Is it necessary to use words

Can we communicate our Catholicity/Christianity without the use of words?

Philothea Rose has a post going on over at her place about this very thing and highlights the ease with which we can be drawn into secular social situatons and to our detriment not neccessarily reflect the truth of who we are as new creations…oh, the temptation to slide back into the realms of who we used to be in our pre-christian/pre-catholic days!

I concur with this observation.

Most of my social interacton revolves around relationships with non-Christians/non-Catholics, even in my own family environment. How is it that in wishing to continue the comfort zone of a relationship, we shove Jesus out of the door?

Or do we?

I don’t believe that it is neccessary to use words to preach the Gospel. I also don’t believe that all our words and actions have to exhibit ‘religious’ intent. My Catholicity is not just one part of my being, it is all that I am and in all that I do, it’s just reflected badly sometimes.

Last week while shopping, I bumped into an acquaintance of mine while checking out the groceries on the shelves of the supermarket.

I have come to know this lady as ‘cat woman’, for reasons that will not be hereby revealed. Her real name is Gladys, but when I talk to her it’s still on the tip of my tongue to call her ‘catwoman’.

After the initial hello’s, Cat woman drew the conversation to an area of comfort. This tends to happen in awkwardness or in familiarity, I believe it was familiarity that bought the subject of my ex husband into the discussion.

“He was a B”, she said, shaking her head seriously.

“Yes, he wasn’t the nicest person in the world”, I responded.

“You should never have married him”, said Cat Woman

“Yes, you’re right. But I was pregnant and I wanted my children to have a father in their lives”

“I don’t know how you put up with him, I’d have killed him”

“I almost did”, I laughed (little did she know that there was an element of seriousness in my response!)

“Do you still see him much ?”, Cat woman asked, curiously.

“Yes. He has contact with Wonderboy a couple of times a week”, I shrugged.

How did you get through all that…” said my friend, visibly perplexed

And I almost said;

“I just don’t know!”.

But before I knew it the Holy Spirit was prompting me…

“I got through it because of my faith in God. There’s no other explanation!”

An awkward moment followed.

This friend had lived just a few doors away from what was the marital home that I shared with my husband. She had heard and seen a lot of things during the 6 years I had lived there. Perhaps she was wondering if ‘faith’ would be enough to overcome such a traumatic experience?

Then she said.

“I used to go to church y’know”, looking suddenly quite teary.

“I didn’t know that”, I replied.

“Yes, up until I was about 17, I went every week. I loved it”.

“Yes, I know what you mean. I do too”.

The moment passed, but we’d touched on new ground.

“Well, I’d better get on with the shopping”, she said with a warm smile.

“Yes, I’d better do that too! And you know where I live (once again, in the same road as me, she moved here a couple of years ago!) if you want to stop by for a coffee and a chat, you’d be very welcome”

“I might do that”, she said, smiling.

For a moment, I wondered what had just happened.

And then I realised that God was at work in Asda. (Walmart) Cool or what!

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7 Responses to Is it necessary to use words

  1. A1 Success Force says:

    Very interesting premise. I think a person would need to be unshakeable in their faith to be a walking testament of it. Sounds to me like you are good example. Thanks for dropping by my site and also for making me think.

  2. ukok says:

    Thanks so much for your kind comment. It’s good to read your perspective on this, and I like what you said about ‘unshakeable faith’. Liked that a lot.

    God Bless!

  3. Lorna says:

    Great witness Deb

  4. Hector says:

    ukok, there’s a phrase often (and erroneously) assigned to St. Francis that goes like this… “Preach the Gospel at all times, use words if necessary.”

    St. Francis did say this in his rule “In Chapter XVII of his Rule of 1221, Francis told the friars not to preach unless they had received the proper permission to do so. Then he added, “Let all the brothers, however, preach by their deeds.””

    Yu did a wonderful job, not just by your words, but also by your presence.

    God bless you!

  5. ukok says:

    Hector, thanks so much, and that’s an interesting bit of info about St. Francis, I need to read more about him. I have a little booklet about him, I need to dig it out and find out about that myself 🙂

    God Bless you, and thankyou once again for your wonderful compliment,

  6. Lorna says:

    I’d heard it as

    Preach always, sometimes using words. It’s very close to what he meant isn’t it.

    James – good old James- tells us we need faith and works – so often we don’t put our faith into action, or our money where our mouth is.

  7. HeyJules says:

    Yep, had that happen a few times myself, lately. Pretty cool, eh?

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