Monday, 4 November 2013

Who am I to fudge?

I was once with a non-Catholic,Christian friend who was expressing his admiration for Pope Francis because of how wonderful and humble he is. I was delighted that he had such positive views. 

A few moments later my friend said that he and his wife would consider becoming Catholic too and asked if "outmoded beliefs" were still adhered to. I asked what he meant and surprise, surprise, contraception came up as a one of these "outmoded beliefs."

In a sense, it would have been easier to have avoided the subject, obscured or watered the teaching down, especially as I was feeling tired at that time. A fleeting moment of weakness flashed through my mind, before I challenged myself:

"Who am I to fudge?"

As a Catholic, it is my mission to bring people to Jesus Christ and His Church. This means the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. Some teachings may be less palatable for some but the Truth nonetheless. I capitalise "Truth" as Christ is Truth and when we deny a part of our faith - by our words or in our behaviour - we deny Christ. 

Thankfully I explained as best I could the Church's teaching on love, on welcoming life, on marriage and yes, contraception too. I explained that despite what he might have heard in the press or from dissenters that thousands upon thousands of people follow this teaching and that it isn't so much about a "no" but a "yes" to love, to life and to Christ Himself. My friend had never heard anyone defend this teaching positively and with passion and saw that it made sense. 

My friend didn't immediately ask how he could sign up and become Catholic but I realised that he is genuinely seeking Truth and authentic witness had an impact.  If I had fudged the issue or changed the subject he would have had less respect for me and the Church.  Please spare a prayer for a married couple who are discerning whether they are called to join the Church that Christ founded. 

My suggestion to you is that when you are next asked about your faith and are tempted to avoid the question or compromise you might ask yourself one thing:

"Who am I to fudge?"

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