By Maria Sermersheim
Catechetical Sunday reflection
How do I share my faith?
In writing this, I was compelled to ask myself why I share my faith in the first place, and why I believe it must be shared with such fervor. Why must I ask the question of how; why is sharing the faith important in the first place?
I realized the answers are very much the same: I share my faith because I believe it is the ultimate truth, “a meaning [that I am] quite incapable of destroying, …[because of which I] can and must cheerfully and intrepidly do the work of history.” It is because I know the truth and the truth brings me joy that I must share it. Of course, Pope Benedict XVI expressed this sentiment perfectly when he said, “Faith must become in us the flame of love, a flame that truly ignites my being, becomes the great passion of my being and so ignites my neighbor.”
Thus, I share my faith in every way – intentionally and unintentionally, explicitly and implicitly. It is an absolute mix of evangelical mediums because I try to let Christ’s truth pervade my entire life, and I hope it shines through in every instance. Every occasion demands its own specific response, too.
There is no hard and fast rule that I adhere to when I share the faith except that I believe the Catholic faith has a primary claim to the Truth, and I believe that Truth necessarily affects everything. I also believe joy is a natural consequence of confidence in and knowledge of the Truth. Joy is obviously appealing to everyone, and I hope that the joyful fruit of my faith draws others closer to the truth that God is Love, and we are all meant to be in communion with him and each other.
Supported by the truth, strengthened by joy and motivated by love, I share my faith by inviting others into my life. I love to share what I love because I want others to share in my joy.
I invite everyone from my closest friends to people I’ve just met to come with me to campus ministry events and prayer services and socials hosted by the Congregation of Holy Cross. I try to really engage with people and let them see God’s love through me, and I try to witness God’s love for me through them.
I try to share the faith by recognizing the incredible dignity and uniqueness of each person and responding authentically to who they are and bringing them into the joys I’ve found in my own life. I try to be genuine.
Ultimately, I hope that I share my faith simply by living because the way I live must reflect the things I believe. If at some point my life is not bringing others closer to Christ, it is cause for a serious reevaluation of the strength of my own belief. I hope you will keep me accountable.
Maria Sermersheim is a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame. Her “Mediatione Ignis” column appears regularly in The Message.