|Hated by All|
|Sunday, April 03 2011|
Standing by your Lord
Each week, I look for just the perfect verse. Sometimes, I choose it because of recent events in the world around us. Other times, I choose the verse based on a certain season in the Catholic calendar, such as Lent. Most of the time, however, the verses come from what is happening in my own life, my experiences. This week, a friend sent me a few verses as suggestions, and one of them stood out to me as something that I know all too well.
"You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved." - Matthew 10:22 NAB
Now, I cannot say that anyone has truly shown me any hatred lately because of my faith, but there are times that it seems that people look at you differently because of your faith. Since I began this journey with Waking Up Catholic, I have had a number of staunch supporters, and I feel blessed to have them everyday. Then there are those who are not as supportive. They may not outwardly be condemning me, but you can tell by the look in their eye and the sound of their voice that they think you are slightly nuts. But, that's okay. I kind of enjoy being the black sheep.
No matter what we do in life, we will have our supporters and our naysayers. Be thankful for the supporters and ignore the naysayers. As Catholics and Christians, we may be mocked, and even laughed at, for our faith. I do not doubt that there are a number of conversations going on about me when I am not around. For someone coming from a more secular view, many of the things we do as Christians will seem odd to the general public. As strange as it may seem, I am glad they are talking about it. May those cynical conversations about the "crazy" things I do be the seed that eventually leads to them to finding faith in Christ. At least they are talking about it.
In past writings, I talked about Saul, a man known for persecuting Christians. Later on, Saul found faith in Christ and became Paul, the man who wrote a large portion of the New Testament. Even I have a decorated past. At one time, I mocked Christianity. All it took was one conversation. A young woman that I worked with, who may not even know the full range of the effect she had on me, had grown tired of my cynicism. She challenged me to read the Bible, then question her beliefs. That one, simple statement changed my life. Sometimes, it is in the little things we do and say that have the biggest impact on the lives of those around us.
When I first embarked on this journey of Waking Up Catholic, I was nervous beyond belief. Here I am, just an ordinary guy. Who would ever want to read what I have to say? When I read my own writing, I am less than impressed. In the end, despite my fears, I am simply following God. In my heart, I felt that He was calling me to do this, and I am simply following. I want to thank the Lord for being the inspiration behind my words, because I cannot take any of the credit. May all honor and glory go to Him!
After only six weeks, the site is growing more quickly than I could have imagined. I feel so blessed to be able to share my thoughts and dreams with all of you. Recently, I stumbled upon a site that allowed me to share my ideas directly with a publisher. They were slightly tentative about the idea, but they agreed to take a look at a few sample chapters anyway. I was in tears. Here I am, this big, six-foot-tall, grown man crying tears of joy. Even if they choose not to publish my book idea, I feel so blessed to even have the opportunity.
I wanted to take this time to thank you. Without you, the reader, Waking Up Catholic would just be a bunch of web pages on a server somewhere. I try to write with love and charity in my heart; the same love and charity that you have shown me. It is truly a blessing when someone drops me a little note on the Contact page. Thank you for that. A special thank you to my "anonymous" friend that made the Bible verses suggestions for this week. It was exactly what I needed.
Thank you and God bless. Through love in Christ,