5. Pursue Heaven, Reject the World: Heaven is our ultimate destination and not this place called Earth. Will our critics help us get to heaven? Will they stand up for us during tough times? No, they will pull us into a secular way of life which has little room for God and where materialism and popularity are the fashionable idols of the day. Doing what is right is not always easy, but in the long run it is clearly the most beneficial. Why would we not choose Heaven?
There is still another way to be a true Catholic rebel in today’s world that is the thread which runs through all the other acts I mentioned: pray faithfully every day.
Start the day with a prayer of thanks to God for the blessings in our lives. Pray for help and courage to face the trials the world throws at us. Make the sign of the cross and pray over every meal, public or private. Pray a daily Rosary and ask for the help and intercession of our Blessed Mother and pray with our families every night. I can’t envision anyone seriously rebelling against the Church if they are faithfully committed to daily prayer.
It would be easy to read this post and decide that it doesn’t apply to you, but I would suggest we are all guilty of some degree of negative rebellion each day. We may take the easy way out in the practice of our faith when a little extra effort is required or we ignore what is required by our God-given vocations. We may push back against doing what we know to be right because we fear the negative opinions of others or lack the courage to confront difficult situations.
One of the things I found most attractive about the Catholic Church when I converted was that it is not easy to be Catholic. I grew up with “easy faith” in the Baptist church as a young man, left as a teenager and had no faith at all for 23 years until coming home to the Truth of Catholicism in 2005. I am incredibly grateful for my Catholic faith and don’t see why I should waste my time arguing against the teachings of the Church. I already spent over two decades saying “no” to God and my pride-filled rebellion was exhausting. When I surrendered to His will in 2005, I started saying “yes” and that has made all the difference in my life.
Reflect on the picture of St. Michael the Archangel standing over a defeated Lucifer. In Milton’s Paradise Lost, Lucifer declared his rebellion in Heaven against God with the cry, “Non Serviam!” (Latin, “I will not serve!”).
The Archangel Michael loyally defended God with his cry of “Serviam” and vanquished Lucifer to Hell with all his demons. So, what will it be for us – Serviam or non serviam? Randy Hainis senior editor of The Integrated Catholic Life, where this article was originally published. Pre-order Randy Hain¹s soon to be released book: Special Children, Blessed Fathers: Encouragement for Fathers of Children with Special Needs (Foreword by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput) at Amazon or Emmaus Road.