A Light For The World: Single Catholics Make A Difference


Shining Lantern

Life in America today is not easy for a lot of people. The economy is poor, jobs are scarce, and it seems like people who want to do the right thing are attacked for it. A business owner cleans up a vacant lot next to his own business at his expense, and the city sues him for it. An Army veteran comes under attack by his homeowner’s association for flying the American flag on his property. A mother has her children taken away by her ex-husband because she was labeled a fanatic for practicing her Catholic faith.

 

These situations and millions more like it reveal the truth about our society today: right is wrong and wrong is right. Morality is not tolerated anymore, and immorality of every kind is the law of the land. But as Christians, we are called to let our light shine, as we heard in the gospel readings yesterday and today. So how, as a single person, do you accomplish this in a way that makes a difference?

 

Well, making people think without saying a whole lot is really effective. Allow me to use my brother, Patrick, for a bit of humorous illustration…

 

In the grocery store, instead of requesting paper bags over plastic, he’ll ask for the stainless steel bags. Inevitably, the clerks pause with confusion.

 

He approached a female clerk behind the counter in a 7-11 store once and said, “I had my leg amputated this morning and it really hurts. Do you guys sell Tylenol here?” The clerk actually looked over the counter edge to see if he had both legs.

 

My favorite, though, was when he was walking through a parkinglot and saw a bumper sticker on a car that read, “Question Authority.” The owner was just leaving his car and Pat said, “Hey, I like your bumper sticker.” The guy smiled and said, “Yeah, right?” Then Pat said, “But who gave you the authority to tell me to question authority?” The guy looked confused and just said,”What?” Pat repeated the question. “Who gave you the authority to tell me to question authority?” At that point the guy just turned away, angry. He couldn’t even think it through because all that slogan really meant to him was “rebell.”

 

And I think that’s a huge problem today. People don’t think things through, they rebell. If they actually thought their position through, they might find out they’re wrong and would be faced with having to do the right thing, which is likely unpopular. So they latch on to politically correct ideas and causes without really understanding what they are taking a stand for. Their passion is strong, but their conviction is only one layer deep and if you challenge them, all they do is get angry and lash back because they cannot defend their position.

 

I am a firm believer that if you want to make a difference in people’s lives, you must first, be solid in your own beliefs and values and second, approach all people and situations with love. Meaning, recognizing the value of every soul and treating them with kindness and friendship. That’s how people notice who you are and what you’re about. They see the light of Christ that is shining within you and they will be attracted to that.

 

As a single person, humor is always a great way to attract people. Here are some other tips for how you can affect someone and make him/her think, simply by being yourself:

 

  • Be Honest. Taking the honest approach in everything you do and say. No exaggerated statements, no lies, no private revenge for someone who’s hurt you, no excuses when you’ve made a mistake. Just an honest responsibility for everything you do.
  • Be Pure. Not using foul language, telling off-color jokes, or participating in gossip speaks louder than you can imagine. And beyond that, dating with the commitment to avoid sexual intimacy sends a message that makes many others uncomfortable about their own behavior and makes them think (whether they admit it or not).
  • Be Joyful! So many people believe that you have to be bad to have fun in life. But as a single person who is honest and chaste, you’ll really make them think when they see your joy for living life. You exemplify the freedom you have from being a slave to sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. People were attracted to Christ because of who He was and the same will be true for you.

 

Of course, the actual conversions are not up to us, they depend upon God’s grace and the openess of the person being affected. But we still need to do our part. So go ahead and place your light on a lampstand for all to see. You will be a guide for those in the darkness.






3 Comments

  1. Stephen-725391 September 24, 2012

    I recognize that blog articles have a word limit and so the comments sometime expand on the subject.

    The Catholic Church teaching is that sex outside of marriage is a NO NO! And frankly, I and a whole lot of other Catholics – married, not married, separated and widow/widower – can attest, after the fact, to the NO NO position. The Church doesn’t do a real good job of presenting the reasons, arguments etc for that position.

    Even you, Lisa, though your articles (The 2nd Most Common Post-Divorce Dating Mistake: Sex
    Posted on July 7, 2011 by Lisa Duffy; ‘The Best Sex You’ll Ever Have…’
    Posted on September 15, 2011 by Lisa Duffy), and you have a lot of them, lack what I think this following quote from Dr. Laura Schlessinger does!

    The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage by Dr. Laura Schlessinger (2007) at page 117 of the paperback edition.

    “It is not unusual for people to underestimate the importance of common values, goals and ideals because they’re swept away by sexual pleasures; this has been a strong argument against unmarried sex which virtually eradicates rational, objective thinking and assessment. When people have great, exciting sex and a lot of fun together, they often imagine marriage a simple extension of those pleasures throughout all eternity.”

    It is interesting to note this particular phrase – “virtually eradicates rational, objective thinking and assessment”! The following is the language of Canon 1095.2 – “grave lack of discretion of judgment concerning essential marital rights and duties” – which is by some commentators constitutes the major ground for annulments since it was added to Canon Law in 1983 by John Paul II. Strangely and eerily similar, if not, identical in meaning!

  2. Meesch-691047 September 25, 2012

    Catholics are meant to be a light for the world (single or otherwise)

  3. Joe-890299 September 27, 2012

    I thought the article was funny, but agree with ol’ Stephen on the church’s No-No position. The “light” appears to be a little dimmer here. Now, I am, or was, a full-fledged catholic with the B & the 3 big C’s. [Baptised;Communion,1st; Catechism & Confirmation)

    I find that logic to be as appeasing as getting marriage counseling from an unmarried priest, some of whom have been too much in the news lately! I think catholic priests should be able to be married, as in their counter-parts in the Catholic- Lite denomination: Lutheran religion!

    How do you know whether or not you’ll have compatibility issues beforehand? Aside from the statistical view of what food item lessens the sexual desire in women? Answ: Wedding cake!

    This is my story an’ I’m stickin’ to it!! Well, at least the article title wasn’t called: Faith, HOPE & CHANGE!! I’ve had enough of that in the last 4 yrs!

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