Teen Essay Winner - Walking and Talking our Catholic faith
The 2011 Father Charles Irvin Essay Contest Winner
Every year, FAITH awards a $1,000 scholarship to a high-school senior in our diocese, based on an essay on a topic related to life in the Church. Our goal is to promote insightful thought and excellent writing, and to encourage careers in Catholic journalism. There are many ways to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, and good writing is one of them. We hope you enjoy this year’s essay by Krysten Perkins of Powers Catholic High School.
Have you ever heard really good news and had to keep it a secret? You practically burst with wanting to tell someone. Well, the good news of Jesus Christ our savior is the BEST news of all, and it is like a secret to many people. These people do not know about Jesus or how to live life as he would want us to live. This saddens me. I can’t imagine living my life not knowing about this greatest gift of all. The wonderful thing is, we can share this secret. We can tell everyone this good news. There are so many ways to live out our faith. We can express our love of God to everyone we meet in many ways such as trying to live each day expressing love and support of others, getting involved in our community and local charities, and praying daily.
Love is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. It gives us hope and something to believe in as we move forward in our lives. Part of what it means to love is supporting others. Giving someone your support lets them know that someone is there for them unconditionally, which is something they may not be used to. If love and support are given consistently and sincerely, it may change how they look at the world. They may be willing to open up and accept God in their lives. Not only does expressing love take commitment and support, but also faith. You have to live your faith and be a witness to everyone. You must make others believe that everyone deserves to be loved and accepted for who they are. God made us in his own image and we all have different gifts and abilities. Accepting others as well as yourself helps you to grow as a person and in your faith. The best way to show support, love and acceptance is to be a mentor to others and express the great values you have learned through your faith. Being a mentor is a responsibility we should all seek. Through love, Catholics can show their passion and their desire to help others grow in faith, or find faith.
Another way Catholics can evangelize is getting involved in their community and local charities. Getting to meet many different people and talking to them about your faith can be rewarding, not only to them but to you. Also, it is a great way of helping your community become a better place. Volunteering at the local soup kitchen, St. Luke’s New Life Center and Habitat for Humanity were life-changing experiences for me. I learned that there are so many people who need a helping hand and it feels so good to be able to provide it. Also there are many charities that could use donations of clothing and personal items. Just reaching out and helping in some way shows people you care and want to make a difference. By doing this, you give an example to many of how the smallest acts of kindness can make a big difference. But what you do has to come from your heart and you must put all the effort you have into whatever you do. Putting others first most often provides a greater gift to the giver than to the recipient, but it also can relay the message that people of faith are acting through a higher power, the power of Jesus Christ, our lord.
Praying daily helps us to become closer to God and allows us to express our desire to become stronger in our faith. The prayers should be from our heart and we should pray for others as well as being thankful for all that God has blessed us with. Praying that others find God and get to know him is very important. There are so many people who have lost their way, have become separated from God, or have never known him. God always is ready to listen to us. We should set aside time each day to talk to God in prayer. This quiet time with him helps us to put our lives in perspective and realize what is most important. It is with consistent and devoted prayer that we can find the courage and perseverance to help others find faith in God.
Expressing your love and support each day, getting involved in your community and local charities, and praying daily are just three ways Catholics can evangelize. Our faith is a gift we have received and this gift can and should be passed on to others. We can change the lives of many in a positive way, as well as deepen our faith by reaching out and expressing our beliefs. The best way to know God is to live each day trying to express to others the gifts he has given us. The good news of Jesus Christ is not meant to be a secret, it is meant for everyone to know and live by. We always must walk with faith and be the person God meant for us to be.
The diocesan Catholic high schools are:
Ann Arbor – Father Gabriel Richard 734.662.0496
Flint – Father Luke Powers 810.591.4741
Jackson – Lumen Christi 517.787.0630
Lansing – Lansing Catholic 517.267.2100