By Diocesan John
As we receive constant reports of Christians refusing to convert to Islam and being executed I wonder how many in this Britain would offer their lives in the same way. Is our Christianity, and our Catholic Faith in particular, strong enough to make us stand up and say “I would rather die” I suppose the answer is found in just how much we really believe in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ gave us the litmus test when he said “If you love me keep my Commandments”. He did not say keep my rules, feed the poor, and be kind to one another – he said “Keep my Commandments” So what are his Commandments? Yes, we can all say they are there in scripture and we all do our best to keep them but we cannot, so let us talk about something else. Let us just do what we can and give to the poor.
Now it is a fact that we all fall short of keeping the Commandments but we have to be honest with ourselves. If we decide not to bother with them because we cannot keep them, and put them down to rules that really mean nothing for we are so good at doing other things, where in this is the love that Christ demanded. I sometimes hear that teachers are frustrt4ed because although we have Catholic Schools they know that over 90% of pupils are not interested in the Catholic Faith by the time they are 14 years old. The answer is of course that they see nothing different in the teachers because they call themselves Catholic. They see nothing different in the Catholic Communities because they call themselves Catholic. Of course there is great camaraderie in the Community and great talk of welcoming, inclusiveness, Communities of Faith, but they still do nothing different the would attract them. I have still to hear of a child ask teacher, priest, or lay person why they are so obviously different, for they obviously to the child are not. It all comes back to the question of how much you love Jesus and how much you try to live the way he wants you to live rather than the way you want to live. If a child ignores its parents its parents will feel hurt and that the child does not really love them. It is the same with God.