Celebrate the Opportunity for Changing Hearts

Photo by Flickr user Hitchster

In my last blog I put every Catholic on high alert about what is happening with Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary; and President Obama regarding the issue of religious freedom.

Today we’re going to take it down a notch.

The Chinese symbol for “crisis” and “opportunity” are one and the same.

What is happening in the United States right now is a phenomenal opportunity.  It gives Catholics a natural opening to reach out to non-Catholics and fallen away Catholics by  addressing many of the misconceptions about the Church’s teachings.

The good news is you don’t have to in essence have a new part-time job to be a responsible, effective, and educated Catholic in the political world.  Here’s what I suggest:

  • Attend to your primary vocation. If you are at a very difficult spot in your personal or faith life, please do not bother yourself with the politics and don’t feel guilty about it.  God wants you to focus on your primary responsibilities and do them well.  There are others who are in more stable spots who can carry the load right now.  Remember we’re in this together; we’re the Body of Christ.
  • Pray and know that God is in control. God works in mysterious ways.  What looks like a disaster at the moment could end up being the tipping point in favor of natural law and God’s plan.
  • Stay informed. At the minimum, read selected articles in the newspaper.  In particular, I have found LinkedIn groups such as Catholic Networkers to provide stimulating discussion.  The contributors are intelligent thinkers and  have helped me consider aspects of the issue from a fresh perspective.
  • Stay on task. The side supporting the HHS mandate wants to make this a national referendum on artificial birth control, when the issue is religious freedom.    This is just like when you are fighting with your husband and he tries to throw up transient issues to deflect the conversation.  It will be unproductive; don’t go there.
  • Know your faith and respectfully engage in dialogue.  If a non-Catholic or not well formed Catholic does want to dialogue with you about their problem with a teaching of the church, for example, artificial birth control, by all means respectfully do it.

A lot of time this is where many Catholics get stuck.  They do not fully understand the teaching or they have trouble articulating it.   The first concern is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS put the person over winning the issue.  This is a soul, whose door the Holy Spirit is knocking on.  Relax and let his God do his thing.

In the next blog I will give a quick rundown of the concerns the Church has with artificial birth control.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships:  Live each day with the understanding that God is in control and that no point is worth alienating another person, particularly a soul whose heart is starting to open.