A friend of mine once told me, “You Catholics don’t like people like me”,
I am getting tired of some people who ‘broad-brush-stroke’ people into groups defining them solely by their association with their religion, politics, etc. Let’s just say it is rampant everywhere in our society and it is tearing at the fiber of humanity and our rightful place on this earth — as God’s children.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.(Galatians 3:28 )
We Are All God’s Children
Every single one of us is meant to be here right now and during this time. Each of us has our own unique talents and gifts, we are all here for a reason, God put us here for a purpose, He didn’t create us by chance. No sirree, Bob … Sorry, Bob.
So, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, an Athlete or work in a Corporation, on a farm or on a ranch, are a stay at home mom or a caregiver each of us has our own life experiences, relationships, spirituality, family upbringing, physical characteristics, passions and education that make each one of us unique. We are not what we do as a profession or how much money we make or what we portray ourselves to be to others in this world. We are spiritual human beings who are made for God and we must care about how we treat others, what we believe and how we love one another.
My beef is this — when did disagreeing with someone become criminal? Why is it hateful to disagree with someone? Am I a bigot because I don’t agree with you? Or my goodness, I have heard people calling others evil. This is really heating up in the political climate.
This has to stop.
Recently, a high school friend attended one of my speaking engagements but didn’t come up and talk to me afterward. I didn’t know she was there, I haven’t seen her in 30 years. She is Christian but not Catholic, although she was raised Catholic, I believe, for a portion of her younger years. If I recall correctly, she had some meetings with someone who convinced her that Catholic was not right to believe.
I have to admit — I didn’t know my faith and didn’t agree with what I thought about the faith early in my journey. I battled my own struggles with Catholicism. But I had to do my own research and my own soul-searching and discover if it was the truth or it wasn’t the truth. I wasn’t going to let anyone sway me on this important decision — did I really believe in this Catholic thing or not so much?
Long story short — I found it to be the truth. I couldn’t deny it, I had to admit that according to the Bible, tradition, early church fathers and the sacramental miracles and graces I have received and read about with the Saints, I couldn’t deny it any longer.
“You Catholics Don’t Like People Like Me”
So, the next day after my talk, she emails me letting me know she attended but had to get out of there and get home (it was a rainy night) and couldn’t stay to stand in line to talk to me. She then went on to say, “You Catholics don’t like people like me”. Ah, there it is, that “broad-brush-stroke” and the idea that we damn people to hell or judge harshly all of us Catholics as a group. Well, all I can say is I do not appreciate that statement nor do I emulate that as a Catholic. I actually try very hard not to be like that, lest I be judged.
I was taken aback by that comment, what the heck does that mean? I know what was said at my talk, I could surmise it might be about lifestyle— same-sex attraction — homosexuality perhaps? But that is neither confirmed nor denied as of now because we haven’t gone there.
Just because I came to understand natural law and what the Lord taught us about being open to life and the purpose of a marriage to become one, have children, etc. doesn’t mean that I damn you to hell, wish you harm or hate you if you think, believe and live otherwise.
On the contrary — I am commanded to love you as God loves me — like a child of His, my brother or sister. We are both here on this earth for a reason and God loves us the same. I am not put on this earth to judge, I am just trying to help others deepen their relationship with God through faith and prayer and yes, the Catholic faith. I am also trying to do it with love and a pure heart with no judgment and for His glory, not mine.
So, I am trying to schedule some 1:1 time together with my friend to further understand the impression of my beliefs and my views and the teachings of the church. I will let you know what happens if we do get together. I hope to learn something as well, I am always open to hearing other views and God speaks to and challenges me all the time through other people. I only want to meet in love and friendship with honest sharing — no intent to convert or argue at all.
I am just happy that this person found God and has a spiritual yearning for growth. This person is a kind and loving soul on fire for Jesus. “Good peeps” as I say. I, too, had some challenges with the faith that I had to get over myself, so I get it. But let’s not lump everyone into one category, we have all had that done to us in some way or another. It’s not even close to being the right thing to do. So, let’s not do it.
My prayer is that everyone realizes that no one person is greater than the other. I pray that everyone stops judging and personally attacking people based on their views and beliefs and cut out the “broad-brush-stroking” and realize we are all children of God who all have the same right to be here on this planet as the other person does. I pray that the Holy Spirit touch your heart when communicating with everyone, mostly your enemies as we are called to love them and we all know how hard that is to do. We are sinful, arrogant, judgmental, broken, prideful human beings.
Pope Francis challenges Catholics, “Do you go to Mass thinking that you are better than those who do not attend Church?” The pope concludes that if you are proud, you might as well stay at home because Church is for those who recognize that they are sinners in need of forgiveness not for the self-righteous.
If you are guilty of such behavior, it’s probably on social media. I am on social media trying to spread some love and compassion, but I see so much anger, pain and personal attacking that it saddens me and makes me want to run away. It can be so hurtful and shocking how people go at each other sometimes.
But I refuse to do that. Stupid, Brave, Confident— who knows?
Love One Another
I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. (John 13:34)
We are not supposed to agree. We are supposed to try to listen, understand all the while being civil and respecting each other. We are called to love one another regardless of whether we agree or not, regardless of what you do for a living or what faith you believe in or not. We are called to live our life with our creator, our Lord, who knows exactly what we are here for and who we can trust completely. We are called to love thy neighbor and we need His help to do that.
Before my faith I thought I was compassionate, but not so much. My worldview is through the eyes of faith now. I see Jesus in everyone and appreciate everyone’s uniqueness and I seek to learn from everyone I encounter every day and this can only come from God. You will never fulfill that “something more” you are looking for in anything other than God. Sorry, but it is a fact. I know this because I am living proof! I know exactly what life is like with and without God. Living with God and dependence on Him is beautiful, peaceful and joyous. I could never, ever go back to living without Him leading the way. Why not try it, nothing else is really giving you that supernatural high on life, peace and purpose is it? Be honest.
It makes sense, right? I mean, He knows your innermost feelings, secrets, and desires. He knows why you are here, your talents and your purpose. Why not partner with the one who created you, died for your sins and is the best coach and leader of your life ever – God? Watch your life change when you invite Him in — I would love to help guide your way to a deeper relationship with God and finally “Find Something More” …
I would love to speak at your parish, business, university/school, women’s group/association — www.kendravonesh.com