Spiritual act of mercy: Be a good example when instructing

Receiving ashes in 2010

You might be like me and don’t feel like you have a knack for teaching. I know I have always been afraid of public speaking, so teaching — especially children — frightens me.

I also always thought I wasn’t knowledgeable enough in “Bible stuff” to teach anyone else. Who would want to listen to a wayward Catholic, struggling with her own faith?

Well, a few years ago, I was shocked when a friend of mine asked me to be her sponsor as she joined the Catholic Church. She said I was a good example and she was inspired by my faith.

Wait, what?

At the time, I had been a college student at a Big 10 university known for its drinking habits. I had gone with this friend to many a party, flirted with many guys and did many non-Christian things, in my eyes. I even had a roommate at one point who was super Christian, and my friends and I thought she was acting silly at some points (wouldn’t wear a bathing suit, never kissing a boy or drinking.)

Yet, I still dragged my butt to church weekly, even at the 9 p.m. Sunday Mass in sweatpants. I did, at one point, decide to become a Eucharistic minister, but that was it. I didn’t really read my Bible in front of her or speak in tongues … I acted up like many college students.

Despite all this, I was a good example of the Catholic Church, according to this friend.

So, this is a great way, and many the most important way, we can instruct the ignorant or uneducated. We need to be living examples of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

You don’t need to be perfect; none of us can be as sinners. But if we live humbly and continue to strive to change our ways under God’s guidance, I think we can be great examples.

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21

Read part 1 here.


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