Image Courtesy Kairos Photography.
Modern society’s insistence that truth is subjective has, unbeknownst to them, confused many, if not most, people to the point of literal depression, due to the loss of the definitive knowledge of who we are, both as humanity in general and as individuals. This puts more responsibility than ever on those with a strong faith to witness to the truth. This is not, however, as daunting as it may seem, when we remember that it’s ultimately the Holy Spirit that converts souls—remember that Christ founded the Church with just twelve men.
Photograph Courtesy Ano Lobb
Some people are intimidated by the thought of evangelizing, fueled by the classic cartoon imagery of standing on a busy street corner, carrying a sign warning of the imminent apocalypse and shouting at passers-by. As an introvert myself, I’ve learned that there are numerous ways that we can show God’s Truth to the world, starting with the center-point of Catholicism: the Mass.
While watching a documentary about mathematics in nature, I realized that in both physics and Catholicism, the words “mass” and “substance” are inextricably linked. Just as, in physics, mass means the substance of a thing, in Catholicism the Mass is the substance of our Faith, and the bread and wine are transubstantiated during the Mass, when their substance becomes the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. Yet many people treat the Mass as an afterthought, preferring to spend more time talking to their neighbor than in earnest prayer to God, as people have come to think of the Mass as a time of human community rather than Christ’s Sacrifice and a time to be in communion with God. Perhaps the simplest way to remind others of the Truth of the Mass is to dress and act respectfully. While sometimes we may not be able to dress as nicely as we’d like (I sometimes go to Mass after getting off of work as a fast-food cashier and forget to bring a change of clothes), we shouldn’t be showing up in jeans, sweatshirts, or shorts. For ladies, I’ve found a lovely lace mantilla to be an excellent witness, as I’ve received many compliments and thanks for wearing it.
An equally important way to witness at Mass is respectful silence. Unfortunately, there’s a parish that I sometimes go to where I don’t recall a single Mass where my prayers weren’t interrupted by people talking nearby. Perhaps those who are already quiet can politely remind others to please not be distractive. Kneeling while receiving the Eucharist and receiving on the tongue are other good ways to witness to the dignity of the Mass.
Hot-button issues are an excellent chance to defend the Truth. Explain to those who support homosexual “marriage” that marriage is not a right in the first place, not even for heterosexual couples. Research the scientific evidence of a pre-born baby’s humanity. I post articles on these subjects on my Twitter and Facebook accounts whenever a particularly good one catches my eye. Most importantly, always be polite and respectful of those who disagree with you, but remain firm to your convictions. Even something as simple as treating others with the same common courtesy as you expect to be treated with can be a powerful witness to the Truth. I’ve always been careful to do this, even on social media, and a few times have made a new friend when we discovered that we actually shared the same values, just because we didn’t demean each other when we misunderstood each other’s meaning.
In recent years, I’ve also become interested in apologetics, inspired particularly by the works of Scott Hahn, a convert to Catholicism who is now a professor at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. Patrick Madrid, Hilaire Belloc, G.K. Chesterton, and Dietrich von Hildebrand are a few of my other favorites, besides Pope Saint John Paull II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Mother Angelica.
Today more than ever, as the government tries to dictate the truth based on it’s ever-changing whims, the world needs people who are willing to stand up for the Truth. Christ remained firm on His word, even when some of His followers left Him (John 6:66-67, NAB). Can we not risk some minor ridicule for His sake?