I have arrived at a point in my life that has me thinking that people who are looking for ways to defend their faith don’t know what that attitude means. I certainly have no need to defend my faith. In the first place, there is no one in the world who can make a serious enough attack against my faith to make me need to defend it. The only attack against my faith is an attack on my very life.
My faith is not something that I have that can be taken from me. It is not something that is separate from my being. It is so deeply woven into me that it is not a possession, a process, a relationship or a blood type. It is life itself.
For as long as I can remember, and, I am convinced, even before some of my memories, I have lived faith together with God the Trinity and with the Holy Mother of Jesus, begotten Son of God and birthed Son of Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit. I was baptized nine days after birth. Never a day of my existence did I survive outside of the presence of God thanks to the shared faith of my mother, father and the rest of the family. I have never known another life than that of a credulous son of God. I have nothing to defend.
I can talk about God all day and all night. Never once will I get defensive. Aggressive, yes. Defensive? Never. My life of faith is a life in community. My life is within the Communion of Saints. My life is within the communion of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It has always been thus. I feel no need to defend this. It cannot be taken from me except through physical death. Nothing can threaten my faith. Nobody can threaten my faith. I know that because I have experienced threats to my life along the way. Faith and I never wavered. I have listened to overtures from several distinct types of “missionaries” who were aiming their non-Catholic wiles at me. I didn’t need to defend my faith. It was, and still is, my faith that sent them packing with their tails between their legs and their Bibles, still closed, under their arms.
I don’t need a Bible to talk about God and my life with and in God. I don’t spend my time looking for the right chapter and verse for the right answer. I proclaim my faith from the heart and soul of my being. I live with my Bible in the comfort of our home shrine or in a corner pew in the chapel, alone with my Eucharistic God. God is on my mind a lot and He is my life all the time. What is there to defend? My Bible? Not mine. You can have it if you want. All the pages are still nice and white. No highlighter colors, underlines nor marginal notes. All those things are not necessary. I don’t have to memorize the page number, the chapter, the verse or any other material thing. All I need is to enrich my life in and with God. I don’t live my life in chapters and verses. I live my life with the Person who comes to life from the pages and fills my soul with a deeper understanding of who He is. It is He who created me, who saved me and who is sanctifying me. I don’t have to defend my faith, it is my faith that defends me. So I leave my Bible at home and speak from the heart and soul about my life in God. So what’s to defend?
Where do I spend my life in God? In the Communion of Saints as defined by the Catholic Church. That includes getting familiar with God and with His friends the angels, the saints in heaven and suffering souls of purgatory and the militant priests, prophets and kings living in time on earth. I get to know a lot about Him every day. Every day we talk is enriching for me. Every day we spend together even without talking much is still a good and enriching day. Do I have to defend that?
On a good day I get to spend some time with Him at His special abode. I get to celebrate the Sacrifice of our Salvation in His memory. I don’t get to enjoy that grace every day because of my work schedule. However, some two or three days a week I can find time to offer the Divine Sacrifice side by side with the Lamb of God and in the presence of His Chosen People gathered around the altar of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. It is a profound experience at every instance. It is a dynamic, grace-filled moment being together with God among his living saints; with God through His Sacred Word and with God in the Divine presence of the Eucharist. The shared faith of the gathering of the righteous around the altar doesn’t need any defending because it is the protection of the faithful not the weakness.
I don’t have to defend my faith. I certainly don’t have to use a disfigured Bible to help me defend it. My faith is my life. You have permission to attack my faith to your heart’s content. Have at it. I don’t need to defend my faith, God does it for me.
That’s why there will be no need for you to cry at my funeral.