19 May 2017
Living a Catholic Christian life is both simple and difficult. The commandment Jesus gives us is pretty simple: Love one another. It’s as simple as the two Great Commandments: Love God with every ounce of your being, and love your neighbor as yourself. But exactly how to do that is where the difficulty so often seems to come in.
Way back when, before mass communication, new trends in thinking were maybe slower in getting around. Life was maybe simpler because of it. But now, with social media and the internet, everybody has a platform to preach his or her message. Everybody has a place to express their thoughts and beliefs on every topic under the sun, including the Catholic faith. And so, trying to stay on the “straight and narrow” can be much harder.
And maybe that’s similar to the situation in the early Church, where people were getting concerned because of some incorrect preaching they’d heard. Instead of resting in Christ, they were getting worried that maybe they weren’t living their Christian life correctly. And they started to feel lost. So the Apostles spoke up in order to bring clarity and restore peace.
But the Apostles themselves didn’t go; instead, they sent representatives. And the remarkable thing is that the people listened to those representatives just as attentively as if the Apostles themselves had been there speaking to them. Those representatives were upstanding people, faith-filled, and totally committed to the Lord and the teaching of the Apostles. And in that we can take a lesson.
If we find ourselves questioning if we’re living our Christian life correctly, we have to wonder: Who have we let disturb us in spirit? And who is a person (or people) who we recognize as having the authority and trustworthiness of the Lord himself? We can always go to the saints, to their spiritual writings. We can go to the writings of the Church, the Councils, the popes and bishops. We turn to those people whom we experience as channels of God’s mercy.
When our discipleship in Christ becomes confusing, those are the people who’ll make it clear again. Those are the people who can lead us back to the simple and peaceful ways of Christ.