|Which instrument are you in|
the Church Militant orchestra?
loud and could be abrasive. When he had the bullhorn, some of the folks on the prayer line got uneasy. "What will he say next?" He was especially hard on the men bringing the women to the abortion mill. I loved him! But, I admit, sometimes he even made me cringe.
You know what? He saved a lot of babies. God used him with his abrasive style to reach the hearts of some who were impervious to the velvet glove. I particularly remember the day we saved a little Muslim baby, the sixth child in her family. It was my abrasive friend who did the counseling when the couple pulled into the driveway.
I thought of him this morning while reading comments on the post I wrote yesterday about Catholic bloggers who condemn other bloggers for condemning.
Joe (not his real name) sounded pretty condemning as he blasted his message over the bull horn. Sometimes people came up to me to urge me to take it away because they preferred my style of counseling. I usually reminded them that Joe saved babies. He was there, as I was, almost every Saturday and his "style" which offended some, worked. I will always remember our years counseling together with a grateful heart.
God uses the willing instrument. Some of us are flutes and some of us are tubas. Some are even fog horns or cow bells or, yes, bullhorns. The Lord uses us if we offer ourselves to Him. Can we do things better? No doubt. Do we need to be open to learning new and improved ways to reach our goal of saving souls? Absolutely. But the old ways are best: deep prayer, regular fasting (I'm lousy at it) and a strong desire to be used by God. As a priest friend once said to me, "If you want to be used by God, by God you'll be used."
There are plenty of people who have a style that's different from yours or mine. Look at the lives of the saints. Some like St. Francis de Sales had a reputation for meekness. Some, like St. Anthony of the Desert, was so abrasive he drove off visitors. Some, like St. Philip Neri and St. John Bosco were jokesters and jugglers. Joan of Arc challenged a king; Catherine of Siena challenged popes. St. John the Baptist was fire and brimstone; Mother Teresa was gentleness and a smile. God used them all.
We may not agree with someone's style. Hey, I don't like everybody's style! But we'd better be careful before we declare that style to be sinful and condemn it. Jesus condemned sin and warned people about Gehenna. Why? To save them from eternal damnation. Aren't we called to follow in His footsteps and do the same thing? Sometimes that means heaping a few coals on sinners' heads. It may get their attention.
I'd like to see the circular firing squad straighten out and face the enemy. If you're defending the teachings of the Church and fighting sin, we're on the same side. We're in the foxhole together. Do you really want to use your ammunition to shoot me?