"A lay Catholic perspective"

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by Mark Fetherston


The Battle Belongs to the Lord

T HERE IS A FIERCE BATTLE going on in our society.

This battle is for souls. It is a battle which is as real as any fought on any battleground in history, except that in this battle there are no civilians. We are fighting either on the side of our Lord Jesus Christ, or on the side of the enemy. There is no neutral ground. Speaking to the church in Laodicea, Jesus said: "I know your deeds; I know you are neither hot nor cold. How I wish you were one or the other — hot or cold! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spew you out of my mouth!" (Rev 3:15-16).

As lay Catholics we hold a strategic position in this battle. If we bother, we can significantly influence the way the battle goes in the lives of our families, friends and neighbours, in our places of employment, our parishes and the organizations we belong to, in the places where we spend our money, and in various levels of government.

We influence others by our actions and by our words. Our first action needs to be prayer; our first words, words of surrender to God. The life of God we received in Baptism is strengthened, renewed, refreshed, nourished and restored through the sacraments. The sacraments must be carried into our entire lives. Only in this way can we ever hope to fight the Lord's battle in his way.

There is a corner store in our neighbourhood. To generate extra income, the proprietor began to sell pornography. Many families in our Community stopped shopping at this store in obedience to our Holy Father, who, in one of his homilies, asked that we not shop in stores which sell pornography. Gradually some former customers stopped by the store, gently and lovingly explaining that we could not in conscience patronize this business because of the evil of pornography. In a very short while, the proprietor pulled all the pornography off his shelves. A small thing, perhaps. But I think it is pretty big. The same thing happened with SuperStore.

We each have a lot of options. Are we so desperate for entertainment that we will go to a movie containing foul language, morally evil themes and actions, or people appearing naked? Do we really have to patronize theatres who contribute to the kingdom of darkness by showing this type of movie?

On a more positive vein, do we share our faith with those around us? This week I heard about a Catholic woman who has never received a phone call that was a wrong number! She believes that anyone who accidentally dials her phone number is really being blessed by an act of Providence to be called back to the Catholic Church. Many people have returned to their faith because they dialed a "right" number.

God wants to use each one of us to build his kingdom. Let us give ourselves, heart and soul, over to him. Let us quit worrying about what others think of us, and become concerned that God, who knows our deeds, will find faith in us when he returns.

- M.F.