Daily Thought For June 19, 2018
Taking A Stand For Christ
By contrast, the person who is always seeking the approval and applause of others can easily deform his own conscience. The rule of action then becomes what people will say, rather than the Will of God. Concern for the opinion of others can easily become fear of the environment. It is easy then to neutralize the apostolic activity of Christians, who have taken upon themselves the urgent task to fulfill on earth the evangelization of the world.
Sometimes, in order not to appear out of step, one easily begins not to be consistent with one's principles. One falls into the temptation of leaning to the side from which approving smiles and handshakes more readily come, or at least in the direction of mediocrity. This is what happened to the Pharisees. Vanity and cowardice were what led them away from God That is what led them to seek another theatre for their struggles, and is what lost them: because once you begin to try pleasing your spectators, the battles you fight are the ones they want to see. On the contrary, those who truly seek Christ have to accept that their conduct will be unpopular and often criticized, particularly if they live in an environment that is not very Christian.
The first thing we have to do with our actions is to please Christ. If I were still concerned about pleasing men, I would not be a servant of Christ. And St Paul also replies to some Corinthians who were criticizing his apostolate: Not that it makes the slightest difference to me whether you, or indeed any human tribunal, find me worthy or not. I will I not even pass judgement on myself... The Lord alone is my judge.
Human judgements are often wrong. Only God can judge our actions and our intentions. Among the surprises which await us on the day of judgement, not least will be the silence with which Our Lord will greet those actions of ours which merited the applause of men. .. On the other hand it can happen that he will weigh in positive terms some actions which have drawn down criticism and censorship upon us. Our Judge is the Lord. It is He whom we have to please. We must ask ourselves many times each day: Am I doing what I should be doing now? Do I seek the glory of God, or am I trying to show off, to make sure people like me? If we are sincere on those occasions we will obtain light to rectify our intention if necessary, and direct it towards God.
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez pp.394-395