As a result of the rigors of my schedule I consistently fall hopelessly behind in attending to other aspects of my apostolate. This is true not only during the days when I’m actually on the road, but even in between trips as well, when much of my time is taken up with designing fliers and ads in order to publicize my upcoming trips, mailing out thousands of the former (by hand) and placing several of the latter in newspapers, as well as attending to the hundred and one other logistical details for each trip (airline itineraries, hotel and rental car reservations, etc.) that have no one else to attend to them, since I have no secretary or staff.
On top of this, I not only homeschool my own nine children (we have ten, but one is already in heaven, beyond the need for any instruction from me!), I also tutor another homeschooling family nearly every day. Because they live in California, I have to do this videoconferencing via my laptop (“computing commuting,” I call it.) I tutor them half the day, five days a week, in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Sacred Scripture, theology, apologetics, and church history, and once or twice a month I fly out there to teach them in person for a week or two at a time, all day long (some days from 6:15 am to 5 pm).
(As I write these words in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, waiting to change plans, I’m on my way home from just such a tutoring trip, having taught them for the past two weeks. After teaching them all day I spend my evenings on the phone or the computer catching up with my own children, comparing notes with my wife, and vainly trying to keep up with my e-mail, voicemail, and many other administrative responsibilities.)
Since my mega tour, which will take four years to complete, began at the start of this year, I’ve already spoken in the following cities: Sacramento CA (Feb 4), San Jose CA (Feb 11), Flagstaff AZ (March 24), Phoenix AZ (March 25), Tucson AZ (March 26), Yuma AZ (March 27), Huntsville AL (April 27), Birmingham AL (April 29), Montgomery AL (April 30), Mobile AL (May 1), Pensacola FL (May 2), Santa Rosa CA (May 20), Concord CA (May 21), Modesto CA (May 22), Fresno CA (May 23), Newark NJ (July 15), Manassas VA (July 29), Baltimore MD (July 30), Fishkill NY (Aug 11), New York City (Aug 12), Long Island NY (Aug 13), Portsmouth NH (Aug 16), Fitchburg MA (Aug 17), Portland ME (Aug 18), Worcester MA (Aug 19), Boston MA (Aug 20), Providence RI (Aug 21), St. Cloud MN (Sept 22), St. Paul MN (Sept 24), Spokane WA (Oct 8), Whitefish MT (Oct 9), Butte MT (Oct 10), Billings MT (Oct 11), Great Falls MT (Oct 12), Helena MT (Oct 13, noon), Missoula MT (Oct 13, evening), Post Falls ID (Oct 17), Dayton OH (Nov 2), Columbus OH (Nov 5), Cincinnati OH (Nov 6), Toledo OH (Nov 7), Cleveland OH (Nov 8), Canton OH (Nov 9), Youngstown OH (Nov 10).
During these same months, in between the above-listed public talks, I’ve also given numerous private talks in Front Royal VA, Blackwood NJ, Annapolis MD, Soquel CA, and various other cities & towns, and have attended several conferences as well.
Why do I push myself like this? What drives me to keep up such a hectic pace? The answer is that I feel impelled to do so by my passionate conviction of the truth of the Catholic Faith and am overwhelmed by the perilous plight of our world that does not perceive the truth of that Faith. This conviction and passion are as undiminished today as they were twenty years ago when by God’s grace I first embraced the Catholic Faith.
Our message at Biblical Foundations International thus, in one sense, has never changed over the past twenty years: it is that the Catholic Faith is the truth that the world desperately needs to hear and heed. In another, very real sense, our message is continually new, as by God’s grace our ongoing researches unpack ever deeper aspects, applications, and implications of that Faith to our current crisis.
