Speak up for your faith!
Fr. Martino received this email – and wants to share with you!
Thank you for doing this series (MIB – Men In Black present Catholicism 101). I enjoyed it and learn a lot. I’m glad you are willing to educate us about the faith. I know it takes a lot of research to put together but I’m sure you find that your beliefs are deepened by the effort you put into preparing. I know I’ve learned more about other subjects and understood them better when I had to teach them to others.
Speaking of Protestants and their objections to our supposedly “talking to the dead or to statues of the saints”:
I tell them I know men who sit by their bed at night and talk to the picture of their deceased wife. They know she is gone and, in a physical sense, can’t hear them but the act of talking makes them verbalize their thoughts and feelings, much like they did when she was alive. When they do this, in a sense, God’s grace, which rains down on all of us without any effort on our part but just because of God’s love for us, they seem to get help in solving the problem they are “talking” to the picture about. Who wants to try and put limits on how God works? It’s His universe.
Speaking of Protestants who say “How can the Catholic church define who is a ‘saint’ or who is in heaven?”:
I tell them there are many men in combat who are brave and are heroes. Why do some get the Congressional Medal of Honor and not others? First of all, they did something that deserves honor. Others may have done something similar but someone noticed what this person did. They took up his “cause,”
saying “He deserves to be recognized for his action.” People look into it and, if all goes well, he receives the award. This doesn’t diminish what others have done; it doesn’t say they don’t deserve this. It simply says “Here is one person who is outstanding.” There are certainly others in heaven besides the ones the Catholic church has designated “Saint.” The “Saints,” like the Medal of Honor winners, are models for us. Those who live are respected and listened to when they talk around the country; they have “walked the walk.” (Besides, it says in the New Testament, “Whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” The Church has been given the right, and the mandate, to do this.)
We Catholics need to learn how to speak up for our faith. We don’t need to cower or to fear discussing this with others. Catholics do sometimes “shoot themselves in the foot” by the things we do or say. I had an uncle who didn’t go to mass but would not miss the Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I use to ask my mom, “How does this work? I thought the mass was the center of our religious faith.” You can see the same thing today in people who will send all the supposed latest statements of Mary from Majagoure or even from Conyers, GA some years ago.
We have people who hear of the image of Mary or Jesus appearing in the play of light on the windows of some tall building or in the browned bread of agrilled cheese sandwich and suddenly they have to go see this sight or try to buy this “item” on eBay. (I wonder why, if someone really thought that was Jesus’ face on a grilled cheese sandwich, he would want to sell it in the first place.)
Thank you for keeping us sane and focused.