Today was one of those days. It started out okay, but it didn’t last. There are always those people who don’t like you and actively try to make your day worse. Sometimes I don’t realize that I act like them at times. I may do the same to them or even something worse. I can deal with those kinds of people like I have always. The real killer is my friends who disagree with me on tough moral issues. Some of them are even Catholic, almost all are Christian. It’s the way they talk about religion though that really annoys me. They pull up an issue and say something wrong, and don’t want me to say anything. It’s like a drive-by shooting. I have discovered in my short years of life that my personality has three main aspects: Catholic, brother, and jokester. When I am in Catholic mode, I relentlessly defend the faith and try my best to be kind. Brother mode is like protection mode. Being the oldest brother of a family of 8 kids, I know how to defend others. Jokester mode speaks for itself. When I am talking to these kinds of people, most often I find myself in brother mode. Their my friends, and I know they are holding on to beliefs that are contrary to the truth, and often teach others the same. I lose some of the qualities the Catholic mode has, like compassion. The most important thing is to save their soul, not to win the argument. It’s really hard for me to do this, especially when I am concerned about what they will spread to others.
This all ties into the theme of this post: The Apostolate of Friendship. St. Josemaria Escriva has an entire chapter dedicated to this in one of his three books. The apostolate of friendship is basically winning should to Christ by just being a good friend. This doesn’t mean being quiet when a touchy issue comes up. Defend the faith with kindness, like a shepherd would compassionately lift his sheep up before it falls. Most importantly, just be a good friend. If you are a general, and want another country to help you in a battle, it is much easier to be allied with that country than to force it do help. No one is gonna listen to you unless they think there is a good reason to do so. I struggle with this tremendously. They see me as “the Catholic” that wants to force his religion on others, all because I was more focused on winning the argument than winning a soul. Be Christ to others, so that through you, they may come to know the truth. After all, we all need someone to lean on.