Do you ever look at the massive culture of death and feel that your prayers don't have much of an impact? Do you ever feel that your parish or diocese wouldn't miss you if you weren't there?
St. Paul would argue that your faithfulness has a tremendous impact on the Church. He told the newly converted Thessalonian Christians that his missionary team could only keep flourishing if they stayed firm in the faith! (1 Thes 3:8) Elsewhere Paul said: "Who is weak that I am not affected by it?" (2 Cor 11:29) Once Paul had an open door to preach the gospel in Troas (2 Cor 2:12), but was in such a state of anxiety about whether or not the Christians in Corinth would stay firm in their faith that he was unable to minister there (2 Cor 2:13). When Paul learned from Titus that the Corinthians had indeed stayed firm in the faith, he was consoled and resumed his mission (2 Cor 7:6ff).
We are intimately interconnected in the body of Christ. We are "living stones" (1 Pt 2:5) built into the Church. When we don't "stand firm" (1 Thes 3:8), others in the Church are impacted. We may be a stone that no one notices, but if we aren't firm, we weaken other living stones. When we stand firm, we strengthen other Christians. This is why St. Therese of Lisieux is a patroness of missions even though she never left her convent. Therefore, "put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm" (Eph 6:11).
Prayer: Father, may I never give in to discouragement (2 Cor 4:1).
Promise: "Happy that servant whom his Master discovers at work on His return!" —Mt 24:46
Praise: Being in community has helped Roberta be a better Christian and also has helped her fellow Christians.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2007 through September 30, 2007. †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 14, 2007.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.