“It is dangerous to make everyone go forward by the same road, and worse to measure others by yourself.” (St. Ignatius of Loyola)
Dear Fellow Good, Practicing Catholics,
Please stop trying to “out-Catholic” others all the time.
I get it, you know the faith really well. You’ve read some (or maybe many) books and watched some faith-based shows and movies. You’ve heard some great speakers and been on some highly spiritual retreats. You’ve had deep encounters with God and maybe have a deep understanding of one thing or another. Perhaps there’s someone in your family with religious vocation or you are good friends with a priest or a nun.
Maybe you are able to get to daily Mass. Or have a daily Holy Hour. Perhaps you serve the Church in some form of ministry. Possibly you have a deep devotion to Mary or one (or many) of the saints. Novenas might be a regular form of prayer for you or perhaps you never miss praying your daily rosary.
You might be an activist who stands outside of Planned Parenthood every Saturday morning to pray for the end of abortions. Or, maybe you write letters to your congressmen on a regular basis trying to get laws changed. Maybe you vehemently oppose all things secular or use Facebook as a platform to preach the word of God.
And, every one of those things are good and noble. But, they don’t make you a “better” Catholic than everyone else.
I’ve got to go with St. Ignatius on this one – we all have to take different roads to get to heaven. And, that is a GOOD thing! That’s what makes our Church so beautiful, complex, complete, and immovable.
If I am a Catholic who is upholding the same truths, follows the same Church teachings, and loves the same Triune God, Blessed Mother, and Church Triumphant as you do, why do you have to try to prove that your Catholic-ness is MORE Catholic than mine? Why do you insist on proving others wrong or one-upping others in there faith?
I am all for faith-sharing, calling one another on, and helping each other strive for holiness. We are called to share our insights, experiences, and knowledge with one another so as to help us grow. But, we practicing, faithful Catholics have GOT to stop beating each other up or tearing one another down for not “doing enough” (in our opinion of what “is enough”) or not “knowing enough” or not “praying enough”. It’s just ENOUGH!
As St. Paul says to the Romans, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”(Rms. 8:28)
So please, Fellow Good, Practicing Catholic, I ask you with all sincerity to appreciate the work that I am trying to do for HIS purpose and not point out to me all the ways that my Catholic faith and works may appear, in your opinion, to be inferior to yours. I promise to do the same.
If we want to set the world on fire and be the light of Christ, we’ve got to remember that we are on the same team and work together as such. Do you think we can do it?
Written in love and fellowship,
Your Sister in Christ