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Galatians 6:4-5
Tuesday, December 18 2012

Who is a Better Catholic?...

While sitting in the pew on Sunday morning, do you ever wonder who is a better Catholic?

Each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason to boast with regard to himself alone, and not with regard to someone else; for each will bear his own load. –Galatians 6:4-5, NAB

In other words, stop comparing yourself to others.  Do not worry about who is a better Catholic (is there such a thing anyway?).  The only comparison you should make is whether you are a better Catholic than you were before.

It's not a competition.  We don't have to out-Catholic our family, friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners to make our way to Heaven.  Our only worry should be our own actions because, one day, we will be held accountable for them.

How easy is it to fall into the trap of judging others?  We see the mistakes that our brothers and sisters are making and scrutinize their every move.  But are they doing the same thing to us?  Could they not point out our flaws pretty easily?  Of course, they could, but that is not what being a Catholic is about.

On the flip side, we may look down on ourselves compared to others.  We may see the things that they are doing with their faith and feel that we are not doing anything quite as important.  But it's all important to God.  Using your talents in the parish bake sale or fixing a broken light in the church is just as important as the work of the greatest evangelists.

Example:  My wife is very supportive of my writing and other work in ministry, but does that mean she is not doing anything just as important?  She has a hugely compassionate heart - truly a charism from God - and she uses that heart to serve God in ways I never could.  Neither of these make one of us a better Catholic than the other; it just means that we practice our faith in slightly different ways - according to the gifts God has given us.

Stop worrying about who is a better Catholic and simply focus on being the best Catholic that you can be.  And if you see your fellow Catholics slip and fall, do not judge them for their mistakes; instead, help them in their journey toward being a better Catholic themselves.


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