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Julie Knodel, Moorhead, Published December 01 2012

Letter: Are we hearing Christ’s voice rather than our own?

The Catholic Church is receiving a lot of criticism locally and worldwide for its stance on contraception, same-sex marriage, and administration of the sacraments.

It has been said the church is authoritarian, out of step with the times we live in, discriminatory, judgmental, not loving and welcoming like Christ. “There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” And yet, even when he walked the earth, many found Christ’s words too difficult to follow.

He told us: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” It would seem it has never been an easy walk to follow Christ. There can be no question that in this life there will be suffering because even he was not spared from suffering.

It is difficult to be a Christian today and to walk a path at odds with many of our friends and family. It is hard to be faithful to the church, when the church is at odds with the desires of people we love. I think we have to ask ourselves, as many before us have done: “What if the church is right?”

We were reminded in the Gospel on a recent Sunday, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” The great moral issues of our day, like abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage, are bound to cause a lot of division, even among Christians, since we live in an age when many people want to decide which truths are acceptable so that they can live the way they want.

We need to be sure we are hearing his voice and not our own.