I wear a fairly large silver crucifix about 2″ long, usually visible and drawing attention. People ask me where I got it, other times it has leads to much deeper conversion in the most unlikely places (i.e. a Gelato place). Above all, this necklace has caused me a peculiar grief while wearing it, and an even greater grief, I’m certain, to my Lover.
My crucifix has initiated conversations about my faith. I only noticed this recently, but whenever I am with catholic but non-practicing/agnostic friends, when asked if I’m religious, I hesitate. Primarily, because I’m unsure whether they mean spiritual or religious; (terminology these days!) and (yes, I over think!). But even when I know what they mean, I am so perplexed despite being a practicing Catholic and knowing my faith is the most important thing in my life.
A very close childhood friend of mine asked this very question during this past Triduum, and while answering the minimum, my face turned blood red (I never blush). This friend noticed my crucifix before asking me and as a response to my answer gave a look as though I was a pioneer with a naive ideology. When I think back, I don’t know why I could not have been straightforward with the question. I was a coward (see blog post “You’re a Wimp” at http://triathletewithacollar.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/440/). Nothing was at stake, but I was still ashamed and timid to talk about why I still decide to practice and believe all that the Catholic Church teaches on my own volition.
If someone asked me to describe my boyfriend or fiancé, given that I am head over heels over him, wouldn’t I go on and on about how great he is? Isn’t it my duty to ensure that whomever I am talking to knows my boyfriend inside out by the end of the conversation?
I did not do this. I felt ashamed and unnecessarily threatened, despite the several times I have told my Lord that I love Him and wish to do anything He desires of me. I was Peter. I denied Christ through my inaction, my inhibition and mostly by my lack of joy answering the question. Peter denied Christ thrice. I denied my lover more than I can count.
I’ll keep pressing on as Peter did. I’ll keep going back to Mercy and Love, and spend more time with Him. It is only by His grace that my great love and joy for Divine can be passed on to all those whom I encounter.