Tuesday, March 15, 2016


When other religions ridicule traditional Catholics, their biggest complaint against us seems to be that we are cold, rigid and judgmental

As much as we may try to deny it, a sweet, joyful, and merciful heart is not easy to acquire, and in order to obtain it we must make mortification, humility, and charity an integral part of our lives.

We so easily get wrapped up in the troubles, cares, and politics surrounding us that we often neglect making these virtues a priority.  We tend to become super strict about petty little things, while our advancement in the spiritual life is placed in the back of our minds.  People from other religions see this, and how we do not live what we preach.  Such then turns them away from embracing the Faith.

Of course there are those among us who do try their utmost to live good, exemplary, and virtuous lives.  I am very grateful to know a number of such tenderhearted people myself.  They have helped me to see how cold, rigid and judgmental I naturally am, and they have inspired me to make an attempt to become a change these imperfections of mine.  It is one of my greatest desires; to become more like them so that I may help inspire others as much as they have inspired me!

It is only is the past couple years that I have begun to realize how much more of a good effect a tenderhearted person has upon Catholics than those who try to force their opinions and judgments upon others.  In Chapter 6 of Fr. Faber's book, Growth in Holiness, he writes that:

"A man is annoyed with sacred things when they are unseasonably forced upon him, and this even a well-meaning importunity may be a source of sin."

Saint Pius X also realized that this was a common error in modern times, and wrote the following in relation to this in his encyclical "To Restore All Things in Christ":

"It is vain to hope to attract souls to God by a bitter zeal.  On the contrary, harm is done more often than good by taunting men harshly with their faults, and reproving their vices with asperity."

Not only is tenderheartedness necessary in order to help others, but it is also crucial for our own salvation.  Here is what Fr. Faber has written about this matter in his book, Growth in Holiness, (Pg. 78):

"The absence of tenderness in religion is often of itself enough to stay a man's growth in holiness...A man may be in a certain sense religious: he may fear God, hate sin, be strictly conscientious and desire to save his soul.  All of these are excellent things.  But you cannot say that the saints were men of this sort.  They had about them a sweetness, a softness, a delicacy, a gentleness, and affectionatenesss, nay, I will dare to say, a poetry, which gave quite a different character to their devotion.  They were living images of Jesus.  This, in our far inferior measure and degree, we also must strive to be, if we would grow in holiness."

It is true that we must stubbornly hold fast against all error and sin.  Yet, let us do so with such an exemplary kindness and benevolence, so that all who see us will be edified by our mere presence.  

And, perhaps, one day, we will eventually do so much good so that the devil say every time that we awake in the morning: "Oh, no!  He's up!"

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