Jesus did not come into a world of favorable welcome. In fact, it was quite the opposite. (I mean, really, they crucified him. Literally.) And sometimes living Catholic in a non-Catholic world is exactly like that. The anti-dote? Aretha Franklin said it best, R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
I know that’s not easy. It’s hard to bite your tongue and not say “Don’t you want Jesus? Well! Don’t you?” But it just takes a firm stance in your own convictions and respect that others may not follow that path. Let’s face it, who has actually come into Christianity by the testament of “Well people kept telling me I was going to hell, and they kept shoving it down my throat, and I figured well hey. I’ll give this Jesus thing a shot.” Anybody? No? That’s what I thought.
Having just come to my own convictions in the last year, I am very conscious what it’s like to have religion thrown and pushed at me. It’s not pleasant. But coming into Catholicism on my own will? The most rewarding and fulfilling experience I have encountered thus far.
As Catholics living in a non-Catholic world, let us be examples of joyful people leading Christ filled lives rather than bullies oppressing non-Catholics (and non Christians for that matter!)