'Catholics are to be encouraged to make their faith more visible by saying "God bless you" and making the Sign of the Cross more often.
The advice, in a letter from the Archbishop of Westminster, comes a week after the Pope's state visit to Britain. The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said the historic four-day trip by Benedict XVI brought "such joy" and gave "a great boost to so many", providing believers with "new heart" for their mission.
He called on Catholics to respond to the Pope's hope that they will become "ever more conscious of their dignity as a priestly people. With the blessings of this visit we can be more confident in our faith and more ready to speak about it and let it be seen each day," the Archbishop wrote. "A small step we can all take is to be quicker to say to others that we will pray for them, especially to those in distress."
The pastoral letter will be read out in Westminster Cathedral and in 213 other parishes in the diocese of Westminster this weekend.'
So, the next time you go to work, go over to a colleague, perhaps at tea break, tap them on the shoulder, make the Sign of the Cross while saying, "God bless you!" and tell them quickly, "I'm going to pray for you!" Continue doing this with different colleagues on a daily basis and you'll have made the Faith more visible. It might be that your colleagues think you're a freak, but you'll have made the Faith more visible. Of course, it you're a Taliban Catholic and you're feeling brave you could always start a blog and give the link to friends and colleagues, but whatever you do, don't be critical of hierarchy who are compromising with modernity or who don't see the Catholic truth as you see it. Your colleagues will still think you're a freak, mind, but some might just understand where you're coming from...
I'm sorry for being cynical but Catholics need to be even bolder and 'reclaim the streets' in order to resurrect the traditional practise of pilgrimmage and processions. Gay Pride has hundreds and thousands of people come to Brighton and by the end its a mess with people falling over and sicking up, smashed bottles and cans everywhere. At least when Catholics process we take a statue of Our Lady around the streets and clean up after ourselves and we're actually truly joyful because of the power of the Blessed Virgin's intercession.
We are Catholics. We are hardcore. We are the Church Militant. Our weapons are love, prayer and vast a vast ammunition belt of Rosaries. Peter has come, we have been strengthened and now its time to reload. We're not just meant to be 'nice'.
Jeffery Steel has drawn up a delightful petition to thank the Holy Father for visiting us. You can show your gratitude to His Holiness by commenting in his blogpost.