Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.
I have a dilemma. Some of the things I read on facebook that are anti religious I feel compelled to comment on. There is a quote I recently that goes along the lines of ' Religion is for the ignorant and comedy for ..something something' Is it worth taking people up to task when such statements are made ? I believe there is a big push by Atheists to push down any believer in God dismissing them as senile dumb and all the above and it gets to me. Im not a practicing Catholic but I have the desire and not the motivation to do more..i feel like im being more of an apoligist for my faith rather than an active believer should I just stick to trying to improve on practising my religion?
I don’t think you have to choose between being a disciple and an apostle. A disciple is one who learns and an apostle is one who is sent. Catholics are called to be both. That the insults of atheists bother you is a good sign. It means that the Holy Spirit is after you and spurring you to care about your Faith more. At the same time, you can’t really be an apostle without being a disciple. You will have to root yourself in Christ and his sacraments if you hope to really bear effective witness to atheists or anybody else.
As to whether you should engage this fight in particular, that’s up to you. As a general rule, I think fights with intransigent people should only be undertaken for the sake of onlookers who might be open to persuasion. If no such onlookers are there, I think Jesus’ counsel about not casting pearls before swine is a smart guide to the use of your limited resources of time and energy. Pick your battles. But the main thing is, take some step toward becoming a little better disciple of Jesus by some concrete act of obedience in love. Without that, efforts at evangelization will only be a tinkling cymbal or a clanging gong (1 Cor 13). God bless your work in the Vineyard!