Sunday, May 28, 2006

Missionary for Christ

One of the big issues I had with being involved in the Baptist church was their upfront protocol of knocking on people's doors and quite frankly asking them if they were "saved." I felt very uncomfortable in that role. Perhaps if I had truly been "saved" then I would have not had an issue with it and been excited to share the good news of Jesus Christ!! I really thought that it was in bad taste to interrupt people's lives in that way. And honestly though some people might have become "saved" in such instances, most likely it wasn't for real because we might have seen them in church the next Sunday and then they drift away again. I was an on-again, off-again Christian of sorts. For a long time I decided I really couldn't call myself a Christian because I couldn't or wouldn't live a Christ-like life and I refused to act hypocritical about it as so many others did. That's when I stopped going to church.

Today's homily was about our calling to be witnesses for Christ. I am glad that the Catholic Church isn't quite as overt as the Baptist church. Father said that one of the best ways to share is through our lives and how we live. When we are at peace in our spirituality and we are living according to values of the Gospel of Christ we are being witnesses to others. And at times other people may want to know our "secret." That's when we can share with them because they are open to reception. When we come uninvited there's already a kind of wall built up.

Father stated that we have been commissioned by the Lord to be missionaries of the Gospel. Certainly others are called to more bold in their service by going to places where they are in danger or doing different kinds of charity work. I am still not sure what God's will for me is, but at least my heart is finally in it. Perhaps it's no more than this blog. Maybe it will affect someone that reads it. Maybe not. Perhaps it already has. I don't know and don't necessarily have to know, but I write about my experiences because I do want to share how wonderful it has been for me.

The key in all of this is having a spirit of gentleness, humility and patience. That's a big step for some people and I certainly admit it has been for me. But I am finally in a place where I am garnering those qualities (at least some of the time.) I can say for a fact that I have really changed since I started going to Mass and since becoming Catholic. For the first time I have a true love for Christ and a desire to build a relationship with Him. I am living a more honorable and pure life. I love going to Mass every week. I sat in the pew today just smiling because I was there. Although I know that I'm still growing and learning, I continue to pray that others are able to see Christ in me. My sponsor told me that in a card she gave me and it was one of the best compliments I have ever received.

I know that God has already been working in me and I'm sure He will continue to do so. In the past two years, I have had more religious conversations with my son than I ever have in my life. And perhaps it will make an impact on him. Perhaps not right away, but I think a little sinks in. I think that although he still is in a place where he isn't sure about things, he has taken an interest in my journey and I've even gotten him to Mass a few times.
When I saw Marty last week he mentioned more than once that although he's not ready for any kind of return to Church right now, it is something that has been on his mind and he has been giving it some thought. Maybe I had something to do with that or not, but I will continue to pray for him.

I often can't explain how I ended up in the Catholic Church, but I am so thankful and happy to be home. I pray that I am able to accept and do God's will whatever it may be.


Chris said...

Awesome post! A nice summary of what I would like to become. I still struggle with being an "example of Christ" everyday. But that's the great thing about our Lord isn't it, he gives us the grace and strength to continually work toward that goal.

Annabel said...

I struggle too, but you're right... we can only do it with God's grace and strength. I didn't understand that until I came into the Catholic Church.

Greg Long said...

As to the worth of your blog I can't go past this gem-

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.
Mother Teresa

And so are you.

Annabel said...

Thank you Greg. That is probably one of the nicest compliments I've received in a long time! I appreciate you so much for reading my blog.