If I had to reduce our message to one single (albeit densely-packed) paragraph, and if I had the privilege and power of communicating that one paragraph to everyone on the face of the earth, that paragraph would be this:
“The one true Faith that the one true God has revealed is the Catholic Faith. And the one true Church that this one true God – incarnate as Man (Jesus Christ) – has established in order to proclaim and perpetuate that one true Faith in the world until the end of time is the Catholic Church. To understand the purpose of our existence and to attain eternal happiness, it is absolutely necessary to adhere to that Faith and to belong to that Church, for there is absolutely no salvation outside of that Faith and that Church. Since nothing less than our eternal destiny depends upon this, it is of the utmost importance to distinguish the true Catholic Faith and Church, not only from all the false “faiths” and “churches” which make no pretense of even being Catholic, but especially from that counterfeit Catholic church with its counterfeit Catholic Faith which has, with the permission of Divine Providence and in fulfillment of prophecy, taken over virtually the entire infrastructure formerly constructed, owned, and operated by the Catholic Church.”
Because that above statement is so densely packed, and because its claims are so absolute, I am obliged to do two things. First, I will analyze that statement into its logical components – to break it down, as it were, into more easily digestible (intellectually speaking), bite-sized pieces by breaking it into four smaller statements:
- God exists.
- Christ is God.
- The Catholic Church is Christ’s one true Church.
- The “Vatican II Church” is not the Catholic Church (Christ’s true Church), but a clever counterfeit brought about by the nearly wholesale apostasy of the Catholic hierarchy into heresy and schism.
Second, I need to demonstrate that the above four statements are not merely “opinions,” but, in the case of the first three, truths revealed by Truth Himself, Almighty God, and infallibly proclaimed by His Church, and, in the case of the fourth statement, a logically necessary inference from the first three truths.
Since there are so many classical reference works already out there that establish their truth, and since they are not in dispute among professing Catholics, I shall be brief in my treatment of the first three facts, and I shall confine myself to demonstrating the fourth fact: the least understood (and thus the most vigorously opposed) in our day – even, and most tragically, among those who profess to be Catholics.
At the same time, I cannot begin with the fourth fact, since obviously each of these four facts only has any significance if the previous points have already been established. There is obviously no point in arguing that the Vatican II “church” is not the Catholic Church to someone who does not see the importance of belonging to the Catholic Church in the first place. And there is no point in convincing someone that the Catholic Church is the Church Christ founded unless someone has become convinced that Christ is God, and not merely one among many mortal gurus that fill the history of mankind’s “religions”. Finally, there is no point to, or even possibility of, convincing someone that Christ is God if they do not first believe that there is even such a being as God.
The argument thus works backwards to first principles. Or, to state the same thing in a forward direction, there is, as anyone can see, a logical progression claimed from each of these points to the subsequent point.
If, for example, I succeed in proving to someone that God exists, the next logical question they will ask me is, “Of all the deities worshiped in all the religions of the world, which God is the true God, and which religion therefore is the true revelation from this true God?”
In other words, once the case for theism (belief in God) has been successfully prosecuted, the case for Christianity (belief in Christ) must next be made. Here I must demonstrate to the inquirer that of all the theistic religions (Judaism, Islam, Christianity, et al.), only in Christianity does God definitively reveal Himself and His will for us, because only in Christ – not in Moses, or Mohammed, or the Rev. Sun Myung Moon (the twentieth-century Korean founder of the Unification Church) – has God become incarnate, died on the cross to save us from sin and to make possible the reconciliation of ourselves with Him.
Once someone becomes convinced of the case for Christianity, the inevitable question is, “Which of the thousands of different bodies all claiming to be ‘Christian’ – Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, independent fundamental, Quaker, Lutheran, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, et al – should I belong to? Which is Christ’s one true Church?”
At this point the case for Christianity is completed and the case for Catholicism takes over. One can demonstrate, by the laws of logic and the facts of history, that only the Roman Catholic Church can credibly claim to be the Body of Christ, in which He perpetuates His saving presence and mission in the world, to continue His ever-necessary three-fold office of Prophet, Priest, and King (reflected in the Church’s three-fold task of teaching, governing, and sanctifying the nations of the world).
To be continued.