Sunday, 2 February 2020
"A Public Catholicism"
Last Sunday, I heard something at Mass which I have been chewing on for most of the week.
The Gospel was that of the two miracles immediately following the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew's Gospel - the healing of the leper and the healing of the Roman centurion's servant. During his own sermon, Father expanded on how both the leper and the centurion made public acts of faith - with our Lord telling the leper to go and show himself to the priests, and Our Lord commending the centurion for his public profession of belief. Father then when on to say that even though there are many aspects of our spiritual life that we should keep private, "our faith is public, so we must make our Catholicism public for the sake of others." In other words, we must let people know we are Catholic, for our faith is not something we are to keep hidden.
Father's words were fortuitous. That very same day, I had been grappling with sentiments of shame and embarrassment for being outspoken about many things of a Catholic nature, from certain aspects of my spiritual life that I really should have kept private, to my opinions about a certain man sitting on the papal throne. I was also thinking about whether or not I should clam up altogether and withdraw my voice from the public sphere, for I was becoming frustrated with what I saw as the endless purity spiralling and posturing amongst many Catholics online.
Father's soft-spoken words calmed me, gave me something to ponder, and in time, has come to start renewing my resolve.
Readers of our sister blog Vox Cantoris may recall a foray I made on there in 2017, where I detailed my reversion to the Old Faith. It is much too long to detail now, but I remember how I slowly came to realize that the Old Faith was what I am meant to follow, and how I came to that conclusion with a determined resolve as a result of that ponderment.
The intervening years have admittedly shaken that resolve up quite a bit, but here I have remained, with a few new conclusions in my belt from that same process of ponderment. While my world has turned, the Cross has remained firm. Focusing on Him in spite of it all - be it via the crucifix or the words of those I trust - has been my saving grace when my emotions run high and my thoughts get jumbled. In spite of all that I have done against Him, He continues to call me toward Him and gently requests I do what I must not just for His sake, but also so that others know I follow Him.
He did not die so that I may be ashamed and embarrassed of looking out for His Bride, however that may be manifested.
Nay, He asked through His actions that I may be public in my belief in Him, while avoiding extremes on both end of the spectrum.
A public Catholicism, in other words.