In a recent discussion regarding a prominent well-respected attorney who had recently died (not “passed away” – nobody just passes away), I was struck by a judge who said about the deceased: “I didn’t know he was Catholic.”
WOW. To live one’s entire life - school, family, legal career - have the community not know of your animating force? If I die today, what will people say? What will Our Dear Lord say? “Good and faithful servant” or “ I didn’t know he was Catholic”?
There is the old cliché: If you were arrested for being Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? Most of us have plenty of evidence for conviction of sinning (our spouses are probably prime witnesses). Therein is our challenge, to bear witness to the goodness of a personal God, to a relationship with Him that makes us quicker repenters, quicker forgivers and consistent lovers of our brothers and sisters.
To be known as a Catholic, and to be public about it in a quietly authentic way, should be our goal, the object of our prayers. Once again, only possible by the Grace attendant to a sacramental life, steeped in the Word, a life of prayer and service. I pray that on our deaths we hear: “I knew him/her to BE a strong Catholic.
PAX ~ GNW
Gregory N. Weiler is a partner at Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener,
Wilhelm & Waldron LLP in Irvine.