Sunday, July 20, 2008

We can't just avoid sin; we must also share the light of Christ

I was having a conversation with Matthew Parris, a good Catholic friend of mine, about the initiation of this blog and the motives behind it. As I mentioned in our first post "Setting ablaze the light", I hope to do more to engage the world around our family. Likewise, we hope to encourage others to do more of the same.

Matt agreed and responded with an except he heard from a Legionary of Christ priest. I quote Matt's recollection of the priest's passage:
In the excerpt, the author warned of Christianity becoming a way of life where one simply avoids evil. Taken to an extreme, this can result in legalism where actions are a result of following a rule and avoiding what is bad. Whereas this is a necessary first step for the Christian, his conscience must consider sins of omission. We are all here on a mission, each of which may be manifested in various ways. We as Christians must be active-- evangelizing, engaging the culture, etc. We must all look for opportunities to spread the light of Christ and not resort to just looking out for ourselves. We're not here for ourselves, but for each other.
This is the struggle I believe all Christians face -- being citizens in the world, but not being of the world (it's very important to know the difference). Some Christians respond better than others. For myself, I must admit that my response thus far has not be sufficient.

Up to this point, my journey of faith has not been unlike the path taken by many others; some mistakes have taken us away from God but we eventually gain the conviction to get back on the narrow road towards the Kingdom of Heaven. My journey, in brief, consists of growing up with the faith ("Cradle Catholic"), falling away when I began to get too wrapped up in worldy concerns, but then later returning to my faith with renewed vigor. I attribute my return to the Church to be due to God's grace and the desire He impressed upon my heart to pursue the truth that had been exposed to me in my youth.

And so in continuing to follow Christ wherever he may lead me, I now find myself writing here. The first step of avoiding sin as best as I am able has become my way of life. The next step involves this apostolate as just one way of helping me move away from simply avoiding evil to include doing more to serve our neighbors in need and to bring the light of Christ to a world full of shadows and darkness.

Despite the daunting expanse of need in the world today, none of us should be intimidated because our efforts, joined with the love of God, can truly change the world. We may never see the fruits of our labor in this world, but we can be sure that any good deed performed out of a love for God has its reward, for God sees all we do.

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