The other week we sent an email about living the Gospel radically (I also posted it on our blog here). This email generated quite the response from subscribers. We had several emails thanking us affirming that it was just what they needed to hear, but also many people who misunderstood and/or disagreed. We also had many unsubscribe from our mailing list.
What was interesting is that most of the responses confirmed what we said in our last email : the mainstream media portray Muslim radicals and extremists as not true adherents of Islam, when in fact they are carrying out Islam faithfully. And the unfortunate message that comes out of this is that radicalization and being an extremist are bad for any religion.
The truth is that being a radical Catholic Christian radical is different than others. We are called to sell all that we possess, feed the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned, clothe the naked, love your enemies. How is that wrong or bad? This is exactly what the world needs! This is living the Catholic faith in a radical way!
The word “radical” comes from a late, Middle English origin (in the senses “forming the root” and “inherent”): from late Latin “radicalis,” from the Latin “radix, radic” meaning “root.”
The early Christians went to the root of their faith. They affirmed that Christ, God incarnate, claimed uniqueness and supremacy, as in “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Yet He is love. Unlike Muslims, our radical call is not to violence and suppression, but to love and sacrifice.
We have many examples of those who were radical in their faith and took it to the extreme – one just needs to read stories of the Saints. The most recent example of living the Gospel radically are the 21 Coptic martyrs that died with Jesus on their lips (and I am sure praying for their executioners).
We are living in a post-Christian society (which our lukewarmness of faith is to blame) which diametrically opposed to our Christian faith. We are called for the first time in history, since the early Christians in the Roman amphitheatres, to be true living witnesses of the faith.
It was the radical love of Catholic Christians for their neighbours, brothers and sisters, the extreme distain for abortion, slavery and hedonistic living that saved souls and won the entire known world for Christ.
We Catholic Christians are called to live the Gospel radically, for some that could cost them their life, but for most we will lose our job, reputation, family or friends for Christ.
Are you willing to live for Christ at the expense of worldly things?
If that thought makes you unsettled, why? Have we become too attached to the comforts of this world? If you aren’t willing to die (in small ways or in big ways) for something, then what are you living for?
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:24-27)
Lose your life for Christ in the big and small things and live the Gospel radically. In so doing you will store treasures in Heaven and you hopefully will bring some souls along with you.