Have you noticed that the closer you get to Christ, strange, new, and unexpected things start happening?
This is the first post on the Shop at Joy In Truth. In writing it, I began thinking about how we often wish things could be different. You know what I mean. We wish the culture could be different. More infused with the gospel message. Lighter. Brighter. More beautiful and good. More faithful to what and WHO really matters.
The fact is, there’s a lot of darkness out there. The solution is Jesus. The solution is his light.
Christ is a life-changer. No doubt about that. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Joining to Jesus. Participating in his life. Drinking in the sacraments. The more deeply you immerse yourself in the saving gospel and the belief of the Church, the more you want others to discover what you have.
Why is that? It’s because you want others to share in the same faith, hope and love, right? It’s because you want others to participate in the same gift.
I was baptized Catholic as an infant—praise Jesus! But as I recall my faith journey, I didn’t always care so much about evangelizing, about communicating to others the truth, beauty and goodness of Jesus and the Church he founded.
It’s easy for our spiritual life to be stunted by the power of the often militantly secular world in which we live. It’s easy to lose sight of the most important goal and fail to continue to strive to answer the most important questions.
But as our faith grows, so too does the power of the Holy Spirit working within us. Then, things happen.
I’m reminded of the prophet Jeremiah:
But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
The really cool thing is, the more intimately you become united to Jesus, sharing in a deep, personal relationship with him, the more you feel emboldened to share the faith with others.
And, the more you do this, the more Christ strenghens you and draws you into his life. It was St. Teresa of Avila who said, the more you give yourself to Christ, the more he gives himself to you. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life (Jn 14:6) who came to give life in abundance (Jn 10:10). Sharing that message with others is what it’s all about.
There are many ways of doing that. It’s important to use our voice and set an example through the way we live our life.
And it’s also important to communicate that same message visually. Tell others what you’re about. But show them too.
In doing these things, the world really can become a different place. That wish we have resonating from the depths of our heart can become true—at least to some extent. Although the world won’t be fulfilled until Jesus returns, we can make a difference now. Things really can change for the better if we work together.
Be Catholic. Be bold. Make a statement.
I’d love to hear what you have to say. Please leave your comments below. I also hope you’ll give the new shop a try. We’re in the process of adding new products, all of which are about showing others what and Who is important in your life.
Sharing is Caring!
Photo Credit: Jozef Klopacka. shutterstock. Modified by Deacon Frederick Bartels.
Deacon Frederick Bartels holds an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry. He is a contributing writer for various online publications, a Catholic educator and speaker. He lives with his wife, Shelly, and their two youngest sons in Colorado.