I'm reading Matthew Kelly's book The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic. I highly recommend it, and will probably write more about the four signs as I go further into the book.
One of the things that caught my attention was a brief comment near the beginning of the book. After establishing the fact that about 7% of the overall Catholic population is engaged in the larger portion of Church's work, Matthew Kelly made a side comment, saying that the other 93% sometimes feel left out or sidelined by the doers (the 7%). That 93% is also frustrated because the dynamic Catholics (the 7%) tend to forget what great sinners they once were and treat others (the 93%) as second class citizens who need to just get with the program.
In that moment, a whole lot of past sin flashed before me.
And in that moment, I felt great compassion for the 93%.
It matters very little what I do or say to inspire those who are already inspired. My faithful witness probably doesn't make a bit of difference to those who are already "Dynamically Engaged" Catholics.
In the moment that the memory of my past sins filled my mind, I wanted to lay it all once again at the feet of Jesus in a state of total self-loathing and plead for mercy. But then, I imagined what would happen next. Jesus already removed those sins - though I still remember them very well. When I left them in the confessional eight years ago, they were swallowed up by divine mercy. PRAISE GOD!
And isn't that the reality we hope to share? Isn't that our goal - not to overwhelm or intimidate them with our personal holiness.
Joy should motivate us to share the good news of the Gospel.
Follow me to the Source of forgiveness, not because I am so holy, but because I have been forgiven much and that is a reason to live each day joyfully!
This may seem like an odd post for St. Valentine's Day, but it's not really. Most of my worst sins were the result of the desire to be loved. I gave away a lot of myself - as so many young women do. And I it was a major part of many a' Valentine's Day.
So, even though this day is completely rooted in Catholicism, our world has screwed up the holiday so much that many people will be doing some pretty terrible things today - all in the name of love.
My heart goes out to them. I understand them more than they know.
It would be difficult to top my list of sins committed in the name of love. And it would be difficult to sink as low as I did as a result of those choices.
Happy Valentines Day!
P.S. My husband gave me the book for Valentine's Day. Hon, you know my heart. What a great gift! Love you. - me