The Church has been entrusted with the care of souls. Her mission is to protect God’s children (that’s all of us) and to guide us safely to His kingdom. So, that means she has made some “rules” for us. She has established guidelines meant to help us live holy lives. That does not make her a bully as some people like to think of her. It makes her a good parent. And like any good parent, she does not bend just because we decide to throw temper tantrums over rules we don’t like and think are unfair. And believe me, I’ve had my fair share of temper tantrums.
She also does not make us follow the rules. It is all up to us. After some of my temper tantrums, I then go ahead and do things my way anyway and it always results in my own detriment and more often than not, someone else’s detriment as well. Because, believe it or not, there are reasons for these rules. They are not arbitrary rules meant to keep us under her oppressive thumb. They are meant to make us the best we can be, to help us to be the people God created us to be. They are meant to build us up and are for our own good, even if we can’t see it in the moment. They are meant to help humanity flourish and reach its full potential.
And like a good parent, she is always waiting and ready to welcome us back, no matter how many times we run away. She does not force us to come back. But she invites us to and lets us decide from there. The light is always burning in the window, telling us that she has long-awaited our return.
It is my prayer that more people will take the time to find out, openly and honestly, why the Church teaches what she teaches. The reasons are rich and deep. You may find that you still disagree, but at least seek the reasons and know that everything she teaches is out of love, never hate. It is my prayer that more people will seek the truth and beauty in the motherhood of the Church that can be found when they dare to go beyond the surface.