America Needs the Way, the Truth and the Life

COMMENTARY: How can we help America rediscover Christ?

Christ is the key to healing our wounded society.
Christ is the key to healing our wounded society. (photo: Chin Kok Wei / Shutterstock)

For millions of Catholics across America, the next few months will surely be defined by a simple question: What do we do now to protect the unborn? 

We’ll ask this question if and when the Supreme Court overturns the evil of Roe v. Wade, which looks set to happen in the coming weeks. At that point, abortion policy will likely return to the states. Not only will Catholics work hard to end abortion at the state level, we’ll continue to convince our fellow Americans that abortion is not a fundamental right and the right to life should be sacrosanct. It will be one of the greatest opportunities in American history to defend the most vulnerable. 

So, what should we do, if that comes to pass? Millions of mothers and children will depend on our answer. Yet if we hope to help them to the fullest extent, then we need to ask another question first.  

How can we help our society rediscover the way, the truth, and the life? 

More to the point: How can we help America rediscover Christ? 

At first glance, this question may seem strange in the context of ending abortion and protecting the innocent. But it’s profoundly connected, and indeed, it gets to the heart of the matter. If we really want to restore a culture of life, then we must reintroduce society to the author of life.  

The same lesson holds true for every other challenge we face. Whether it’s restoring the right understanding of marriage and family, building stronger communities that care for the least fortunate, or tackling heartbreaking crises like abuse, true solutions spring from the Savior. The more we know and love him, and the more we convince others to follow him, the more likely we are to move our country closer to justice and truth. 

This is a missionary moment for America. It falls to us, as faithful Catholics, to look outward, not inward, and spread the Good News in word and deed. 

The place to start is with ourselves. As we enter this new chapter of U.S. history, our personal relationship with Christ is essential to success. Only when we are filled with the Spirit can we make progress as a society.  

Practically speaking, that means daily Mass, holy hours, frequent confession and daily prayer. Putting Christ at the center of our lives is the single best thing we can do to promote the cause of life. 

After that comes the hard work of persuasion. There will be an urgent need to convince voters and lawmakers alike that unborn life is beautiful and worthy of the strongest defense. As we go into the public square, our arguments and actions must be grounded in Christ’s love. 

Our attitude should be one of compassion, not confrontation. We should be filled with optimism, not anger. If we model Christ in all we do, we stand a much better chance of convincing others that protecting mothers and children is the right call.  

Not only that, by modeling Christ, we will cause people to wonder what (and who) it is that fills our hearts. Coming at this struggle with a spirit of Christian love could lead people to Christ himself. 

Isn’t that what America needs, above all else? The Lord alone can deliver the long-term renewal that our country is crying out for. As we get ready to defend life and address all the other grave moral challenges that afflict this great nation, Christ must always be our guide. 

From July 27-31, the Napa Institute Summer Conference will help thousands of Catholics prepare for this missionary moment. Lay and religious leaders alike will come together to deepen their walk with Christ and commit to the difficult work that lies ahead.  

You are invited to join us. The entire conference will be available virtually and on-demand. I hope you participate. And I’m confident you’ll enjoy the impressive line-up of Catholic speakers, including Cardinal George Pell, Arthur Brooks, Father Robert Spitzer and former Attorney General Bill Barr. The whole program is dedicated to helping you put your faith into action in this critical time. 

Can we help America rediscover the way, the truth, and the life? Our answer to that question — including your answer — will determine what happens next for life. For that matter, it will shape our country’s future. 

Register to virtually attend the institute’s annual conference July 27-31 here