Going off of last week’s column, here are some practical examples of how to live the spiritual works of mercy, particularly “admonish sinners” and “instruct the uninformed.” Many of you have asked me how to speak to your children and grandchildren about the faith. Having worked with young people for many years in ministry, these are the most common exchanges I have had with them about the basics of living the Catholic faith. Hopefully, these will be helpful and fruitful for you, your families, and our parish.
Mostly, these are initial responses that often lead to long conversations. It’s really just to give you some kind of answer to tough questions. I’m happy to expound on them if you would like. But, especially in this age of sound bites, it’s good to have a quick, one-line response when possible that is easy to remember. Some of these responses are biting, but effective. It’s important to present and defend the truth, but always to do it in love. Otherwise, the focus turns to the messenger and not the message.
Speak the truth in love.
If you are not asked these questions, then how do you start the conversation? First, pray that God provides an opportunity. If you can’t talk to them about God, talk to God about them! Second, be ready for the opportunity. Read what I have written here and ask me for more reading on the subjects. You might even send them a book, pamphlet, or article from the internet, and ask them what they think. Don’t be afraid to bring Christ to their world!
I’ll go to the next level of questions next week.
May you know the peace of Christ,
“Why do we have to go to Mass?”
- Because God says so!
a. “Keep holy the Sabbath” (3rd Commandment).
b. “Take this all of you and eat it”. (Last Supper).
2. To get to Heaven!
a. You need the Eucharist to get to Heaven. The main reason we go to Mass is to receive the Eucharist. Jesus said that “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life within you” (Jn 6:53-54). Mass is where we can receive the Eucharist.
3. It’s not so much that we have to go, it’s that we GET to go. Holy Mass is a gift!
“But I don’t feel like going to Mass”
Jesus didn’t feel like getting on the Cross.
“Mass is so boring”
Do you know what happens at Mass? It’s amazing! The bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ. The same flesh and blood that were on the Cross. Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross becomes truly present to us, and we are like witnesses to Calvary. Was anyone at the Crucifixion on Good Friday saying, “this is so boring?”
“I am spiritual but not religious”
That is like saying, “I love my wife but I don’t spend any time with her.”
“I’m too busy for church or prayer”
- I know that you are busy, and that you work very hard. But you still find time to be with your friends, watch TV, go on Facebook, and attend social events. Jesus was a busy guy, and he found time to pray every day!
- Prayer is like a habit that we make time for every day. Just like you make time for eating, sleeping, showering, and brushing your teeth every day when you’re busy, you can make time for prayer every day.