αγάπη από μια καθαρή καρδιά. You’ve probably picked up that that is the name of this lovely little blog. But just in case you haven’t studied Greek in a while, here’s some help. For pronunciation purposes, just say “agape apo mia kathare kardia”. Translation if you’re still bungled up: Love from a pure heart.
Everyone gets in debates about things. I do it on a daily basis (and not only with my husband). The trick, as Paul explains to Timothy in the first part of his first letter to good ole’ Timmy is that we have to instruct others firstly out of love. And not only love for selfish reasons or just because we should, but from a pure heart.
Then let’s add on some other things to how we need to be prepared first. We need to instruct others with a “good conscience”. I don’t think Paul’s talking about worrying if your Mom knows you took the cookies from the jar, but rather that you have to instruct for the correct reasons. Not to mention that if you have any doubts about your own knowledge you should probably brush up on that first.
And our final part of the equation: a sincere faith. Don’t defend that in which you do not believe. Don’t bother because it will simply fall through and you will be the hypocrite left standing there sputtering (although that might end up happening anyway).
So we’ve got our formula for how we need to be in order to instruct others. And for me, especially, I always need to keep close the admonition to pursue this with “love from a pure heart”.
Granted, you may be asking yourself “What in the blazes is she even pursuing with this blog? What’s the point?” And that, my reader, is a very valid question. There are plenty of writings about my faith, Roman Catholicism, and plenty of blogs (search “catholic blog” on google and you get 961,000 hits). Yes, I’m just another little RC voice in the crowd. But, dontcha know, I feel like I have a pretty big voice. And I know I’ve got a lot to say (my mom’s been telling me that for years). So here I am, ready to hop on the blog bandwagon (again) except this time I’m going back to my web roots.
Years ago (meaning back in 2002/2003) I created a nice simple website: teenapologist.tripod.com. It’s archived there, but only the front page (bummer, eh?). I was full of zeal, young (16), and hopeful that I’d convert the masses to the faith. Granted, my mom and my sister were probably the only ones who ever looked at the website, and while my “articles” were impressively put together and well thought out, there just wasn’t the reach. And, I must admit, I don’t think I was really motivated out of love from a pure heart. Maybe concern that people would end up in hell for not being Catholic (yes, I was zealous, wasn’t I?) or maybe out of a slight desire for web fame. Neither of those things fall under “pure heart”. I spent all my time on a message board debating with several nonCatholics about various things. I did so much studying for these debates that my mom gave me highschool credit for an “Apologetics” course (hooray for homeschooling).
Now, I’m older (yes, not by much, but still older). I’ve gotten a little bit wiser and a little bit more jaded. It’s not so easy to convert the masses when their logic and studying rival your own. So here I am. 22, newlywed, still on fire for Catholicism (I don’t think I could leave if I wanted to do so).
And yet, I’ve discovered a passion tinged with sadness. For all the times I’ve debated Mariology, purgatory, the importance of Sacred Tradition, and many other topics I have yet to convert one person. And while I know now that all I can do is plant seeds of truth and hope they fall on fertile soil, I know that I cannot stop sowing until the Lord calls me home. I need a new medium, for there are only so many times you can repeat the same arguments to the same people. So here in a hopefully more lasting manner, I shall try to impart the reasons for my beliefs. St. Peter said “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope” and although you may not be asking, I’ll be here telling.
So αποχαιρετισμός (apochairetismos or farewell) my friends. Until next time.