THESE DAYS, being a faithful Christian is no easy task. By reason of our society’s obsessions with strange ideas and new mores, we are often persecuted and thwarted in our efforts to embrace traditional Christianity. It seems so natural to become filled with despair. What we hate ends up defining us too much. The opposition becomes a bette-noire, and we might rightly be accused of idolatry. Far from radiating and mirroring the truth that is under assault, we manifest depression and despair — all the while forgetting that our outward and visible ways deter others from seeking Christ and finding His truth.
So we must remind ourselves that we are members of Christ. If we are so upset with what has happened to the Church and the world, then our burden is to show forth all the more what God has done in and through our lives. With the psalmist we must exclaim, Come hither and hearken, all ye that fear God, and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul! (Psalm 66.16).
And if He has not yet done for our souls what we believe that He can do, then it is high time to open up to His Grace and embrace the actualization of His will. The Father’s Grace is freely given to us in Jesus Christ so that we might mirror and replicate His wisdom, charity, and power. Christ wants us to become recognizable members of His Mystical Body. He is God’s everlastingly-begotten Son, and wishes to share His filial nature to the Father with us. He wishes to be seen and heard, recognized through us, as we reveal that we are members of His Body.
We shall be judged on whether or not our faith in Christ has taken root, grown, and flowered with a spiritual beauty that bears witness to the Lord. Rooted and grounded, founded and nourished by the mercies of Heaven, we must become little Christs as C.S. Lewis was fond of saying.
Our souls are lost, our spirits confused, and our minds overwhelmed by the world and the compromised and unfaithful Church that surround and provoke us. Our solace is this: God is not dead but alive, not distant but near.
Already within our souls we have the source of His illuminating truth, the consolation of His caring love, and the strength and might of His powerful presence. We need only recognize and embrace the Real Presence of Jesus Christ within. More than ever the work and labor of the individual Christian is to reveal and manifest that Jesus Christ is reigning as King Supreme from the ground of our souls.
Will we change the world? Probably not. But we might just move and alter one soul, one person to begin the journey back home to God. That soul is of infinite worth to God, and to us must become the occasion for rejoicing with the angels, because through us God has deigned to reveal his love, wisdom, and power to another.
You and I alone have the capacity to ignore or forget the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in our souls. Through negligence we shall have committed Him to the dustbin of oblivion, the ash-heap of spiritual forgetfulness. But then, on the Great Day of Judgment, Christ will not recognize us. Why? Because we were Christians in form and appearance, but not in substance and reality.
Let us stop whining, walking around in disguise as if we were a people without hope. Let us not be only almost, but altogether Christian, not seeming to be religious and good, but being good in deed and in truth (Jenks, Priv. Prec’s). Then we shall begin to spread the Good News of God with us and for us like the saints of old. And then the world will begin to be converted again.