Yeah...Lord, we need to talk about this. Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful verse, powerful, uplifting, just great! But honestly...
Let me tell You something: People hate people that are not ashamed of Your Holy and Life-Saving Gospel and think we're a bunch of crazy people (and You have to admit, a lot of us are and probably scandalize the Church to death because we can so judgmental, hypocrital, and anti-everything to the point that we aren't what people want to be around) and that's not the impression I want people to have of me!
I'ma be real with You, it is not fun living in a world with a conscience that makes you feel guilty about everything that seems fun and helpful and stress-relieving. Besides, how are we supposed to bring people to You if they can't stand being around us in the first place?
Most westerners live in societies where anything that has to do with Christianity is frowned upon and cast off as bad, hateful, prehistoric, medieval (although this isn't bad in all cases), etc. They ain't trying to hear what we have to say about the Church and her Truths and doctrines. All the waves of the hands in the face, and the deer-in-a-headlight looks (love that expression), and us feeling like we have spiders crawling out of our ears is frustrating with a capital F.
|What society thinks Christianity is|
See, everyone is focused on the future that they forget the here and now. It's appalling to people that one can damn themselves to Hell eternally because of one thing, but then when you bring up repentance and forgiveness and just try again, then they're all like "Oh that's hypocritical!" Shouldn't it logically follow in their minds that if one can damn himself to Hell for one bad thing, that someone can save their soul by one good thing? (Calvinists, please me your mouths shut here please and thanks).
Society seems hell-bent (no pun intended) on finding the virtue in the ungodly, but also finding the vice in those who are trying to work out their salvation.
People question religion so they can find excuses not to believe and are not always interested in learning, hence they'll create strawmen such as the following:
--If God's real, why did He let the Holocaust happen?
--If God's real, why does He let innocent people die in car accidents and from other painful, agonizing diseases?
--If God's real, why is there poverty?
--How come Christians are so hateful?
--So, I'm gay or I have sex outside of marriage, am I going to Hell?
--I'm not Catholic, am I going to Hell?
--The Holy Scriptures are man-made and people kill each other over that book, your religion is fake, why do you follow that?
You give them an answer, and it's insufficient. You show them a flaw in their reasoning, and they strangely don't hear what you said...
Then there are the questions of people who are less antagonistic and ask real questions such as:
--If you have to believe to go to Heaven, what about people who've never heard the Holy Gospel?
--What happens to children who die without the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Baptism?
--What if you witness someone trying to kill your family, if you kill that person, is it still murder and sinful?
--I was never taught a religion, how do I know that the Catholic Church is right out of all the religions in the world?
--Where do those go who lived their whole lives as good people and never did anything bad, but just didn't believe? Are they in Heaven or Hell?
These questions are harder to answer surprisingly and take lots of explanation, but people can generally agree to disagree after questions and answers like this, whereas the antagonistic ones are simple to answer usually, and just feed the hatred and animosity between the believers and the non-believers. Interessant...
But then again, on the Catholic side, some of Your servants do need to chill for real. A lot of us can have holier-than-thee attitudes and it's disgusting and they need to meditate on spiritual arrogance (a subset of spiritual pride). Many of us need to stop belittling others that do not agree with us. And I hate, absolutely HATE, that some Catholics (usually in the rad trad crowd) will shun you, insult you, and slander/keep their distance from you if in their mind you're Hell-bound. Ummm...shouldn't they be spending more time with thsoe people to try and help them?
Basically, Lord, what I'm saying is...help a brotha out! It's hard enough trying to practice virtue; we don't need to be outcast on the same token that just makes it more difficult.
And yes, I am mindful of these verses:
"Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also." --Holy Gospel according to St. John XV, 20
"Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:" --Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew V, 11