Catholics and Christians in general certainly have a lot to be worried about in these times. Threats abound from a society, culture, media, and leadership that treats Christianity like an annoying mental illness which often irritates any non-Christian in the vicinity of any follower of Christ. We have been called terrorists by people who seem terrified to call real terrorists by that name. We have been called hateful by those who epitomize hate. We are labeled as dangerous by folks whose views pose a danger to our world, nation, society, culture, future, and every existence. It is easy to be a follower of Christ on Easter Sunday. It is still manageable to be a follower of Christ on Christmas where, despite the increasingly brazen and arrogant attacks on the true reason for the season, one at least finds a significant part of society celebrating along. Being a Christian, a Catholic, on Good Friday, however, is another ball of wax. That is the day we remember how hated Christ was by the powerful, the political and even spiritual leaders of the day. Being a true follower of Christ is not about dancing behind Him as He enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday surrounded by apparently adoring throngs. No, we earn our stripes as Christians on Holy Thursday night and Good Friday, if we proudly admit we are His loyal followers, yell in His defense among the vicious mob demanding His death, follow Him as He obeys His Father’s Will below a heavy cross on a rocky path, and kneel below His cross, begging forgiveness for not appreciating His ultimate sacrifice with our loyal obedience.
These times call for warriors like Joan of Arc and Sir Thomas More, who used deeds and words to defend God’s Word and Will and Christ’s teaching and example, willingly giving up comforts and prestige to serve He who Alone should be our reason, our answer, our path, and our purpose.
Let us not worry in this task and mission, for worry is born of a lack of faith and fills its space very conveniently to choke our very beliefs and resolve, no matter how steadfast initially, into weak, diluted compromise, appeasement, and even betrayal of our Faith. As Christians we are not called to become mere spectators to this battle, content to let others fight for the cause. Neither, however, are we called to become mindless, oblivious, ravenous wolves defending without discretion, speaking without sincerity, and preaching without purpose. No, we must work to fight as Our Lord fought, with conviction and fairness, courage and temperance and, above all, with a firm grasp of Our God’s Word, Our Lord’s example, and our talents and gifts to use as weapons in the struggle.
Do not worry, for worry is born of doubt, and doubt is born of a lack of faith, and a lack of faith is the offspring of fear and denial. Use your time more wisely by focusing on the end promised rather than the present perceived. Following Our Lord is playing without pause because one knows that, regardless of the twists and turns of the fame, the final score will favor those who wear Our God’s uniform. Measure the value of all by how well such things will bring you closer to God. If we follow these ideals, we will truly be warriors, not worriers, for our faith.
Copyright, 2012 Gabriel Garnica