It was a warm and sunny winter day, perfect for skiing.  I hit the slopes and whipped down the hills all “slick and professional.”  Gaining some daring confidence, I headed towards the jumps.  As I was about to lift off the ground, I remembered this was only my second time skiing.  Nonetheless I was in for it.  I landed a A+ wipe-out with my skis everywhere and who knows where my poles went…  [sarcasm added for effect 😉 ]

After I got back up with no broken bones, I continued on my merry way and began talking to my friend about praying the rosary.  After skiing down the hill again (and not wiping out) I was asked by a snowboarder if we had been talking about the rosary.  A short chat later, I learned he used to be a seminarian and is now considering becoming a Franciscan.  A Franciscan snowboarder, wow! 😉

I thought this meeting was so interesting and later got to thinking that if I had never spoken openly about my faith I would have missed the chance to encounter another Catholic soul striving for holiness.  I never knew that he had overheard me, yet because I was talking to my friend about the rosary in a public setting it opened the door to a chance for evangelizing and encountering another soul.

How many other times when I spoke about my faith did Christ (unbeknownst to me) use me to inspire another person to think about Christ and their life or encourage someone that they are not alone in their strife for holiness?

On the other hand, how many times was I too shy or afraid to talk about my faith and lost the opportunity to bring one more soul closer to Christ?

Jesus calls us to spread the Gospel through love, example, and testimony.  We are invited to be “fishers of men.”  By our Baptism, we are chosen to live out our faith and invite others on this path to full union with the one who will give us the fullness of life.  When we talk about our faith we never know who is listening and who God is inspiring through us.

I want to encourage you to be courageous and share the love you have for Jesus and to encourage others to strive for spiritual greatness.  Whether you are having a fun chat with a friend or trying to teach someone about the faith, God can use that moment in marvelous ways.  Don’t be afraid to be open about the truth in a loving way even if it may bring rejection or persecution.

It may be hard or embarrassing to get back up after a wipe out, just like it may be hard and embarrassing to talk about your journey with Jesus.  However, He is here to help you and guide you over the soft snow.  He fell down three times during the Way of the Cross and got back up.  So pick up those poles and latch on the skis.  Jesus will be with you.  You just have to keep skiing on.

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