April 8, 2014

Speak the Truth and Grow Up - into HIM

If you never try -  you'll never know. 
Brothers and sisters I've said it before and I say it again -  we are called to be bold in our Faith! If we don't . . . if we won't . . . the missed opportunities can be tragic.

It's amazing how many Catholics - through no fault of their own - have been improperly or under catechized. I've written about it before - I'm seeing it more and more in this crazy world of ours.

The watering down of the Faith has been tremendous. One example: in a recent conversation with a Catholic neighbor of mine he asked me, "Do you go to church EVERY Sunday?" to which I replied "yes." He looked amazed. "Wow, that's pretty good!" he said, eyes open wide. "And if I don't," I reiterated, "I go to confession." He was sincerely amazed."You do? why?" he asked. I tried to answer gently. "Because missing Mass is a mortal or 'grievous' sin." He was incredulous. "Are you serious?? NO IT'S NOT!" He really had no idea."Yes . . . it is . . . it's one of the ten commandments . . . Keep holy the sabbath day. When we break a commandment we are in mortal sin" I carefully explained. He was INCREDULOUS. I could see this had a profound impact on him. 
(I also briefly explained how being sick or having a sick child etc to attend to is not mortal sin - but choosing sports, a BBQ or shopping over Mass IS.)

As we all know, it's not always easy to point out God's Truth to others - because we don't want to be misconstrued or labeled "judgemental" - but as Pope Benedict said during his pontificate we are called to judge - the sin - and to instruct/advise (admonish) is an "act of charity" or "act of mercy." There is a difference Pope Benedict pointed out, between condemning and judging. Wise words from a wise pope! To remain silent is to do an injustice to our brothers and sisters - and to water down the Faith brings us to where we stand this very day! We must - as scripture teaches us in Ephesians 4:15 - "speak the truth in love" and "grow up [into him.]"

We know God's Word always bears fruit . . . how glad my heart is that after the conversation I had with my neighbor I've seen HIM, his wife, HIS MOTHER AND their children at Mass nearly each and every Sunday!! If I hadn't spoken the truth - an opportunity would have been missed and those children . . . that family . . . would  most likely not be blessed with the joy of participating in Mass and the Sacraments at this time!! If I chose to remain silent the Holy Spirit would not have been able to work through me to reach this family - and perhaps they wouldn't be growing in their Faith right now.

We are His hands! We know we are doing His work by the fruit it bears. Christians if you never try - you'll never know. Let's be the missionary church He calls us to be.

Church teaching and the works of Mercy: USCCB The Catechism of the Catholic Church
#Mortal sin #Catholic #Charity #Mercy #Ephesians #USCCB #Catechism
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