Sunday, August 06, 2006

Spiritual Warfare

"Sleep well here on earth; a firey judgment awaits you should you fail to repent."

This is what a Protestant told me the other day when the subject of Mary came up. Though I do not pray to Mary, I understand and defend the Catholic view point...

" choose to deny the Lord Jesus Christ and pray to what you believe is the spirit of a dead woman, instead. You are beyond hope, in other words, and in direct violation of God's Word."

It floors me that I am judged and condemned this way by "fellow Christians" who do not even know anything about me or my faith.

Thing is, he got it wrong. He said what I believe is the spirit of a dead woman... but I don't believe she is dead. She is part of the body of Christ, and therefore, very much alive... in fact, more "alive" than I am! He also got it wrong when he said I deny Christ... I do not know ANY Christian who denies Christ!

Interestingly enough, today's homily addressed the issue of spiritual warfare. It is very real. I simply never imagine that the warfare would come from others claiming to be Christians... nor did it ever occur to me that Christians would be so blantant in persecuting other Christians.

I understand that we don't see eye to eye on many issues but I cannot grasp the lack of tolerance that exists in the Christian world today, which was always must more miniman throughout my upbringing.

There are websites devoted to the spread of lies about Catholicism and knowing what I know now, it is extremely disheartening to see such misconception being thrown at us in the name of the Lord.

I realize how much broader the warfare is... because not only must Catholics fight to spread the news of the Gospel, but we must also constantly be defending ourselves to those who should be WITH us!

The other day, when I told someone I was dating a Catholic, I was looked at with a bit of surprise when she said to me, "Oh! So you have some work to do!"

"What do you mean?" I asked... but I knew what was coming.

"Well," she said, "Not all Catholics are Christians."

"Yes, but neither are all 'Christians'!"

She agreed but she was quite surprised by my answer. She then informed me that she was raised in the Catholic church but never once was taught what Christ did for her... and neither were her parents.

"How unfortunate but you cannot blame the Church for that!"

Then I wondered why no one ever questioned the crucifix. The crucifix is displayed in EVERY Catholic Church I've EVER been in! How could she and her family attend Mass regularly and not know what Christ did for them?

At this moment I realized that one cannot simply leave the learning of the faith up to the Church alone. One must live it in their home and teach it to their children. They will not know it otherwise.

I thought it sad that she had such richness at her fingertips and somehow the entire family missed all the beauty and truth within.

Today was the fourth Mass my children attended. I've been working with them on the Sign of the Cross and it's so great to see them excited about it. My eldest son asked if he could pull the kneeler down before the Mass began so that he could pray. He is only seven and to see him kneeling there, hands folded, head bowed, and praying nearly brought a tear to my eye... and I thanked the Lord for it.

Entering the Catholic Church is not going to be a popular decision but if there is one thing I've learned, it's that doing what is right is NEVER what is popular.

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