An experience this morning as I was praying outside a local Planned Parenthood struck me, and reminded me of something.
A man pulled over in his car with a chip on his shoulder. He wanted to tell us why we shouldn’t be there, why what we were doing was wrong, etc. By God’s grace I was able to mortify the temptation to wallop him in a debate on abortion (which is not a hard thing for any pro-lifer who knows a few facts to do). I strove to see the hurt inside him and addressed what I discerned to be the sickness in his heart instead of the error of the argument on his lips. After managing to give him a Rosary and a “how to pray the Rosary” card, Our Lady took his hand and did all the work. Soon after he was changed entirely; opening his heart up to me and telling me things about his past that he had never told anyone before. I spoke with him for a time, left him with some advice, assured him of my prayers, and he drove away; never to be the same again, I pray. I assure you it was not my eloquence or my own skill that did this, in any way (I did and said nothing special at all): it was merely my willingness to be an instrument, and the fact that I had just received the Eucharist, and handed it all over to Our Lady.
If you one day found yourself with a million dollars (good Catholics don’t play the lottery… so let’s say you just found gold in your backyard), would this not place upon your conscience a sense of duty to help others with it?
Most people who read this blog are good, faithful, orthodox Catholics. Catholics who understand Mary’s pivotal role, especially today. Catholics who reject none of the Church’s teachings. Catholics who understand the sin and error under which modern men labor. Catholics who know about Theology of the Body, the Gospel of Life, the apparitions of Mary, the wonders of the Rosary, the power of the Eucharist & Confession, etc. Catholics who are truly striving to become saints.
You are more rare than a millionaire.
And not only that, but the gifts you have make you far more powerful than a rich man of any net worth to bring even temporal good to souls. Let Bill Gates pour countless millions into his aid programs. By spreading your knowledge, you do far more than he in bringing even temporal good to the world. Consider that you will be aiding in the salvation of souls, and his work compared to yours is not even noticeable.
Some activists rightly protest pharmaceutical companies refusing to mass-distribute their vaccines in Africa even though they could easily afford to do so and thereby avert massive human suffering. But how much more lamentable is it for such a Catholic to keep dormant in his own mind this salvation causing knowledge? It is far more precious than gold, far more precious than any vaccine. And there are far fewer excuses for it to remain unused.
Be convinced, brethren, for it is absolutely true, that you have the remedy to the ills of those around you. Having this remedy leaves one and only one option: finding and pursuing chances to use it, no matter the cost to yourself.
You may say: But what can I do? I want so badly to evangelize, to spread God’s truth, to fight for the salvation of souls… but I don’t know what to do.
Well, here are a few ideas:
- Pray outside your local abortion mill (bring a friend with you). Especially if this is in a high-pedestrian traffic area, conversation will be sparked. Designate one person in your group to talk to people who want to talk, and have the rest continue praying as this occurs.
- Always wear an external sign of the Faith. A clearly visible crucifix, a lapel pin of Jesus and Mary, etc. People will ask you about it, and about the faith that is behind it.
- Be prepared. I proudly carry my “man purse” with me almost all the time, with a zipper pocket in it devoted to evangelization. I am never without rosary beads, how to say the rosary cards, divine mercy cards, Our Lady of Guadalupe cards, brown scapulars, and miraculous medals. These channels of grace will supplement the truth you bestow by your words.
- Make your strong views in some way public so that anyone who knows your name can find them. Might this lose you friends, make prospective employers cautious, worry your family, etc.? Yes, it might. And it will not go unrewarded. A public Facebook, a blog, an email signature quote, etc. It is time to love Jesus and Mary more than worldly comfort, my friends.
- Whenever possible, at social gatherings, spend your time with the lowly, the unattractive, the “weird,” the unpopular, etc. These are the people who need the company and who are generally far more open to receiving the truth.
- Visit the lonely and forgotten elderly in nursing homes. They are in dire need of your company, and a startling number are in dire need of conversion of heart in their last few hours on Earth. Minister to the poor and the needy in any way you can; for these souls are always more open to the truth.
Remember that this isn’t about a debate or an argument or a fight. Go at it with that attitude, and your voice will tremble, your hands will shake, your adrenaline will pump, your thinking will blur, and you will achieve less than nothing. This is a chance to peer into the eyes of a child of God and see, behind the facade of anger or sarcasm or whatever other demeanor, a soul that direly yearns for its Creator. You have the knowledge and grace to effect the re-establishment of that bond. Go as a mother goes to pick up her child who has fallen; not as a cage fighter to exalt his domination.
One final note. No doubt you’d (rightly) put food on your own table with that aforementioned million dollars before using it for charity. It is the same here. Before you go out evangelizing, first make sure you are in a state of grace, the Eucharist is the center of your life, you frequent the sacrament of confession, and your devotion to Mary is true and all-consuming.