Spreading the Faith
Be convinced of this: your apostolate consists in spreading goodness, light, enthusiasm, generosity, a spirit of sacrifice, constancy in work, deep study, complete self-surrender, being up-to-date, cheerful and complete obedience to the Church, and perfect charity.
—Nobody can give what he does not have.
This advice is for you, since you are still young and have just started along your way. As God deserves everything, try to be outstanding professionally, so that you will later be able to spread your ideas more effectively.
Don’t forget that we will be more convincing the more convinced we are.
“Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
And at the end of his time upon earth, Christ commanded: Euntes docete — go out and teach. He wants his light to shine in the behaviour and words of his disciples, and in yours too.
It is surprising how often, even in the name of freedom, many people fear and oppose Catholics being simply good Catholics.
Be on guard against the propagators of scandal and innuendo, which some take in through lack of reflection while others do so through bad faith. They destroy a calm atmosphere and poison public opinion.
Sometimes true charity demands that such abuses and their promoters should be denounced. Otherwise, with their devious or badly-formed consciences, they or those who listen to them could think: “They keep quiet, so they must agree.”
Sectarians protest loudly against what they call “our fanaticism” because the centuries go by and the Catholic Faith remains immutable.
On the other hand, the fanaticism of the sectarians, since it bears no relation to the truth, changes its coat at different times. They raise against the Holy Church a bogey of mere words lacking in any factual content. Their “freedom” enchains men; their “progress” leads humanity back to the jungle; their “science” conceals ignorance. Behind their stall are hidden only old damaged goods.
May such “fanaticism” for the Faith as yours is become stronger every day, for it is the sole defence of the one Truth.
Do not be afraid, or surprised, to see the resistance of some people’s minds. There will always be foolish people who, displaying their culture, brandish the weapon of their ignorance.
How sad it is to realise that those who hate the Lord march arm-in-arm with some who claim they are in his service. They follow different passions, but are united against Christians, the children of God.
In certain surroundings, especially in the intellectual sphere, one sees and feels a sort of conspiracy of “cliques”, not infrequently assisted even by Catholics. With cynical perseverance they maintain and spread slanders to cast a shadow over the Church, or over certain individuals and organisations within it. All this is done against all truth or reason.
Pray each day with faith: “Ut inimicos Sanctae Ecclesiae” — enemies, because that is what they proclaim themselves to be — “humiliare digneris, te rogamus audi nos.” Confound, Lord, those who persecute you, with the clarity of your light, which we are ready to spread.
Is the idea of Catholicism old and therefore unacceptable? —The sun is older and has not lost its light; water is more ancient, and it still quenches the thirst and refreshes us.
No one, even with a good intention, should be allowed to falsify historical or biographical facts. —But it is a great mistake to put on a pedestal enemies of the Church who have spent their days persecuting her. Be sure of this: historical truth does not suffer because a Christian does not wish to collaborate in the construction of a pedestal which should not exist. Since when is hatred to be set up as a model?
The spreading of Christian teaching need not provoke antagonism, or harm those who do not know our doctrine. Caritas omnia suffert! — love bears all things. If one proceeds with charity, anyone who might otherwise have been opposed to Christianity and been deceived by error may easily and honestly end up committing himself to it. —However, there can be no giving ground in dogma in the name of a naive “breadth of belief”, for if anyone acted in this way he would risk putting himself out of the Church. Instead of winning a benefit for others he would harm himself.
Christianity is “unusual”; it does not sit easily with the things of this world. And that is perhaps its greatest “nuisance value” when it is used as a banner by the worldly.
Some people know nothing about God… because no one has talked to them about him in terms they can understand.
Pray that your holy ingenuity may achieve what your intelligence cannot attain, so that you may give more service of a better kind to everyone.
Believe me, the apostolate of giving doctrine usually has to be, as it were, capillary, spreading from one to another, from each believer to his immediate companion.
The children of God care about all souls, because every soul is important.
Seek refuge with the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Good Counsel, so that your lips may never utter any offence against God.