TO BE A WITNESS
by Catherine Doherty
Slowly, slowly, quietly, like a tide coming in, we Christians are beginning to pray. Across America and Canada people find time to enter into solitude, fasting and prayer, to be able to confront Christ.
For this confrontation is needed if we are going to change the social, political world that is swiftly rolling to the brink of disaster.
We must meet God! This is quite evident if we really want to meet men. Meeting man individually and collectively in love based on the teachings of the Gospel of Christ, is the only fundamentally unifying force in this world. And it is we, the Christians, who must let this force loose, by witnessing to it.
To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda leading to conversions, or stirring people up to adopt means of hatred and violence against one another. It simply means to live in such a way that one's life would not make sense if God did not exist.
This is the time. This is the hour when every Christian must reflect God. Be the icon of Christ... and see in every human being the reflection of Christ.
We must live the Gospel. In order to do so, we must pray for faith, which is the cradle of charity and hope! We must pray and ask God to make us realize that he, the Triune God, lives within us, and that in him we can begin to make violence against the only person a Christian can make violence against — himself. For it is said that “heaven is taken by violence." (Matt 11:12)
To love God with one's whole heart and to love one's neighbour as we love ourselves, means also to love ourselves the way God wants us to. To follow his words – "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that you love one another as I have loved you," means we must straighten the paths of the Lord in ourselves so that He can come through. Then all men will know him through us.
To love our enemies is to approach everyone with deep tenderness, compassion, and understanding (which are the fruits of love). This includes the human Church from the Pope down. It also means that we do not break “structures,” we restore them to their original and precedent purity.
This is the time and the hour to "lay down your life for your brethren."
This is the time to realize the mystery of God touching – enveloping, loving – the mystery of man; and to understand that in this mystery, which is the mystery of love, lies the answer to all our problems.
The understanding will be also mystical – mysterious – and it will come to us through prayer, for the Holy Spirit speaks to us constantly. So often we do not listen to him. Listening to him is praying. Let us begin.
Adapted from Restoration, September 1972
Catherine Doherty (1896-1985), born in Russia, was foundress of Madonna House and a prolific writer and teacher. Her passionate zeal impelled her to pass on her faith in God, and she is now being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church.