The Appeal of True Greatness

Christianity has a twofold challenge: to present the Good News of salvation to explain why the Good News should concern everyone. The second challenge is uniquely modern. After all, the Good News is salvation from sin, and sin is an idea foreign to most modern people. Explaining to someone that they are a sinner in need of a savior is never easy. It’s easy to come off as rude, insulting, or worse: a holy roller.

A better tack to take, I think, is to propose to others the idea of moral and spiritual greatness. Greatness is very appealing, and it used to be especially so in America. Americans still have the memory of greatness, and so I think it interests them especially. God wills the moral and spiritual greatness of every human being. This is a universally applicable concept: it applies to everyone regardless of natural gifts. No one is excluded from the possibility of being a saint, of being a moral and spiritual giant.

It’s also true that people like to be challenged, and thrive in the face of challenges. Christianity is life’s greatest challenge, or it should be. Our time might not be a time of great war (although it is a time of war), but it is a time of great spiritual struggle, perhaps greater than any other time. And in this time, perhaps more than ever, God needs great human beings, whose truth, goodness and beauty will be a witness to His love.

3 Responses to The Appeal of True Greatness

  • I like this approach. In fact, I use it with my children. Rather than admonishment, I prefer challenging them. I do it rather innoucuously and sometimes I make it a point of pride – something like “you are a Catholic, and called to greater things than “. It’s done in a almost kidding manner but I want them to think as Catholics and I think it resonates.

    It sure beats the constant mantra of “quit hitting your brother.”

  • A chunk of my text went missing, sorry.

    It should have read “you are a Catholic, and called to greater things than (insert kid vice here)”.

  • haha! yes, that’s the idea exactly. i didn’t always realize it but I think it’s very important

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