Guilty Or Innocent?

7 Jun

“If our Church is not marked by caring for the poor, the oppressed, the hungry, we are guilty of heresy.”  ~ Ignatius Loyola

There are too many Christians-by-name and not Christians-by-deed in this world.  No one, and I truly mean no one, can call himself or herself a Christian if he or she does not live as a Christian.  What is it like to live as a Christian, you might ask?  I would posit that there are two realms to focus upon: the inner and outer self.

We need to keep our inner self as aligned with the Lord as possible.  We do this by praying regularly, by going to Mass as often as we can, by stopping into church and visiting the Blessed Sacrament, by reflecting upon the goodness of God, by celebrating God’s mercy in going to confession, and by reading scripture and other religious books.  This list is by no means exhaustive.  There are many other ways to care for the inner self.

With attention to the inner self under control, we need to view our outer self and fine tune that as well.  The outer self of a Christian is easily identifiable when the person feeds the poor, visits the shut-in, attends to the hospitalized or those in nursing homes, teaches someone how to pray, leads others in prayer, and stands up for those rejected or ostracized by others.  As with the list for the inner self, this list is not exhaustive either.  There are many other examples of Christians actively helping others as they live the faith.

Doing what is many times unseen by others — caring for the inner self — helps the Christian to do the things that are seen — the outer/visible self.  If someone spends all sorts of time working on his or her inner self but shows nothing to others that person has wasted an incredible amount of time.

FAITH ACTION:  Don’t wait for others to do what needs to be done.  Care for the poor, the oppressed, and the hungry that you might encounter today.