be, we can grow and thrive and rid the Body of Christ of all her internal ailments, and protect her from the sickness of society that surrounds her. So this organic renewal is simple: families invite other families into their homes, show them how to create and be a domestic church, encourage them and then do what cells do at the appointed time, divide, with each of these families, over time, doing likewise, and so on and so forth, renewing both the community of believers and the community at large.

        People are far more likely to be influenced and converted by a family member or close friend than someone or something farther removed like a centralized authority, a theologian, or charismatic cult of personality. And the conversions are much more dependent upon such family member or friend living their faith, than any argument, article of faith, or proof text.  Pope Paul VI rightly explained that "Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses." This is why we need to be faithful, patriarchs and matriarchs and create our own domestic churches of authentic, joyful, moral family members who can attract others across generational lines, reaching those we could never reach by ourselves, causing the renewal and restoration Jesus so desperately desires for our salvation and that of the whole world.


While we do need better catechizing of our children, that alone is not the answer. For there is no quality or quantity of catechesis as effective as the example of a good Christian life, lived joyfully and fully.  And what good is it to have the best religious instruction, if we or they don’t know Christ, and if those teachings are not reinforced, practiced, and lived out at home? What good would it be for us to try to change the entire culture if the family is lost? What good would it be to try to convert a stranger, when those we are, and will be responsible for, are eternally lost? Our sacred duty as parents requires us to teach our children about Christ, and to live out our faith at home and in the world, as that lesson will take root in their hearts and will never be forgotten, like the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit

This is why Jesus started His Church using simple men, which would organically grow and spread from person to person and family to family with entire households being baptized at a time (1 Corinthians 1:16; Acts 10:45-48 & 16:15) with whole civilizations, far worse even than our own,  being renewed and transformed in the process.  That's why Jesus

established His Church to be the very Household of God, a divine/human family of God composed of human families with Christ as the head, to be the vehicle of His salvation across eras and continents. Remember He did not set up His new Church in the great ornate Temple in Jerusalem, where millions of adherents attended, but in the homes of humble men and women, gatherings of families celebrating the Holy Eucharist in simplicity and often in secret. This is how the renewal of the family, the Church, and the culture is accomplished in our time, according to the design and desire of our Master.