Chapter 4. Bring About the Obedience of Faith • 43
independence and dignity of both church and state, has evolved into a
“wall” of separation that seems to say that faith should have no impact
on the state or society.
The Church, however, continues to apply principles flowing from
her faith to public policy, most notably in her teaching on the dig
nity of the human person and the culture of life. The Church’s advo-
cacy for the poor, the elderly, children, and immigrants are further
examples of the Church’s commitment to advance social justice in
America. The Church’s unflagging pro-life stand is an outstanding
example of calling our society and government to protect life from con-
ception to natural death.
Deism, or at least a form of it, has been replaced by an ideological
secularism, a belief that we are self-sufficient and self-explanatory and
do not need religious faith. The Church’s response to this ideological
secularism is helped by joining with thoughtful people who are raising
basic questions: Who are we? What is the meaning of suffering, evil,
and death? Why has modern progress not eliminated them? What is the
value of our country’s achievements in light of their cost to human dig-
nity and life?
These questions point us to the transcendent origins of humanity.
The resulting discussion can awaken the seeds of eternity planted by
God in each soul.
Finally, we need to affirm again our faith that Jesus Christ can show
all of us the way—believers to stronger faith, and others to be brought
to faith. When we are newly aware of the Holy Spirit’s power to trans-
form us and others, we will have both the energy and imagination to find
paths to faith for those in need. We always need to rediscover the truth
that the key to our history is to be found in Jesus, the Lord of history.
Beneath all the rapid changes in our culture, there are still many people
who possess and live enduring values rooted in Christ, who “is the same
yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8). We need to rely on our faith
in Christ when we reflect on the mystery and dignity of man and woman,
and as we address challenges to faith and its relationship to culture.