I grew in age as most of us in Roman Catholic families day by day, and sacramentally speaking, from Baptism as a newborn, then seven years later, first Communion, then six year later, Confirmation. The sense of this process comes from the chronology of (the stages of) family life: Christian parents commit to rearing their children in the Church, the family being the Church in miniature, a domestic church. The earliest Christians became so mostly very differently. Adults and parents had a radical change of life: conversion by free choice but feeling powerfully impelled (by the Holy Spirit) adults converted from all over the Mediterranean world, as our Pentecost scriptures indicate their great diversity.
For cradle Catholics, I must say, it does take some “ah ha” moments, even “shockeroes” to internalize in a healthy manner Christian faith, hope and love, letting it become personally and deeply our own. Yet internalizing what is our relationship with the living God and His Son is continuous through life. A well internalized Christian faith, hope and love relationship with God impels us by the Holy Spirit’s work to externalize as well. Yes, let it be internal and external. Good deeds can very much communicate what is inside us. Actions speak louder than words, yet really, words used in speaking and writing are actions also, until our bodies are dead, we are always communicating, and even after that, come to think of it! So what if practically no one knows that any goodness, kindness, compassion and moral strength shown by us has to do with our internalized Catholic Christianity?
Christian ‘parenting’ and any time spent with others in person or through technology, facial expressions etc., is interaction and communication. The Lord Jesus never said: ‘hide me and your faith in me.’ Opportunities are here in our day to day lives to communicate God’s Word, and the Lord Jesus IS God’s Word. The Lord Jesus did say He would inspire and guide us by an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, on what to say (or communicate in some manner) as the time for it comes. Do a life search for the opportunities to in some way, subtle or obvious, communicate that Jesus Christ is centered in your life. Our behavior on the internet says something about us, what an example that is today. The ways and means abound today: family life, stories we tell, our use of social media, how and where we pray, and on and on. Promoting self is the way of the day, (no wonder we fall apart so easily or become mean and nasty). Something, anything we can do to promo God’s reality, that which is greater than us, and offers a way we cannot find on our own, is always needed. Learn well, get some confidence from prayer and keep adding to your life history incidents wherein you acknowledged God’s Word (Jesus Christ) perhaps more openly. St. Paul writes for us this week we read: “To each individual (believer) the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” God does marvels for us, let’s keep doing something specific for the Lord, manifest it, communicate it, there are so many means!