We must practice what we preach

As we celebrate the life of St. Paul, whose conversion was a watershed moment in the early Church, it’s important to reflect on the power of an authentic witness to the Gospel. While words can be very powerful and change the hearts of many, we tend to be more skeptical of those who preach the truth and do not live it out.

Those who live wedded to the truth and clearly show it in their actions are much more persua-sive. We intuitively listen to Christians who practice what they preach. This is one of the keys to St. Paul’s success. He practiced what he preached.

The beauty of Christian witness is invaluable and most necessary in the world we live in. Above all things, it is a reflection of the beauty of God:

“The Virgin Mary and the saints are the luminous reflection and attractive witness of the singular beauty of Christ, beauty of infinite love of God who gives Himself and makes Himself known to men. These reflect, each according to their manner, as prisms of a crystal, faces of a diamond, contours of a rainbow, the light and original beauty of the God of Love; man’s holiness is a participation in the holiness of God and by it His beauty. When this is fully welcomed into the heart and spirit, it illuminates and guides the lives of men and women in their daily actions.” (The Via Pulchritudinis, §III.3)

By drawing closer to God, our lives reflect a particular beauty, which has the capacity to attract others to the beauty of God. In seeing the beauty of God in our lives, others see that being a Christian is not something oppressive or burdensome, but is actually liberating and beautiful.

We cannot simply teach the truth boldly and expect that everyone will flock back to the Church. We must live it out first and foremost before we can be believable and gather in those on the margins of society.

Philip Kosloski
Writer and Content Manager
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA)

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