Since my conversion there are a few things that perpetually irk the crap out of me. One of them is people who didn’t know me in my past life assuming that I’ve been a good Catholic girl all my life who was sheltered from the real world. You know, where all the “fun” is. That bothers me because it’s pretty ironic coming from the “don’t judge me” club. It’s funny how offended they are that I have the nerve to say that they may be doing something that is immoral and therefore, I am judging them, which I have no right to do. And then they turn around and judge my whole life without knowing, or even asking, the first thing about me. Ironic much?
One other thing that bothers me so much and that I’ve been wrestling with is how it seems to me that even Catholics who are on the front line of the Religious Freedom fight, the abortion fight and fight to defend marriage all seem to drop the ball and forget to fight with both truth and charity. I am one of those people, and yes I irk the crap out of my own self sometimes.
I have seen a lot of good Catholics with good intentions post some of the nastiest comments on Facebook in the two years that I have been Catholic. Comments that range from immigration, abortion, gay rights, all the way to veiling and holding hands during the Our Father in Mass, oh and the mortal sin of clapping during Mass.
Let me just stop here and say that I am Catholic. I believe in every teaching of the Catholic Church. I am obedient to them all and I think that dissenters from these teachings will face the consequences of their dissent when they stand before God. Just so nobody gets the impression that I’m somehow saying the Church is wrong on all these issues, because She is not. She is right on every one of them. Including the teaching of treating each and every human being, regardless of who they are, how they live and what they believe, with dignity and respect.
It can be very easy to get into a debate on hot button issues and for us to start arguing in anger and forget that we are called, by Christ Himself, to love our neighbor and our enemy. That pretty much covers everyone. Sometimes that means realizing that we are doing no good and ending the conversation. That is the hardest part for me, because I want to be right, I know that I’m right (IF I’m arguing the Church’s position on an issue, otherwise chances are that I’m wrong.) But as my confessor told me once: There are greater goods than being right.
Our mission in this life is not to be right, or to win debates on issues. That is not why Christ left a Church built on a group of 12 men for us. He did not tell the Apostles “go out and win debates”. He said “Go out making disciples of all the nations, by baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” He said to go and preach the Good News, not “make snarky comments to people who disagree with you on Facebook”. He said to be the light of the world, not be so American that you treat people without the right papers like sub-humans.
Yes we have to boldly speak the truth, and yes we will be hated for it, but never does Christ or anyone else is the Gospels say to purposely aim to offend people in the name of speaking the truth. It is very easy to cross the line from speaking truth in charity to just saying what you want because it’s right and throwing charity out the window.
Personally I have come to realize that anytime I speak a truth and have a tiny hint of “maybe I shouldn’t say it, but who cares because it’s the truth and screw anyone who is offended” is usually the point where I have crossed that line. I know how hard it is to be Catholic in this world. To know things to be objectively true in a world that says that intentions are all that matters, and that nothing is immoral as long as you are a “good person”. I know how frustrating it is to talk to people who deny that a fetus is a human offspring but refusing to answer what is it if it’s not. I know how much talking to people who have misconceptions about what Catholics believe makes you want to bang your head against the wall and hard. But none of those things excuses us from the responsibility that Jesus gave us to speak the truth in love always for His sake. Sometimes that means not saying anything at all.
If we want the world to take the Gospel serious; to take Jesus serious, then we need to take it serious. All of it. Not just the parts where you can prove someone wrong, but the parts that prove us wrong as well. It is not up to us as individuals to save the whole world. At some point people are responsible for their own soul; we can only do our best to learn prudence so we can speak when God wants us to and keep quiet when He wants us to. We have to learn when to dust the dirt off our feet and move on. That is not giving up, that is handing things over to God that we can do nothing about.
We are the hands and feet of Christ, we need to act like it. We need to always be aware of what we do and say. Because when we stand before God we will answer for every word that came out of our mouth or out of our keyboard. Being among friends and making snarky comments about others does not excuse us from sin. Sometimes it makes it worse.
Let us take some time to think about how we are living witnesses of the Truth of the Gospel. Ways we are doing that and ways we can do it better. The only way the world is going to believe that Jesus is real is if we live our lives like He is real.
John 14: 11- 20
 Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?  Otherwise believe for the very works’ sake. Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do.  Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do.  If you love me, keep my commandments.
 And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever.  The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you.  I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.  Yet a little while: and the world seeth me no more. But you see me: because I live, and you shall live.  In that day you shall know, that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.