If we are going to be Catholic spokesmen going public with our views, we have to pay special attention to our spiritual lives. I can see how easy it is to get bogged down in the blogosphere in the mire of negativity, in heated exchanges like we never encounter in our normal daily lives- like before in the days before the internet.
We have to keep thinking Big Picture- we are all on the way to facing Death- liberals, conservatives, hot/cold/lukewarm Christians- all of us are “on the bus”. If some on the bus with us are messed up and trying to mess with others, we have an obligation to step in and speak up- but doing so with hatred in our hearts and chosen words- well that defeats our good intentions right there. We have to keep asking ourselves if the persons we are going after are truly enemies of Jesus Christ, or just our personal objects of hatred. If someone is attacking with words Our Lord, Our God, Our Church- are we more concerned with the state of that person’s immortal soul, or with the fact that they are indirectly attacking us- going after What/Who we love the most?
I would suppose that most of us do a much better job of dealing with the foes of Christ/Church in face-to-face encounters, as opposed to internet communiques- and this is something to look at more closely. If Jesus is to be taken at face value in saying that just thinking of a lady inappropriately sexually is equal to adultery in the flesh- well I can see a corollary in our communications with human faces and through technological “distance”.
I see the challenge within myself because I care so much about things, I hate all the injustices and abuses in the world that I am around or a part of in some way- by way of my connections to nation and through my transactions and purchases in the global economy. I don’t want to be part of hurting or killing other people- particularly innocent persons, and most particularly children- unborn or young on earth. If I think I might be then I tend to react with a lot of emotion, a lot of righteous anger sometimes. I’m not always positive that the targets of my various crusades are really the villains, but I can’t just sit back and wait around until I’m 110% sure of myself and the reliability of my source data. So I know that I can’t pull back, but I also can’t say that there is zero chance that I am missing something important to making a judgment call on even major issues of concern. So what is the solution to my dilemma?
I can see two ways of dealing honestly with the above- first is to keep at the spiritual thing- prayer, spiritual reading and praise and worship of God Almighty in ways Sacramental and other. The second is to keep researching, keep thinking, and try to stay calm in communicating with others- particularly those who seem to be really off base, and even in grave spiritual danger by way of promoting ideas or direct policies that mislead or even harm/kill the “little ones’. My judgments may be dead-on, but maybe there is something or some way of communicating that might bring the Holy Spirit into the mix, and a heart could change or I could see my way to a place of deeper understanding for my own edification. The bottom line is that we are all dying, we are all going to be Judged eternally by Jesus Christ, and I want to do the very best by Him in my place as His public disciple and member of His Mystical Body. I want to face my own death knowing that I tried to love as Christ witnessed for me, and I tried to follow His Truth so as not to mislead anyone or frustrate His will in the work of saving souls. I know that the worse sort of anti-religious, anti-Catholic ingrate, could turn slowly or on a dime and become a St.Augustine or a Fr. Corapi. I must keep my own up and down spiritual journey in front of my thinking- to be humble- to keep looking and pointing to God in good times and bad, in happy moods and when anger swirls around inside my heart. God help us all- American Catholics and everyone who strives in goodwill for the truth and for love.