April 16, 2013 by lucieromarin
…especially if that cause involves saving either society or the Church, or both.
1) Be good at something other than condemnation.
2) Be able to see the good around you. This is not just because people do notice it when a man sees no good around him and no ill in himself. It’s because we owe it to God. We’re told, ‘The earth is full of the mercies of the Lord,’ and God has not retracted this statement. To never see any good in another person or situation is to do Him an injustice.
3) Know if you’re a choleric. Understand how this affects your interactions with others, and be prepared to change. Not sure if you’re a choleric? Read this little dialogue:
A: You know, it wouldn’t hurt you to be a bit nicer to them.
B: You want me to compromise?
A: No, just – you know, how are you actually helping them by criticising them?
B: This is helping them. I’m showing them how they can stop making so many mistakes. They need to hear it.
If you can relate to ‘B’ then you are a choleric.
4. Choose your moment. Even a right thought needs the right words, the right audience, and the right timing in order to be well-recieved. Just ask any newly-converted vegetarian who cried, “Meat is murder!” at a Christmas dinner, and then wondered why his friends not only kept eating meat, but stopped inviting him over for meals.
5. Know how you sound. This is not the same as how you think you sound.
6. Know what other people want. It is true that, for a small number, the opportunity to belong to a persecuted elite, is attractive. There are also those who like to feel that they are the guardians of a truth suppressed by society’s legitimate authorities. This is why some people will eat only fruit and tell you that the medical establishment is against you. This is why others will tell you that the government must be rejected, because it is is lying to you about fluoride and/or the war, and/or aliens. It’s also why some people will happily join a group that knows that they are the last true Catholics left on earth and there is absolutely no hope for anyone.
What most people want from their religions, however, is a relationship with God, by which they mean something more than the pleased sense that they are the only people left on earth following His rules. They want a conversation with Him; not a jeremiad from you (or me!). They want to see another Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, not another David Bawden. Ask yourself what you have to offer those people.
7. Be objective about the past. Broadly speaking, there are two attitudes about history:
1) Things were good until they were ruined by feminism/the New Mass/computers/logging/greenies/meat/pasteurised milk/the free press.
2) Things were bad until they were improved by feminism/the New Mass/computers/logging/greenies/meat/pasteurised milk/the free press.
Since either opinion can be countered with a modicum of research, try to find a midpoint and settle yourself there. The more you show yourself able to understand the viewpoint opposing yours, the more authority you have when you articulate your own viewpoint. It’s not just common courtesy and good scholarship – it’s also sound strategy.
8. Don’t make people feel like they have to choose between you and the Church. A lot of diets never catch on, because most people just aren’t comfortable choosing a lone writer over the medical profession. A small number of people can be frightened or irked into obedience, or enticed into it with the abovementioned feeling of being part of an elite. But most people can’t be frightened or irked for long, and most people are justifiably wary of thinking that truth has been withheld from everyone but you!
And now, I have to go read a article written for me by a local Jehovah’s Witness, all about the name of God and how Catholics have been suppressing it. Fun!