What Does is Mean to Be a Lukewarm Catholic?

How often do you think about whether or not you are lukewarm in your faith? We might not think about it too often, but the Lord has some strong words about the lukewarm. In Revelation 3:15-16 He says, “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Pope St Pius echoed the Lord’s words about lukewarmness when he said, “All the evils of the world are due to lukewarm Catholics.”

You may be thinking to yourself, “I go to Mass each week, pray the Rosary often, and I try to follow the teachings of the Church. I’m good.” But, as Fr. Mark Baron recently explained on The Inner Life®avoiding lukewarmness is not a matter of marking a spiritual checklist. Like our faith, it is about a relationship with our Lord, and how we are responding to the promptings of love in that relationship. Fr. Mark Baron said:

“The Catechism actually refers to lukewarmness in paragraph 2094 it says:

lukewarmness is hesitation or negligence in responding to divine love; it can imply refusal to give oneself over to the prompting of charity.

So how do we understand this? Well, we can look at it from the standpoint that God has created us, and He has created us so that we can be united with Him and reach perfect charity. Because charity unites us with God.

So how does that happen? Well, charity, love for God, and our desire for union with Him happens because God, who is Love itself and the fire of Love, tries to draw us and set us on fire for love of Him. So when we have those divine promptings, when we get those promptings calling us to love, but we fail to respond to that, then that is what we call lukewarmness.

Another way we kind of develop this is really picturing this idea of a mountain. So we picture God on top of the mountain saying, ‘Hey! Come up here and be with me.’ And we want to be with God, but yet we see that the mountain is pretty high, it’s going to be cold up there, it’s going to be a rough trip. And so we hear God calling, this prompting of love calling me to go higher and to reach God, but I don’t feel like taking on this journey. I don’t feel like paying the price to climb higher.

So lukewarmness does deal with us neglecting these little charitable promptings of God. But it’s also based on the fact that we neglect them because we don’t really want to, we get a little lazy, or we don’t really want to pay the price that love demands.

Drawing closer to God is not easy, it calls forth a certain sacrificial element, if you will, a certain price to pay. So lukewarmness just lacks that corresponding fire of love to respond to God’s fire of love calling us to Himself.”

Listen to the reflection below:

The Inner Life airs weekdays at noon Eastern/9:00 a.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App.

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.