Baptizing the Culture

“And when [God] says, ‘Be not much with a strange woman,’ He admonishes us to use indeed, but not to linger and spend time with, secular culture.”

Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, Book 1, Chapter 5

Globus cruciger

A globus cruciger, an orb with a cross. It represents God’s authority over the world.

As Christians, we are asked to detach ourselves from secular culture, but still, we are also commanded to evangelize (Matthew 28:19-20) and immerse it in a sort of “baptism”. Here are five steps to doing this:

1. Be ubiquitous.

Catholic, derived from both Latin and Greek, means universal, and so we must apply the term in order to be with the Church. We should strive to mimic God’s omnipresence, to the best of our ability. Attend events at which you can enhance the Church’s influence.

2. Be obvious.

If you are a holder of the Faith, make this fact obvious. There should be no doubt as to where your loyalties are. For example, I enforce a habit of wearing a patch of the flag of the Holy See on my jacket. It’s an excellent conversation-starter, and it serves as a reminder to yourself and others that you are to be a good representative of the Church.

3. Be vocal.

Make your voice heard. Of course, be polite and remain approachable, but do not be afraid to express doctrines or correct the record. This trait will ensure that the message of the Church is communicated.

4. Be generous.

Charity and generosity are advised throughout Scripture (Proverbs 11:25, Matthew 10:42, 1 Timothy 6:17-19). If we apply these instructions to our lives, then not only will we have stored treasures in Heaven, but in addition, our words will be taken more seriously. Pope Francis understands this. Only so far in his pontificate, he has already made numerous gestures that have paid off in the form of good will from around the world. His servitude has inspired many to come back to the pews. Follow his example.

5. Be holy.

Everything else on this list pales in comparison to this final point. We are called to be holy, as God is holy (1 Peter 1:14-16). If people think of us as hypocrites, they will reject us, even if they like our message. This fact was of great concern to Christ, the Apostles, and the Church Fathers, who frequently urged the faithful to avoid scandal (Matthew 18:6, Romans 14:21, Summa Theologiæ [Part II, SP, Q. 43]).

Pope Francis wrote on Twitter: “If we live the faith in our daily life, then our work too becomes a chance to spread the joy of being a Christian.” Be these five things, and your work will not be in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Make sure to join me for a Live Chat with Shaun McAfee on Thursday, January 30 @ 8 PM Eastern time / 7 PM Central time. It should be interesting.

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One comment

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