“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
As I have matured in my Catholic faith these past ten years, the Bible and the Catechism have opened themselves up to me in new ways, giving good counsel to my soul.
And then there is always that moment of “gut hunch,” where you don’t know how you know something is true, you just do.
This is also known as conviction of the Spirit.
So with all this good counsel and spiritual reassurance, why do I still sometimes choose to do and say the stupidest things? Trust people who do not care a whit about my well-being?
It’s not that I am dumb. I did make MENSA. Barely. Though I am no longer a dues paying member.
See, I didn’t have to tell you that, did I?
But I have always been a person of full disclosure, for good or ill. The ill generally tends to fall on me.
I know that “keeping one’s own counsel” is generally thought to be a good thing. And wherein self-interest is of prime concern, it is likely a truism.
But keeping one’s spiritual beliefs to oneself is not something Jesus called on us to do. In fact, he commissioned the Apostles – and by extension us as disciples – to spread the Good News throughout the ends of the earth.
It is called evangelization. And it is counsel we should be willing to provide to any who will listen, a willingness to share the fullness of our faith so that others may have hope and believe.
Most Catholics I have met say “I could never do that.”
Perhaps because with over 2,000 years of history, tradition (little t), Tradition (big T), doctrine and dogma, Catholicism is not easy to distill.
I spent nearly a year of study and had to be deemed to have adequate discernment of the faith before I was confirmed in the Church. Before I could fully participate in the Mass by partaking of the Eucharist. Before I could say “I am Catholic.”
It has taken nearly another nine to feel fully so, and still I learn something new daily about the Church and my faith.
But that shouldn’t keep me from speaking to all who will listen about it, especially in this moment of history St. Pope John Paul II called a time of unprecedented mercy that God wishes to bestow upon us.
Our opportunity to do so may be limited.
Don’t know what to say? Don’t worry. The Bible has good counsel for that, too:
“You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:19-20)