Wow. What a challenging week for Catholics and Christians. Between the HHS mandate, Prop 8, DOMA and SB5, God has put before us quite the challenge (Sidenote: anyone else think it’s crazy that this is all happening during the Fortnight for Freedom??) Amidst the chaos of arguments on Facebook and the emotionally-charged accusations, it has become especially difficult to follow Christ’s new commandment, to love one another.
As we saw from this past week’s events, following Jesus means being distinctive from the rest of society. We are those formally known as “Jesus freaks”. To be a true Christian means being counter-cultural.
The Call to Love
No matter what vocation we are called to, whether it be to single, married or religious life, we all have a universal vocation: to love. However, to love others does not mean tolerating them. In loving somebody, we should only desire his or her own sainthood. Accepting the sinful behavior of others for the sake of avoiding discomfort is not charitable because it doesn’t lead our brothers and sisters to eternal salvation.
It becomes really frustrating when we see others so in line with the desires of the devil. But instead of seeing people for their faults and weaknesses, try and illuminate their strengths. It becomes easier to be charitable to others when we see the gifts God has given them. We are all weak in the eyes of God.
Remembering this humbles myself and helps me to be charitable when someone says something very uncharitable towards the Church. It reminds me to rely on the Holy Spirit rather than my own logic and intellect, because honestly I really don’t have a lot of either. When I become too prideful (which is very easy when you have the Truth on your side) or too emotional, I walk away from the conversation. We all need to remember to rely not on our own strength when having discussions with the other side, but instead rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
It’s really difficult to love everyone at all times, but God is pleased with our faithfulness to Him. God doesn’t ask us to show our faith through great works, but through good works; and what makes a work good is that it is rooted in love.
Speak the Truth
Abortion is the murder of an innocent, voiceless child. Gay “marriage” destroys the fabric of society by separating marriage from the potential of having children. Contraception leads to STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, breast cancer and prevents the complete expression of love.
These things are so obvious to us Catholics because we hold the fullness of Truth, but the lies of relativism and tolerance have consumed our society. The fallacy of relativism is relying solely on a concept that is based on uncertainty. The misconception of tolerance is that it is equal to love, but isn’t true. Tolerating your spouse is not the same as loving your spouse. We must speak the Truth to those misled, whether we want to or not.
There is a reason why faith, hope and love are the three pillars of the Christian life (1 Corinthians 13:13). We must hope that God’s will be done, have faith that He does all for our good and love Jesus through loving others. These are all very radical ideals, but we live a radical Faith that cannot afford to be dormant any longer. We can’t sit idly by and allow our Mother the Church to continue to be attacked over and over again. I’ll be the first to admit that it hurts when people unfriend and unfollow us, but Jesus is right there helping us when we pick up our cross.
Be Christ to the World
The word “Christian” means “Little Christ”. We are all called to be Christ’s hands and feet to the world. There is nothing the enemy wants more than to destroy us. Of course, we all know how this story ends. Jesus will prevail. It probably won’t be in the way we expect for God works in mysterious ways. All He asks of us is to do our part; He’ll take care of the rest.
So pray for your enemies, fast for religious freedom and most importantly, love as Christ loves.
“Are you angry with someone? Pray for that person. That is what Christian love is.” – Pope Francis