In 1 Timothy 1, v. 18-19, we read, ..."Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophetic words once spoken about you. Through them may you fight a good fight by having faith and a good conscience. Some, by rejecting conscience, have made a shipwreck of their faith... "
The portion of the Scripture I have italicized is so clear an indication what is expected of you and me. Fight the good fight, by keeping the faith and listening to your conscience. Rejecting conscience can lead one on a dangerous path away from God. This Scripture came to me as I was looking up something in the Catechism about having Faith. My thoughts were prompted into that direction as I was struggling with a couple a scary e:mails. People love to forward all sorts of sensational e:mail messages, some anonymously written, or simply forwarded with the author's name omitted, written in huge 36 pt. bold print, most of them scary and very negative. The thought that comes to mind is that Satan just loves to do this. He wants to scare us away from our Faith and our love for God. Please, think about what you are doing, do not unwittingly become his accomplice.
Then there are messages about the Church or what might happen to her - all sorts of evil. Don't listen to such predictions. Instead, fight the good fight and stick to your beliefs! What do we believe? It is all spelled out in the Creed. We've heard it at almost all Masses we attend (especially on Sundays), and by now most of us know it by heart, new translations notwithstanding. If we know it so well, do we listen to what we recite or pray every Sunday? Have faith and practice it.
I don't know why there are people who make up negative theories about the Vatican, the Holy Father, the Magisterium, but the Church will prevail, as a friend reminded me today. Let's fight the good fight by telling other people about Jesus Christ and why we believe what we do. Yes, that is Evangelization. Fear-mongering has the opposite effect.
Listen to Jesus, as I remind myself frequently, when reading messages that make no sense or are totally anti-Christ. Listen to His teaching in Holy Scriptures, and what He tells you in your heart as you share your day with Him in prayer and adoration. Use the Faith you have in some form of daily prayer, depending on the amount of time available. MAKE TIME TO PRAY! I pray parts of the Liturgy of the Hours, and at least one Rosary each day, and I strive to stick to that without fail. Sometimes I fall asleep on it, but that's OK, the intent is there. I try not to spend idle time on the Internet, just enough time to take care of the few websites I've been doing for the past 11 years. The Internet can be a dangerous place for people who are easily swayed by temptation. Watch out ... fight the good fight! By using your favorite "search engine" wisely, you can keep a lot of negative nonsense at bay.
March and April bring us to the holiest times of the year. The celebration of Lent, Holy Week, Easter Season, is the most special part of the Liturgical Year. Let us embrace the Christianity we received in our Baptism and renew our resolve to make our lifestyle more like that of Jesus Christ. The simple question "What would Jesus do?" in any given circumstance isn't a childish question at all, if we wish to follow Him - we must live like Him and strive to sin no more. Fight the good Fight, and keep on fighting for what He gives us.
God bless you!
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
March 17, 2012