I am writing on Pentecost Sunday, a day held as the birthday of the Church. The moment in salvation history when the disciples were longer fearful and hidden but brave enough to go outside and share the message of Christ to all those who needed to know - in other words - to everyone! May we be so bold.
They were able to do this by being able to speak any number of languages to the waiting crowds. Being the Mom of a large family I can often wish that I had the same gift. There are times when the language of a 4 year old and that of a 19 year old are so far apart I get a wrench in my brain trying to make both do an extra chore. What works for my youngest son rarely works for my oldest son. While they both will work for bribes my youngest will work for Thomas the Train stickers (cheap), the oldest one requires I-Tune cards (not so cheap). (Just clarifying - my kids don't always need to be bribed but I will admit I am not above it.)
Language barriers are pretty common in our world today and I am not speaking of the struggle of parents such as I face or even the struggle of immigrants to understand American ("You are so cool" having nothing to do with temperatures!).
However, the language barriers we are facing now goes beyond even that and have more lasting effects. What does 'marriage' mean any longer? How did modesty become a bad word and self-control a criticism?
In all the work we do here, we are striving to retain the eternal truth of what words mean and what impact they can have. Our children need to be taught what real love means, how important truthfulness is and the impact fortitude will have on their lives. This is not easy, for to an increasingly secular world, those words have lost all meaning and relevance. We know what these words mean and we need to help others understand them as well.
This can be a scary as the world is not friendly to Catholics. Jesus told us as much, "If the worlds hates you, keep in mind it hated me first." (Jn. 15:18) But, we cannot this fact make us hide in our homes full of fear but know we have the gift of the Holy Spirit! On this feast day in particular, may we ask for an increased outpouring so that we can speak boldly and clearly of the power and love of Christ. May we remember what words mean and use them to both teach and encourage.
Throughout the summer, even without regular meetings or gatherings, may we speak of truths of Christ. Make sure to let your kids know when you see them acting virtuously, heroically and totally Catholic! Remind them of the power they have from their baptism and Confirmation (if received) that they are now empowered by the Holy Spirit to be bold in their faith. The world might not understand what we are saying but our actions can help change the world!