Here’s a bit of friendly wisdom for my non-Catholic friends and neighbors who may be wondering what the heck to NOT to say to me on a day like today when I’ve just received big news that my spiritual shepherd is resigning:
- Wow, I heard your Pope’s quitting. This means he’s dying, right? Wow, that’s so sad.
- Dude, I heard your Pope’s resigning — I guess they finally nailed him for all of that child abuse stuff he was involved in.
- This is great. This probably means you’re finally getting an American pope now, right?
- Awesome, women can now finally become priests.
- Don’t be sad. It’s God’s will. (On second thought, maybe this one’s ok…)
These are simply a small sampling of the stuff that’s been floating around today. If you’re Catholic, remember that today is an opportunity to step up and to be a positive part of the New Evangelization. It’s a time to help educate our communities on the process at hand and on our trust that the Holy Spirit will guide our conclave of Cardinals. It’s not a time for odds making, for speculation, or for making statements that are counter to Church teaching. In moments like these, you and I — the average Catholics in the pew — should acknowledge our own feelings but should also realize that for most of the non-Catholic friends in our lives, what we say
is assumed to be what the Church says
. So we’re called to prayerfully consider our conversations, to use them to edify and uplift, and to avoid being a part of anything but the truth.
What would you add to my list above? What crazy things have friends, co-workers, or those who you know who don’t like Catholicism, or don’t understand it, said to you today?