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Some people have travelled far, to spread the Gospel; yet we do not have to do magnificent things in order to please Christ. A simple act of love, for example - keeping someone company at a meal, or on a journey, can be as great, in Christ's sight, as the work of spreading the Gospel throughout the land, and can bring about as much good, in souls.
The truth which we have learned from Christ and His Apostles is still true, is still taught by the Catholic Church, which Christ founded, and is still meant to be told to everyone in the world who is willing to listen: that God loves us so much He has come down from Heaven, and that Jesus, God-made-man, is the only Saviour.
Everyone for whom I pray is in the Father's loving care - even those looking in other directions. We should keep on praying that those who don't yet believe in God will come to realise Who is holding them in existence.
It is possible in the world to follow the inspiration of God; yet those who are transformed by Baptism are full of Divine Life of the Blessed Trinity. Only God can see who loves and serves Him and is on the Way to Heaven; but, outside the Church, it is difficult to live as a Saint among sinners if a person is ignorant of what God's Will really is, and does not have the ordinary channels of grace given unfailingly through the Church. All the more reason why we should spread the good news about Christ: the Way, the truth and the life, Who promises Heaven to forgiven sinners.
All who are sent as missionaries, to share the Faith with other people, should listen to the Church, that is, to the Holy Father and the other Bishops who hand on the truth - that Christ is the only Saviour, and that Baptism is the gateway to Divine Life. No other Gospel should be preached.
Whenever we speak to others about our faith in Jesus Christ: God-made-man Who came to earth to save us, we are spreading the Gospel just as the Apostles did - and Lydia, and countless Christians through the ages. Even when we seem to see no results, God is bringing good out of our efforts and encounters.
Christ confirmed to me that people who say that Catholics need not share their Faith, or that people of other religions will be saved by their beliefs and religious practices, are in effect declaring that Christ's plan of salvation was needless. If other religions had been sufficient to save us, why should He have come to Earth to suffer and die in agony? He came to conquer sin and death; and He alone has made a Way to Heaven.
Some preachers live alongside their flock, keeping silent. We can picture a man who finds a field of corn, growing naturally, but refuses to let it be cut to feed the hungry because it looks beautiful. That is what happens when Missionaries refuse to endanger 'natural' religions by refusing to offer the Gospel. They deny the people, amongst whom they live, the bread of truth, and the Bread of Life, which is Jesus Christ, with His Church, Sacraments, and Eternal Life.
It is important not to 'cast pearls before swine': not to offer spiritual advice, too early, to those who despise spiritual things, nor to press information about the Church upon people who hate the mention of her name. This causes such people to be even more exasperated and confrontational. Our prayer for them is more important, for the moment.
The Lord asks us all to speak the simple truth to evangelisers of various sects, and to be kind, yet, in charity, to tell them that their beliefs are mistaken. Real charity is to want them to see the truth about Christ and the Catholic Church, not to pay false compliments about false religions. Plainly, we should be well-informed about our Catholic Faith, before we take part in discussions.
When people who have never read a serious book about Catholicism complain about episodes of Catholic history and hate the Church, it is best not to argue about history but to say: 'Look at the Church, as she is': the unique unity in Faith, government and worship, unique in handing on the body of truths, in helping the sick and needy, defending lives, including the unborn, inspiring artists, architects, composers, promoting education, all with confidence in God. Outside the Catholic Church people do not have such clear teaching. It is the one Church founded by Jesus Christ, Who still guides her, in union with the Father, and the Holy Spirit.
We can talk, and help people outside the Church. Someone who is convinced that the Catholic Church is wrong about the sinfulness of abortion or any other major topic has built a great wall which obscures from view the Church and its entire, coherent body of teachings about faith and morals handed on since Christ and the Apostles.
Just as we want to tell people the reason for the traffic queue in which they are stuck, as we drive freely on our side of the road, so we should want to tell people about the Way to Heaven - Christ's Way - to people who feel 'stuck' in ignorance or hopelessness, and are without the joy that the hope of Heaven brings to the human heart.
Through genuine friendships, we can have a good influence on others, witnessing to our Faith. Just as a person who admires the speed of a roller-skater wants to learn the skill, so a person amazed by the joy and perseverance of a practicing Catholic will want to learn about the source of such gifts.
Whenever a person speaks courageously about Christ and the Catholic Faith, whether or not they are welcomed, and is prepared to be ostracised or persecuted, that person is brought even closer to the Father's heart, wrapped in His Love.
Through Christ's death on Calvary, it was made possible for us to be forgiven, to receive the Spirit of God, to live in the light, to be confident that our prayers are heard, and to be able to offer praise worthy of the Father. The Father wants people of every religion to open their eyes to the truth, and to believe in Jesus, His Son: the God-man Who can make weak people holy, and make them worthy of Heaven.
We do not always realise how powerfully we affect others, for good, when we witness unashamedly about the kindness and goodness of Christ. We can powerfully encourage and help individuals; and we should be aware that it's as if we warm Christ's heart by our love, and our desire to see Him loved.
In wanting to share the good news about Christ, and the Catholic Faith, we do not begin by accosting people we do not know, to accuse them of sin. We imitate Christ, Who first got to know a person - as in Simon's house - and only when a bond was established gently mentioned things which Simon needed to know, above love for a neighbour.
Many people search for the way into Heaven. Catholics who offer to enquirers a watered-down version of the Catholic Faith, failing to speak truthfully about sin and repentance, make it harder for those people to achieve Eternal Life. They brick up the door to Heaven, so to speak, as surely as bricking up an entrance to a church, our threshold to Heaven, if they allow people to continue in those sins which are, objectively, mortal sins, yet receive them into full Communion, or baptise them.
We must never forget how much Christ has changed our lives, through His grace and guidance. Nor must we forget how great is the need for continued evangelisation, as whole communities seem to follow the world's way of selfishness rather than Christ's way of selfless love. People need firm teaching about how we cannot serve two masters. We choose, by our behaviour, to serve God or Satan.
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