At face value, what is the difference between a Catholic and a Non-Catholic? Is it a matter of class, unbrokenness or value? Should it be? Lately I have had the mixed blessing of coming into contact face to face with my brokenness, as well as meeting other’s brokenness. It is a part of us where as Christians we go through extraordinary lengths to keep hidden and locked away those parts of us that reveal any weakness, or any tinge of disproportion within us.
Let’s face it, sin is a scary thing. Not in the way that Dracula is scary, but scary in a sobering example such as cheating on a spouse or having to battle any type of drug addiction. Sin is scary because it can concretely damage the good things of our world. Even if onions did fend off Dracula, we all would rather take our chances facing Dracula than facing the sin in our lives because we know at the end of the day which one can do the real damage. I’ll put it this way, the leading cause of divorce in America is not Vampires.
My question in all of this is to stand and ask, “When did being a Christian come to mean we have it all figured out?”. If anything as Christians we should be the quickest to point out to the world that we aren’t perfect and are in desperate daily need of a Savior. We should be the people most aware of our own fragility in our world! If we go around pitching ourselves as infallible, perfect, and flawless who is ever going to believe we need a Savior?
Everyone on this Earth faces sin, the difference that the Christian displays to the world is that we do not fear our brokenness because we personally know the remedy. We know Jesus. We don’t fear sin because we have a living relationship with the one who is actively saving us. Being a Christian doesn't mean your saved once, it means you have committed to allowing Jesus to save you everyday of the rest of your life. Our peace stands on the Infallible words of Christ, not our own. We can't promise Jesus we won't ever sin again, we definitely will try (and should) therefore, our peace stands on Christ and his promise to us that he will be there to save us everyday of our lives. His mercies are new every morning and he never tires in saving us!
So what does it mean to be a Christian? It means we know Mercy. It means we’ve met Mercy, we walk with Mercy and we go forward carried only by Grace and Mercy. When our co-workers look upon us they should see not a soul that is perfectly self-sufficient, but a soul that is in an intimate relationship with Mercy. What good is the Cross if we never admit we are sinners? During this week when we celebrated the most Glorious Feast Day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on Monday, may we embrace the Cross in holy love and unending gratitude. Imagine how many more people would come flocking back to the Church if we truly showed ourselves as the Church of present sinners and future saints. Imagine how much more peaceful our own lives would be if we left behind the facade of perfection and instead wore Divine Mercy as our garment of Glory.