The other day I received an interesting email, through my online store, from someone who leans toward the side of anti-Catholic. It was the latest in what appears to be a new monthly email blast that started about 6 months ago. It was entitled “Dear Catholic, do you know for sure if you are going to heaven?”. This particular email was very similar to other religious “discussions” I’ve been privy to in the past. The sender is apparently Protestant and seems to disagree vehemently with the Catholic Church on many issues. One of those issues involves what it takes to get into Heaven. For example he said: “we should trust Jesus alone, and not Jesus and our goodness, or Jesus and our church, or Jesus and our ability to love God and our neighbor”. Unfortunately , since the email address he gave me was fake (no such user), I thought it best to post my response here, just in case he was interested in hearing it. Although I had a hard time finding the right words, hopefully this will help him understand better.
Dear Anti-Catholic Christians,
As to your discussion, I can tell you are very devoted to Jesus and continuing to build your personal relationship with Him. What a wonderful thing to hear!! With all the scary stuff going on in the world today, it is so heartening to hear from people who love God and wish to expose others to His love as well. Unfortunately part of being Catholic means taking a lot abuse and judgment from other Christians. That’s just the way it is. But for me, personally, I see every day as an opportunity to make Jesus proud. Life is a journey. We are all given daily opportunities to learn and evolve, but only if we are open to it (through free will). Personally, I believe learning from life’s most difficult lessons can help one grow (spiritually and emotionally), giving us the opportunity to be an example of God’s love through thoughtful, loving action instead of misdirected or unresolved anger, or power issues resulting from our past experiences. Maybe in doing so, others might learn from our example and choose to open themselves up to God instead of being stuck in a more mundane, selfish, or defensive place.
But there is one major difference between myself and other religious folks I’ve run into over the years. I’ve never assumed God’s plan for me involved standing in judgment of others. God’s perspective regarding men’s hearts/souls is VASTLY ENORMOUS and I’m just a simple woman who doesn’t have access to the grand perspective He does. As far as judging others and their beliefs, I believe God is very capable of taking care of that stuff on His own. Instead, I choose to love (and at times) forgive those around me while trying to live as a good example. That is the best I can do.
As far as being Catholic, I love my church and the people in it. Fortunately, due to the massive amount of emotional and judgmental aggression I’ve experienced from other people (many of them Christians) throughout my lifetime I’ve learned, and chosen, to let the hate pass while saying extra prayers for those who choose to attack and judge me too harshly. I know most people’s hearts are in the right place and they think they are doing God’s work, but unfortunately, as humans, we don’t always realize when we’ve wandered away from God and crossed that line toward a pursuit of self esteem through judgment and power over others in God’s name. But that’s just the way our human flaws work isn’t it?? Being a flawed human is soooooo hard sometimes.
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you again for your concern.
Take care and God Bless,
Rosaries by Speziale