1 Peter 4:16
But whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed but glorify God because of the name.
I have been passionately (albeit, imperfectly) in love with the Lord for most of my adult life. After all of these years he never ceases to prove his love and faithfulness to me. The frequent reminders are important due to my fickle human nature, and he knows it. I was in college when I encountered the person of Jesus Christ, the love of the Father, and the power of the Holy Spirit. This encounter turned my life upside-down. Rather, my life had been upside-down, until this moment. Everything I was investing my time into, all of my studies, all of my relationships, I turned it all around.
From that point on, I have never looked back. Life has so much more meaning. Colors are more colorful. The joy and the peace I have experienced in my life, now on the proper path I know I was always destined for, and in relationship with this supreme being who created me, is beyond natural explanation. It is indeed, supernatural.
Considering all of the above, it amazes me that there are still moments that in the midst of certain people, in particular, people who are not believers, I am occasionally timid about my reason for living. I find myself at times timid to admit my Christianity... and my Catholicism... which is crazy!
I am a Christian because of a radical encounter with the God-man that left me utterly changed! I am Catholic because in my search for truth, it was the best decision I could come to with the evidence I found.
Why am I ever ashamed to declare the Good News, the Gospel, of what has happened in my life - of what I am - of how far God has brought me?!
In the words of St. Augustine, "Fear is the enemy of love."
We are afraid of being ridiculed or looked down upon. Ultimately, we are afraid of martyrdom.
In the words of Jesus, "Be not afraid."
Your brother on the journey,