Recently, I noticed how my children tend to mirror their friends in what they are doing. My oldest needed the same shoes his friend had. My daughter wants to be in gymnastics and “practices her moves” because the neighbor girl takes classes. My youngest copies what his brother says and will often appear in the same color shirt and shorts his brother is wearing in order to be like him.
It is a part of human nature to want to fit in with those around us and to copy what we see others doing.
It gives us a sense of belonging and similarity. We feel connected when we are in the same plane as others we like and respect.
When it comes to the faith of our Catholic Church, it is our responsibility to learn the truths thoroughly so we can hold our ground when speaking with others. We are not to succumb or follow others in their faiths and practices just because it feels nice to be accepted.
The great writer and Catholic saint Josemaria Escriva succinctly said
“To compromise is a sure sign of not possessing the truth. When a man gives way in matters of ideals, of honour or of Faith, that man is a man without ideals, without honour and without Faith.”
We must know what we believe and why we believe it before we can hope “hold our ground.”
Our first step as strong Catholic Christians is to know what we believe in. We cannot be tempted by the words of others to doubt tenets of our Faith. We must ask the Holy Spirit frequently to keep the Truth before our eyes.
St Josemaria also cautioned:
“Be uncompromising in doctrine and conduct. But be yielding in manner. A mace of tempered steel, wrapped in a quilted covering. Be uncompromising, but don’t be obstinate.”
So do not be afraid to explain yourself; then let others explain themselves and pray to have planted a seed of truth in their mind and doubt in their false belief. We are not called to win every argument, but we must make an argument for the sake of Truth.
“The charity of Jesus Christ will often lead you to make concessions. That is very noble. And the charity of Jesus Christ will often lead you to stand your ground. That too is very noble.”
Sometimes we can confuse being meek and humble with giving in to others’ wrong beliefs. That is not the extent of these virtues. They are gifts of inward spirituality and help us be mindful that all we are and have comes from our Creator and not from our doing. These Gifts will reflect outwardly when others see us but they do not cause us to cave in to falsehoods.
We are called to spread the Gospels by our actions and by our words. If it is truly our most important calling, we must carry it out with vigor and certainty. When others speak adding confusion and making “grey” areas, we must pray for clarity and the Holy Truth to shine forth. When our little children “mirror” their peers, we must do our best to make sure they have good examples around them.
A last thought from the saint on being unbending in what we know as Holy Truth:
“If in order to save an earthly life it is praiseworthy to use force to stop a man from committing suicide, are we not to be allowed use the same force — holy coercion — to save the Life (with a capital) of many who are stupidly bent on killing their souls?”
So be not afraid to know God’s Truths and stand your ground when it comes to defending them.