Just what does it take to be a good Catholic?
Some would say to me that they need to go to Mass every week and to confession monthly. Spending time in Eucharistic Adoration might be what some see as an essential part of being Catholic. Others might point to the fact that they should teach or be involved with the religious education program (CCD) or support the local Catholic school. Then there are those who might suggest that they have to give generously in the collection basket or to the House of Charity-Bishop’s Annual Appeal. Still others might think that it is important to volunteer in the parish activities such as the chicken barbecue or bingo.
What makes a good Catholic?
My answer might include some of the above considerations but above all it needs to focus on this: a good Catholic is called to imitate Christ in all that he or she thinks, says and does. It involves a continual conversion—a turning away from sin and a turning to Christ. It involves loving God above all else and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
Unfortunately, a person can go to Mass each week and then go home and be mean to her husband or his wife and children. A person can spend hours in Eucharistic Adoration and then subsequently gossip about others on the phone. A person can teach CCD while secretly living a dual life not in union with the Church’s moral teachings. A person can give generously because of being financially well-to-do but entirely miss the point about Christian forgiveness and the need to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. A person can volunteer in parish activities but sadly never develop a personal relationship with the Lord.
What do you think makes a good Catholic?
I recently heard the bishop say that Christians need to be “leaven for the world.” Everything that we do as a Christian must somehow have an effect on the world in which we live. We cannot compartmentalize our lives in such a way that we live out our faith only within the Church building or during Church functions. Our faith needs to be taken home, to work and to school. Our faith needs to be present in our everyday words and actions. Our faith needs to be a light for others to see!
Are you a good Catholic?
Fr. Ed Namiotka