Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Why it is a Struggle to Accept that I can't be an "Authentic" Catholic

  • “Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others.”
  • When the Church summons Christians to take up the task of evangelization, she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfilment.
    • “... life is attained and matures in the measure that it is offered up in order to give life to others. This is certainly what mission means”
  • An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral! Let us recover and deepen our enthusiasm, that “delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing
  • And may the world of our time ... be enabled to receive the good news … from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervour, who have first received the joy of Christ.”
~ Evangelii Gaudium or The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis (from #10)

Are my actions in Christ purveying an authentic, joyful witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ? Every thought, word, action, and offering of self should be done for the glory of God. Due to my own radical selfishness, this is not always the case.  There are times, moreover, when I am buffeted by small things in the large scope of love such as doctrinal beliefs. I pose internal questions like: Why can’t I be a “good” Catholic? There are some doctrines and dogmas that I am incapable of accepting, so I do my best and give it to God.  At least this is what I keep saying, but my conscience keeps annoying me. How can I be an authentic Roman Catholic and be at such odds with certain dogma, even after intense reading, study, and prayer?

Let me, instead, focus on the real heart of the matter, being a joyful witness to Christ’s love, salvation, and the free grace that God gives. Let me bloom in the areas the Holy Spirit points me toward, the ecumenical faith and love shared interdenominationally among all my brothers and sisters in Christ.  And let the love of Christ radiate through me to my brothers and sisters in neighborly love and good will -- yes, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and those in the world who seek in their hearts to give away authentic love.