In the past few months I found myself being strangely hearing the same statement from a number of people I met on different occasions and in very different locations. Being the usual friendly person that I am, I would somehow end up in conversation with people and for some strange, or perhaps divine, reason some of those conversations ended up on religion, which led to the question “what church do you attend?” and when I responded, the reaction has been ….
” You don’t look like a Catholic ….”
My follow up question on every occasion has been ” what is a Catholic supposed to look like?”
The answer for the most part has been the same … that “Catholics” seem to be more “in the world” that many other religions “but there is something different about me and I may be limiting myself in the Catholic church”
Honestly, after hearing those statements on at least five occasions in the past six months, I started questioning…. I started questioning whether I really should look at choosing another religion. Questioning whether I was indeed limiting myself as a Catholic. I was almost convinced that these people who had said those things were sent by some divine intervention in order for me to “see” what I was missing. Questioning myself had me say to my husband that I was going to visit another church because the conversations were maybe signs that I should. And then he said something that resonated in my mind…
…. “well if you want you can go but the children and I will go Catholic….. you know it’s not religion that saves a person right???”
Then in that one statement, I realized what it was… It is not my religion that those people had seen in me, it was my Christianity. Yes my Christianity. Many argue that Catholics are not Christians for one reason or the other… But it is not just being Catholic that makes me Christian. What makes me a Christian is that I choose to believe in and follow Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour. I choose to let my light shine where-ever I go and to whomever I meet. And I do my best to not compromise that Christianity .
I fall short many times, and I am still a work in progress but my Christianity is a choice… So I am a Christian not because I am Catholic, but I am Catholic because I am a Christian.
And there is always that voice that keeps saying to me “you are only as limited as you want to be”. We do not need a particular religion to live to our full potential as Christians, after all we serve the same God. And He is the one who defines our potential and we have to be willing to embrace it.. So it is not the church I attend that limits me but my own decision to not push to my full potential.
So many may not think of Catholics as Christians or as “saved” but I say to you what my husband reminded me of “it is not religion that saves us” but our own personal choice to serve, have faith and believe. And with that personal choice . . .