I was grumpy, annoyed, discouraged, and despairing. All I wanted to do was go be a hermit somewhere so no one could argue with me about what I believe about faith and morals. With things like the HHS Mandate, abortion, and the definition of marriage being such hot topics today, you're bound to be
questioned drilled as a Catholic on what the Church teaches.
These feelings were dragging me down after having a heated moral debate via Facebook comments. I walked into the kitchen where my roommate Sarah was. I sighed dramatically and said,
'No one get's it. No one gets why we believe what we believe. Why do I feel like a minority when there are millions of others who claim to be Catholic? What's the point of even trying to defend ourselves?'
Sarah said, 'Because what if one person changes their mind?'
Ugh . . . there's the kicker. There’s not really anything to say to that, so I walked away thinking, 'She's so right. I'd do it for one person if I'm passionate enough about my faith.'
Jesus Was Mocked
I bet you experience this too if you're brave enough to stand up for what we believe as Catholics. I realized this past weekend as I listened to the Gospel on Palm Sunday was that this mocking is nothing new. Jesus dealt with it too during His ministry and even while He was hanging on the cross.
He was laughed at for the things He said. They called Him a liar. They even spit on Him while He was hanging on the cross. What I've experienced in my life is that people like to laugh at my beliefs when they don’t conform to what they're comfortable with. I haven't been spit on but I've been verbally slapped for sure.
The Easy Way Out
Jesus never promised this life was going to be easy. Remember the line – 'Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness'? (Matthew 5:10) We can make it easy for ourselves if we just 'go with the flow' and don't take the time to learn the truth and stand up for it. The Church's teachings on faith and morals are protected and guided by the Holy Spirit (CCC 888 – 892). If we don't take the time to learn what those teachings are, its an easy way out of these debates.
St. Augustine said, 'If you were the only person on earth, Christ would have still suffered and died for you.' I dare you to let that sink in. He would have gone through all that pain, humiliation, and suffering just for you . . . or just for me.
If He did that, then I can put up with being ridiculed for my beliefs. I will keep speaking truth even if it means my whole life only one person changes their mind.
Stand With Me
You have to stand up for what you believe in. Actually, let me rephrase – we have to stand up together for what we believe in. And if you're not sure what to believe, educate yourself. Use the Catechism and Church documents to find out what the Church teaches and why. You will find only reasonable, logical moral arguments that make sense for the good of all people.
I saw this quote from JPII the other day and it fits perfectly with how I was feeling!
'I plead with you – never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.' – Pope John Paul II
I'm praying for you.