So if you remember, I posted a while back about how now is the time of courageous Catholicism. We have been talking a lot here in our Bruté and Marian communities about the need for Evangelization. (Not to mention, that that was what our theme at camp this past summer was all about.) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called for a New Evangelization of the world, which included having a blog. I have tried to answer that call, through this blog, but after last night’s Celebrate Life dinner, I can see that I have a lot of areas in which to improve upon.
Now is always a time to pray for religious liberty, to pray for an end to abortion, to pray for the unification of all Christians under the one, true church, but just praying doesn’t cut it. Scripture instructs us to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” Jesus commanded us to “GO!” This means, that we can’t just sit back, but that we actually have to put our backs into it. We have to make our faith our own. We have to bring Christ to the world. We have to stand up and step out, preaching the message of Christ. But not only that, but we have to make sacrifice.
With the changes and indults granted to the Catholic church in the United States from Rome, no longer requiring the “worthy” practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays, but opening it up to any other form of penance. (Which is a great thing, if only people actually knew about it and followed it.) Or the practice of taking out/moving Holy Days to Sundays, so that the people can go. Yes, it is helpful for people to be able to go to Mass on a day, when they normally don’t have to work. But haven’t we lost something here? Haven’t we lost that meaning of sacrifice in our lives? Some, granted have not lost it, but many have. We seem to be losing that “sacrificial” sense of our faith. Christ sacrificed himself in reparation for our sins, shouldn’t we make sacrifices to atone for our own sin too then?
Abby Johnson in her speech last night, brought up an excellent point. We need sacrifice. The other side, the evil side, the powers of darkness know about sacrifice. They sacrifice anything they can to claim souls, but what do we do? Are we willing to do the same? Are we as a people of faith willing to sacrifice, time, money, talents, relationships for the sake of the kingdom?
I just finished watching “Becket;” a 1964 film on the life of St. Thomas Becket. (Link to the free movie provided at bottom of page.) Becket was the Archbishop of Canterbury and was murdered for standing up for his faith against the government of England. He sacrificed friends, money, temporary happiness, comfort, family and more for the sake of Heaven. I hope and pray that all of us, including myself may take our faith that seriously. I ask you to join me in striving to do more for spreading the message of the Gospel, to sacrificing for the sake of the kingdom and for helping each other reach Heaven. As St. Augustine said: “Our Hearts are restless until they rest in you O Lord!” Let us never tire in our goal of Heaven.
So I ask you three simple questions:
1. Are you seeking Heaven, if not now, then why not and when?
2. How are you spreading the gospel message and how can you improve?
3. What will you choose to sacrifice starting today for the Kingdom?
Now is the time of courageous priesthood and laity! Now is the time of courageous Christianity! Now is the time of faithful and courageous Catholicism! Now is the time of Sacrifice! Now is the time, so GO!
St. Thomas Becket – Pray for Us!