IF IT WEREN'T FOR ALL THOSE PEOPLE...
Sometimes when I tour through the Catholic blogs, I get the feeling that a lot of them think the Catholic Church would be wonderful if it weren't for all these darn people we have to share our Church with. You know -- those who sing lousy songs, those who ask pesky questions, those who want to greet us on our way to Mass, those with backward theology. If we could just get rid of them, we'd be great!
Of course reflection on this reveals how wrong it is. Each of us is a sinner, and each of us brings the Church down by our sins. But each of us also makes the Church better by the good things we do, even by our mere presence at Mass.
In fact the people around us, the communion of saints, both in the past and here today, is the great thing the Church has to offer over some sort of private "spirituality." I need the people around me to trouble my conscience, and call me to be better, and to make me aware of suffering and situations I can do something about.
And for this the Church must be growing, not shrinking. We need to be welcoming more in, not kicking others out.
And we are. I challenge anyone who says something like, "the Church is dying" to hang around a cathedral on the first Sunday in Lent, and see how many people want to join thus Church, despite our sins.