Welcome to Wednesday! Today, I am grateful to have Caitlyn Anderson, a digital friend and fellow Catholic, as today’s guest writer. Caitlyn is a blogger and YouTuber who seeks to glorify Christ in all that she does. I pray you are blessed and find out how you can live a quiet faith in a loud world.
15 Sneaky Ways to Live Out Your Catholic Faith
There are a ton of ways to live out the Catholic faith, especially since the Church is so beautiful and complex. Because of the vast assortment of ways to go share the message of the Gospel with the world, it can get a little overwhelming… and as if it weren’t already challenging enough, society is in a full on spiritual battle with all believers. I don’t know about you, but I get harassed for sharing my love for Christ quite often. It doesn’t exactly make me want to “go and announce the Gospel of the Lord”! However, we are called to “make disciples of all nations” (see Matthew 28:19).
We don’t need to make grand gestures on the regular in order to do that. St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love”. That’s what this list is all about. These are all small tasks that, when done with love, can be beautiful ways to live out your faith and share Christ’s love with the world.
Without further ado, here are fifteen sneaky ways to live out your Catholic faith:
- Buy lunch for a homeless person.
You don’t need to buy a five course meal for someone in need. A quick stop at a deli for a sandwich and bottled water is just as significant. The most important part of this action is taking the time to acknowledge the person and their human dignity. Make eye contact and say a kind word when you give them your gift. Maybe even offer to say a prayer with them. Let them know you see them as a fellow brother or sister in Christ, worthy of basic respect.
- Forgive when someone apologizes.
A little forgiveness goes a long way… and Christ tells us to forgive others as He has forgiven us! Don’t believe me? Check out Ephesians 4:32. Letting past hurts go and returning the apology with love is a beautiful way to reflect the forgiveness that God gives us to everyone in our lives.
- Smile at a stranger.
Small thing, great love. Just acknowledging their presence as they walk past you can make their whole day. As far as you know, your smile may be the only kindness they experience all day. And that tiny bit of kindness can open their heart to an even greater Love.
- Babysit your neighbor’s kids.
Even though the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) is talking about more than helping your neighbor with their kiddos, helping out the people around you is a great place to start when you take on the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself”. Whether it’s babysitting for date night, helping someone with their yardwork, or bringing dinner to the couple with a newborn, a little generosity goes a long way.
- Pick up trash on your lunch break.
I know what you’re probably thinking… How is this Catholic? Well, it all boils down to taking care of the gift God has given us! Pope Francis summed it up perfectly in a 2015 speech: “As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family”. So next time you finish your midday meal, take a few minutes to pick up any litter you see lying around on your way to the garbage can.
- Wash the dishes without complaint.
I’m going to leave this explanation to St. Teresa of Calcutta (yea, she said a lot of great things!): “Wash the plate not because it is dirty nor because you are told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next”.
- Listen to some faith-based music while you drive.
Whether you want to jam out to some Newsboys or blast some Gregorian chant or listen to a choir of nuns, some faith-based tunes coming from your speakers is never a bad thing! Avoiding the nonsense that comes over the radio these days can help you avoid some temptation, which will make it a little easier to continue to live out your faith throughout the day.
- Invite a friend over.
Having good relationships with your friends is a great way to evangelize! This is a particularly sneaky way to share the faith. Inviting someone into your home and having fun with them allows them to see the joy and love that comes from having a friendship with Christ! Bonus perk: added opportunities for conversations about faith to come up.
- Volunteer at a retirement home.
Being pro-life means respecting the dignity of human life at ALL stages- even the lives of the elderly. Spending a few hours with those in retirement homes or convalescent homes is a wonderful way to spread some joy to those who may be battling feelings of loneliness and to show them that there are people who still very much care about them and their well-being.
- Donate clothes that you don’t want anymore.
Clothe the naked, people! Okay, so maybe you aren’t running around looking for nude individuals… but donating clothes and other items you no longer want or need helps those who can’t afford to shop at department stores. Just throwing stuff in the trash is wasteful! If there is still life left in those threads you no longer wear, give someone else the chance to enjoy them. Luke 3:11.
- Support small businesses.
Not only do you help someone provide for their family (and all Catholics should be pro-family, right?), but you also get more of a say about where your money goes. Pouring all your money into big companies often means that you are pouring money into organizations that do not reflect your morals and values. Now, sometimes a run to the super-mart at midnight is a necessity… but making the choice to support small business when you can makes a huge difference.
- Put in your best effort at school or work.
Colossians 3:23-24, y’all. Use the talents God gave you and do everything for Him!
- Eat dinner with your family.
I’m busting out another St. Teresa of Calcutta quote… “It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start”. Like she said, it’s not always easy to love those close to us- especially when they know all the right buttons to push to get under your skin! But spending time with your family, even if it’s just one meal a day, gives you an opportunity to reconnect with them and show them some love.
- Wear a cross/crucifix/miraculous medal or a faith-inspired shirt.
Okay, so this one is not as sneaky. But it’s still a great way to live out the faith and evangelize! Not only will you be a low-key walking billboard for Christ, you just may inspire others to be more open about their faith or spark a conversation about why you are wearing what you are wearing!
This may be an obvious one, but it is SO IMPORTANT. Pray. Pray some more. Add in a few prayers after that. They don’t have to be long, fancy prayers, but lift up others to God. Pray for your family members, the unborn, the elderly, the needy, your postman, your doctor, your politicians, your peers, the cashier at the store, and that one driver who cut you off this morning!
As you can see, these are small tasks that are easy to incorporate into your everyday life. Don’t think you have to go out and do all of them at once, either. Even doing one small thing with great love once a week can make a HUGE impact on the world!
If you can do more- awesome! If you can only start with one- that’s great, too.
Over time, it will become easier and easier to incorporate these “sneaky” ways of being Catholic into your daily routine… All you have to do is start with one act of great love.
Caitlyn Anderson is the young adult behind “Mrs. Andy Answers” and one of the contributing authors of Everyday Ediths. She enjoys talking and writing about her faith, reaching out to Catholic teens and young adults, and offering solidarity to other women who face infertility. Although Caitlyn has mostly been involved in the Catholic blogging world, she recently added vlogging to her resume. You can find her on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.