Thursday, March 10, 2011

Charity on the internet

Something I have noticed on the internet recently is an awakening, a new zeal in Catholics being informed about their faith and having a desire to share this with others. It is wonderful to see people excited about truth...wonderful, beautiful, life-giving truth.

But I think that from time to time many of us are so used to operating in this culture of hard-hitting, investigative journalism that we might be tempted to drift into writing or speaking in a sarcastic tone. I’ve noticed that many Catholics will chide their opponents in a similar way that is seen in political news programs. While I understand that there is a desire to present the Church as something that is relevant to our culture, I think that this misguided attempt often borrows the flaws of the secular culture in the process.

The Church is relevant on its own merit. It does not need to be dressed up or promoted in such a flashy manner. “Noble simplicity,” a term that is often defined incorrectly to argue for stripping liturgies and churches of beautiful traditions and art, would be much better utilized to describe the manner in which we are called to share our faith. We are called to be holy in the noble simplicity of everyday life. “It is obvious then to all that all of Christ’s faithful, no matter what their rank or station, have a vocation to the fullness of the christian life and the perfection of charity and that this sanctity results in the promotion of a more humane way of life even in society on earth,” (Lumen gentium, 40). The simplicity of holiness makes the Church relevant. To the extent that we are participants in the holiness of the Church, we share in this communion of mission.

Believe me, I am often, and I mean OFTEN tempted to say something snarky to those whose views contradict reality, but sometimes I look at words I had just written on my computer screen and it occurs to me that my intentions were not born out of love, but out of a desire to have people chuckle at my clever comebacks (which, upon a second reading, are not even that brilliant!) If you have followed my blog and have no idea what I’m talking about, praised be God! He is doing a great job of editing. If, however, you have been able to recognize my struggle in presenting the faith joyfully, without ever being condescending towards those whose positions I am incensed by, it is because I am getting in my Editor’s way.

Please keep all of us who are attempting to spread the faith on the internet in your prayers. We are attempting to bring the light of Christ into a venue that is ridden with hostility and self-gratification. Pray that we stay close to Christ in this mission so that we don’t fall into the same errors we are attempting to correct.


  1. Wonderful post Beth! Nothing makes me sadder than rude and hurtful remarks in a comment box.

    Love your new profile picture-very cute!

  2. Thanks, Anne. I keep laughing at it everytime I see it...a serendipitous snapshot of my life.