Matthew 7:15-16 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's
clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their
fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"
I countered this by mentioning the Catholic Church was one of the largest providers of charity, medical care, education, disaster relief in the world, and was accused of introducing a strawman into the discussion!
It turns out that by "fruits" the blogger meant "fruits of the Holy Spirit." Now I think that's a stretch considering the context of this chapter. Nonetheless, for the sake of argument let's examine this.
The fruits of the Holy Spirit are:
Gal 5:22-23 love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,
23 gentleness and, self-control.
The gist of the blogger's argument against the church was that since the Catholic Church teaches that people cannot truly know that they are saved and that they will have to be punished for their sins we Catholics cannot possibly have peace. Therefore, the Catholic church must be a false church.
I kid you not.
We could debate the theology of this position and we probably will; however, I am interested in hearing from Catholics about how much peace you feel in your lives as a practicing Catholic.
I guess then since I'm introducing the topic, I should go first. Personally I have found much peace and joy in my walk as a Catholic Christian. I find joy and peace in the sacraments, in the mass, in the prayers of the church, in the teachings of the church and the strength of the Magisterium and her teachings.
(My friend Joann- devout Catholic who died this month from stage 4 breast cancer - joyful to the end!)
I find joy in every day of the liturgical year and with our cycles of feasting and fasting. Whats more, in the fruits that I may be lacking, I find abundantly in other Catholic Christians who are older, wiser, or are just more mature in their walk with Christ as they practice their Catholic Faith.
(St. Maximilian Kolbe- Catholic Priest who gave up his life for another in Nazi Concentration Camp)