Discretion

Friends in Christ,
Our Lord tells us in the gospel that we should be cunning as serpents and innocent as doves. How are we to see this? I think this idea is summed up in a rarely considered virtue called ‘discretion,’ being discrete. If we want to transform the world in which we live – and we certainly do, we wish to transform it into the Kingdom of God – then we must do it discretely. We must work as leaven, as quiet seeds in society; this is how the first Christians did it, living discretely within the brutal Roman Empire, but they spread the faith one person at a time.
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There is a place for overt actions: picketing, and marching, and debates, and get-out-the-vote, for sure, especially in a democracy, these are important. But the conversion of the hearts of people to Jesus Christ will never be primarily by these methods, but only with friendship and discretion, one person at a time. ‘Be cunning as serpents and innocent as doves, says the Lord.
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If we befriend neighbors, and let them see the gospel in us, then neither personal vanity, nor pride, will get in the way of God’s work. People will see in us sincerity and humility.
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We sometimes encounter loud people on the street, who yell at you: ‘are you saved!!??’ Or who drill you with bible verses. Does that make us love Christ, or follow them? Not at all. The way of Christ is the way of personal apostolate.
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St. Josemaria loved always to say, that there is no better proof that you are walking in the Lord, than if you pass unnoticed. Observe that one friend in your group, who speaks little, but is always kind? That one person, in whom you could entrust your concerns – that person, whom you happen to know is a genuine Catholic, this is the person who will lead others to Christ, the one who is discrete, and sincere. And if a person is indiscrete, and in your face, and demanding to argue with you – well, Father Urteaga says: ‘An indiscrete question, deserves no answer.’  
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What we need today is a fearless honesty which refuses to compromise truth, combined with a refined sincerity and discretion. This will win souls for Christ.

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