Have you heard it said that Catholics should “Preach the Gospel at all times; and, if necessary, use words”?
It is a saying attributed to St Francis of Assisi, though the attribution is doubtful. While its admonition to sincerity and integrity of life is valid, I get the impression that it is sometimes wielded like a weapon to put Catholics who pipe up back in their box.
So let’s be clear: especially to long-suffering faithful who have been told to pipe down, words are necessary.
My eldest daughter recently moved out of home. The day before the big move, I helped her to receive and construct some new furniture at her new abode, and after that we road-tested the nearest coffee shop.
It was a great opportunity to say a few things that needed to be said. Actually, only two things – that I loved her and thought she was the most beautiful thing in the world.
Could it be that I didn’t need to say these things? Surely, she would know them.
No way! I needed to say them, out loud, with words, without ambiguity, face-to-face. These opportunities are moments of grace, not to be treated lightly.
The Importance of Words: See What God Does
God communicates in the same way. His works and words form an inner unity of the divine pedagogy; which is why he sends his angels and prophets to interpret divine signs and express with clarity his love and will for his children.
Words are why we stand to attention at Mass when we hear the actual utterances of Jesus in the Gospel. In concert with visions and miraculous spectacles, words form an integral part of the message of Fatima, spoken by Our Lady to the children for the urgent benefit of the world.
Image Credit: János Korom Dr. from Wien, Austria – Fatima 0371, CC BY-SA 2.0
On a much smaller scale, though still importantly, this very week is the 25th anniversary of my wife’s and my engagement. That proposal would have been pretty lame without words!
Through words, this blog aims to be a guide on the path to the narrow gate.
Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matt 7:13-14)
As Parousia’s director, Charbel Raish, introduced last week,The Narrow Gate will say what needs to be said; not so much opinion, as truth.
A new blog of original content will engage Parousia readers and supporters every week in a continuous conversation about the challenge and privilege of being a disciple of Jesus. There will be opportunities to go deeper by following the links that we will embed in the text. I’d also like to invite you to leave comments at the bottom of the page.
In the meantime, please remember to pray the Rosary daily, get to Mass weekly, and Confession, monthly.
In between time, daily prayer and reading of the Bible, making sacrifices and the vocation of charity (which begins at home), will open the channels of grace necessary to live the life of discipleship.