The funny thing about people is, that we often tend to conceal things about ourselves from others. What exactly we are concealing may vary– from my family I keep one thing, from my co-workers another, from my friends, another.
Maybe what we’re hiding about ourselves is a character flaw. Maybe it’s something we’re ashamed of (like addiction or failure). Perhaps it’s something we feel we might be judged harshly about– the way an author keeps their work completely private until publication. Most of the time, I think we keep secrets out of fear– fear of judgement, fear of derision, fear we will lose the respect of those around us, fear we’ll be stereotyped, etc.
I keep a lot of secrets. For example, I dont really let on to a lot of my fellow New Yorkers exactly how conservative I am, politically. Experience has taught me that sometimes blatant honestly leads to shouting matches, and if you’re not into that sort of thing, it’s easier to smile, say nothing, and keep your cards close to your chest.
I very rarely tell people, unless I know them well, that I was fired from my last professional job for what I suspect was my own incompetence. When people hear you were fired, they assume things: lazy, late, embezzlement, ect. Really the bottom line was that I just couldn’t keep up with the pace, having a newborn baby at home. Sleep deprivation is funny that way…heck for all I know I would have failed in that position even WITHOUT the newborn baby Scribbler!
So we keep secrets, or we downplay certain things, or we omit details to lead people to believe something that is not entirely accurate (which is a lie, by the way. I didnt used to think so, but I do know so now). We feel we can’t be entirely honest out of this fear.
I did not grow up in a religious family. This is not to say we were godless heathens– far from it! But we did not practice religion in our every day lives, and we did not practice religion as a family, in the sense that I now know to be possible. I do recall having conversations with my mother about God when I was little, but the details are rather fuzzy, and I think they were more about God in the general sense, than strict Catholic teaching. In fact I think the most in depth conversation I ever had about God occurred as a teenager, trapped in a vehicle on a five hour road trip with my mom and older brother, arguing about heaven and what it meant to different people. (Ahem….mine are an arguing people. Love them, but that’s what we do, we debate. Sometimes loudly :))
So here I am, going about my adult life, and having this huge aspect of my life that I’ve been significantly downplaying for the past 10 years or so. My faith and interest in the Catholic church and her rich history!
I don’t think it’s much of a shocker that I am a Catholic– nor that I am an actively practicing Catholic. That part is visible– I attend church and you can see me do it. But I think the depth of my faith, and my belief about salvation might be rather controversial within some of my own personal circles. I flat out reject the idea that we are all DEFINATELY going to heaven. I reject it because it is biblically unsound. I reject it because Church teachings reject it. I reject it after 10 years of intense soul searching, personal and spiritual failures, and documentable research into Scripture (both Jewish and Christian) and other ancient texts. The concept of “all paths to heaven” is a relatively new one– in the last century or so. It’s baloney.
I don’t believe in all paths to heaven. I believe God can save anybody He wants to– but I also believe that He has told us TIME AND AGAIN what we must do to gain entrance to paradise when we leave this world and enter the next. Ergo, I believe some of us are doing it WRONG (or worse, not doing it at all!). This isn’t to say that only Catholics go to heaven–far from it. God is judge, not any man! But it is to say that there is ONE Truth, and if we know what it is, we have a responsibility to bring it to others!
So, following this logic to it’s natural conclusion…I am really REALLY afraid for the salvation of several people I love. I believe them to be woefully uninformed about what’s going to happen to them on judgement day! And if you’re uninformed, you cannot prepare, and if you cannot prepare, then I pray unceasingly for God’s mercy!
As you are aware from reading this blog, my journey has brought me to the Bible, most of which I have never even glanced at before the past year. I have been reading the Gospel of Luke in depth. Imagine my surprise when I came across this little nugget two weeks ago:
“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.
I have a responsibility to be completely honest in my faith– even with those I fear may judge me for it. Even with those who might write me off as a religious whackjob and dismiss everything I have to say from that point forward!
I write this blog as a journal of sorts, while I learn things I didn’t know about Catholicism. As an avid follower of other blogs, I fully appreciate waht may be learned by reading another person’s thoughts and experiences, and so, I hope to possibly pass along some of my newly gained knowledge to others who might be reading. I also look for and encourage comments and feedback– even dissenting ones– so that I might learn and grow through defense of my faith.
How much can I possibly love my family and friends if I conceal from them what I know to be true about salvation!? How much can I love God if I conceal from my family what I know to be true about His word? I’ve been putting off sharing this blog link for several weeks, out of fear. Fear that putting myself out there completely will lead to derision (even if only behind closed doors) from those I love most. I know in my head this is irrational– but it sure feels risky to be completely honest. And yet, if we’re not COMPLETELY, transparently honest, aren’t we lying? If we downplay the Truth, isn’t it obvious that we “will be denied before the angels of God”!? Isn’t THAT thought enough to keep you awake at night?!
So here goes– link shared!