Be bold. Be Catholic.® That is the motto at Dynamic Catholic, a lay organization whose mission is to re-evangelize Catholics in their faith. I’ve often wondered what that could entail, as I am a very shy person and talking about my faith to strangers does not come easily. However, to be a bold Catholic does not mean you need to preach on the street corners, but rather to be bold enough to stand up for the faith in the every day.
I was at dinner with colleagues from work and the conversation turned toward our education. When I mentioned that I had 16 years of Catholic schooling, one colleague said he could commiserate and that he was “recovering” as well. Quite honestly I was shocked and somehow my response was, “I’m not recovering from anything. My education has made me the person I am; I’m happy to be a Catholic.” I don’t know if he was joking or or trying to be funny, but it was then that I realized how important it is to stand up for the faith. It’s one thing to make a joke about the exercise one gets participating in a Mass with all the standing/sitting/kneeling. It’s quite another to compare Catholic education to a bad habit that one needs to learn how to overcome.
In Luke 5:9-11. Jesus calls the first disciples, Simon Peter and Andrew, by telling them, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” When we are faced with awkward situations, we need to lean on the Holy Spirit, as the first disciples did when standing strong for the faith. We do not know how the Holy Spirit could use our witness to the spiritual betterment of another. It’s not our job to convert someone, but our job to be a faithful witness to allow for the conversion. It could be as simple as blessing oneself before a meal in a restaurant. It could be objecting to the use of Jesus Christ as a profanity alternative. Or it could be taking pride in the Catholic faith you confess. Others won’t learn to respect the Catholic faith unless we Catholics demonstrate our respect first. And that is what is standing up for the faith is all about.