What's your New Year's resolution? Are you going to study more? Eat your vegetables? Finally watch all those episodes of Honey Boo Boo clogging up the DVR?
How about a resolution to proclaim your faith a little more?
You know, proclaim. To state publicly, to announce, to shout from the rooftops. In his letter on the Year of Faith Pope Benedict XVI writes that,
'The Church on the day of Pentecost demonstrates with utter clarity this public dimension of believing and proclaiming one's faith fearlessly to every person.'
Fearlessly. It's definitely scary to let people know that you're a Christian, that you like your faith. I admit it, there have been times when I've hidden that I'm Catholic’Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûùsaid I'm 'going away' for the weekend when I could have said I was on retreat.
But the Pope also reminds us that we're not on our own: 'It is the gift of the Holy Spirit that makes us fit for mission and strengthens our witness, making it frank and courageous.' It's a hard thing to proclaim our Christianity, but the Holy Spirit will give us the strength we need when the time comes.
To get your feet wet a little here are 10 simple things you can do that let your friends and coworkers know that yes, you're one of those 'Church people.'
- Say you go to Church. Seriously. This one should be easy.
- Tell people about the retreat/ religious related trip you went on. If people ask you where you've been there's no reason you shouldn't tell them. Show them your pics from World Youth Day.
- Share religious related movies or music. Whenever you see a great movie or hear an awesome new song, don't you tell your friends? So why hesitate if it's Christian? Tell them you think Soul Surfer was amazing or that you've got TobyMac's latest single in your head.
- Post religious quotes on Facebook/Twitter/etc. About 27% of posts on social media sites are inspirational in nature.* Make yours a quote from a saint. Try some Mother Teresa: 'Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.'
- Read a Catholic book in a public place. (Without putting a fake book cover on it.)
- Change your ringtone to a Christian song. I bet some Gregorian chant would turn some heads. . . Or maybe Britt Nicole's 'Set the World on Fire.'
- Say grace before you eat in public. Yes, this includes the food court at the mall.
- Sport some Catholic swag. T-shirt, key chain, locker poster, bumper sticker’Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûùyou get the drift. Check out the Life Teen Store to start!
- Invite people to events. Youth meetings, Christmas plays, retreats. I find people are really receptive to community service opportunities.
- Say you'll pray for people. It also lets them know that you care and are thinking of them.
Start proclaiming, and have a blessed New Year!
*Okay, I totally made this statistic up.