“Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them” (Mark 9:2-3).
A friend recently asked me how it is that all my kids (three of whom are teenagers) are so in love with their faith? What’s your “secret” he asked?
Before I share my answer, I have to clarify that if your kids have rejected the faith, it’s not your fault. Even God’s first two children rejected him. It’s that dang free will!
That said, here’s why I think my children, who I pray never reject our Lord, love him today: We don’t present Catholicism to them as an isolated topic. In my home, to love Jesus is to love life. To love life is to love Jesus. It’s all part of an openness to reality. People have been drawn to faith since the dawn of time through their experience of truth, beauty and goodness: God’s finger prints on everything.
My kids see their parents pray with all our hearts. They also see me close my eyes and savor a good Trappist made beer. They see tears in my eyes when I read the Gospel to them, and when I listen to Irish music. Being passionately Catholic is all a part of being passionately alive.
(Watch a video of teenagers talking about their Catholic faith:)
Do you let yourself experience the joy of life? Do you share it with others? If you do you’ll make your faith attractive without speaking a word. People will want to be what you are if you’re passionately alive.
Jesus exploded with light at the transfiguration, but there was always an inner light about him that people could perceive. It drew people to him. It drew people to God.
If you want your faith to be contagious, then share the joy of living with your family and friends at the same time as you share the truths of the faith.
At the transfiguration, the disciples saw Jesus in a new way. They had perceptions and expectations of him, and then Bam! They saw him for who he was, not for what they were merely projecting on him.
So often people box us in to their caricatures of what it means to be a devout Christian. Don’t let them. Surprise them. Bam! Break through it all with your joy, your love and the way you embrace all of life.
Chris Stefanik contributes to RealLifeCatholic.com.