Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Live it - Share it (Day 15)

So far over the last 2 weeks we should have studied our faith for at least 280 minutes. We should be getting more knowledgeable about our beliefs. I tell you though- none of that matters unless we live it!  Fulton Sheen once said, “It is easy to find truth; it is hard to face it, and harder still to follow it.” I would like to focus living our faith when no one is watching but God. Matthew 6:6 says, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” We see clearly that what we do in secret matters to God. What are some things that we do negatively in secret? What do we lose sleep over? What haven’t we been able to come to grips with? Is it alcohol? Medication? Pornography? Anger? Over worrying about worldly things? Yelling at your children? Gambling? Purchasing things without telling your wife? Over eating? What is your secret vice? What are you ashamed of? What is it for the life of you that you cant you stop doing? I know you’re probably starting to get defensive right about now. Don’t worry it's natural. You’re thinking, “What business is it of yours what I struggle with? I go to mass, I tithe, I volunteer, I pray. I’m not hurting anyone. Back off.” This analogy might help: As law abounding drivers, we have to follow certain laws that apply to driving. If we break these laws, we could injury other drivers. If we choose to run a red light, we could crash into another vehicle. But in addition to following laws we also have to get our cars inspected once a year. We can follow the law all day long but it is to no avail if our own personal cars are not worthy of the highway. This is why we have to examining our own conscience and get it inspected at least once a year in the confessional. Personally, I struggle with lust and looking at things which I’m not supposed to. Hey I’m not here talking about it because it’s an enjoyable subject- in fact it’s a quite touchy subject- no pun intended. I’m here as your brother telling you its ok to admit your vices. It’s the only way we are going to beat them. We will either accuse ourselves or excuse ourselves. God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them. Before we can be cured we must want to be cured. Those who really wish for help will get it. C.S. Lewis says, “I find a good many people have been bothered by Our Lord's words, "Be ye perfect." Some people seem to think this means "Unless you are perfect, I will not help you"; and as we cannot be perfect, then, if He meant that, our position is hopeless. But I do not think He did mean that. I think He meant "The only help I will give is help to become perfect. You may want something less: but I will give you nothing less."

Time after time I have stressed the importance of sharing the Gospel with our actions. In football terms: this is offensive. Evangelization is offensive. Apologetics is defensive. We are really familiar with the word Evangelization but sometimes the word apologetics slips under our radar. The standard scripture for apologetics is 1 Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” Are you prepared to make a defense of your faith? We will have a great opportunity to do just that on this 33 Day Purity Boot Camp. But remember it says do it with “gentleness.” We are Christ ambassadors, not his debate champions. It’s the Holy Spirit who converts souls.

I would like to leave you with a reading from Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Paul was writing a community who were seeking to learn their faith, live their faith, and share their faith. We to are a community who are seeking to learn our faith, live our faith, and share our faith. Let’s for a second pretend like Paul is writing to only us:

In Colossians 3:1-17 Paul tells us:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.* In these you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Know Your Faith, Live Your Faith, Share Your Faith

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