OUR STORY …
Herman was doing the homework assignment for his parish Bible study group. He and his friends were beginning a new study of Philippians on FORMED.
While reading the first chapter, it suddenly dawned on the little mouse that, even in prison, St. Paul somehow managed to share the Gospel. He always seemed to live on purpose, saying and doing the important things in spite of his circumstances. He didn’t let the actions of the world dictate his agenda.
Herman admired that quality in St. Paul. Nevertheless, he didn’t think he could ever do anything like that himself. After all, for the most part, Herman was a pretty wimpy, little mouse. And he was also orange. To the best of his knowledge, no orange mouse had ever done anything noteworthy before.
IN THE BIBLE …
The Bible tells us that Paul’s prison guards heard the Gospel and responded to it. So did the Church at Philippi. St. Paul wrote at least one letter to them while he was imprisoned (Phil 1:12-19). While he probably wasn’t feeling God’s grace in his flesh, the jailers, others around him, and even the Philippians all received that precious grace because of his steadfast faith.
The equation must’ve been clear to St. Paul … lost (confused) souls plus faith (his or yours) plus God’s grace equals amazing results! It’s a powerful formula that transcends the material world.
The Catechism reminds us that, while God can lead people who are ignorant of the Gospel to faith without our help, the Church does still have both the obligation and the sacred right to evangelize mankind (CCC 848).
LIFE GOES ON …
Herman did a quick check of the morning news. The media was accusing the President of everything except crucifying the Christ. The President was calling them everything except the people who carry the heavy burden of reporting the daily events accurately in a world spiraling out of control. And he had a few humorous nicknames for his political opponents too.
Congress, including the Senate, was clamoring, at any cost, for control in their chambers. The economy was better than it had ever been in bad times, but not so good if you happen to be anticipating good times. The pandemic seemed to have leveled off nationally, for now at least, but the politics surrounding it had a fever and an unhealthy set of symptoms of its own. And so it goes.
That’s when Herman remembered old Dostoevsky. Maybe all these horrific things were not actually the real problem at all, the little mouse mused. What if the real problem was as simple as something important that had been left unsaid? What if all that was really necessary was a return to the love of God as a nation and as a people?
“Naw,” Herman thought to himself. “If it were that simple, someone would’ve already thought about that — wouldn’t they?”
Herman turned his attention back to his Bible study lesson. As he read on, it seemed to him that this first chapter in Philippians was all about joy and love. That would be enough for Herman, for now at least.
That’s our story and we’re sticking to it. It’s cool to be Catholic. COOL2B!