If you’re a Christian convert to the Catholic faith or other perhaps you’ve had this thrown at you from your family or an old school friend.
It is said that when you become a Christian…really …really…become a Christian and there’s a radical change in you that takes place that this somehow means you’re no longer the person you used to be. That is true in part but I don’t like to use that phraseology because it determines that somehow I’ve gone beyond ”normal” and I’m not mentally stable.
I prefer to say that I am not a new person nor am I different. I am the person I was always created to be. I have not gathered anything new but have simply come back to my senses.
I’ve had it said to me to by my brother who laments my conversion to the Catholic church ”Oh I just want my brother back, give me back the Stephen I once knew, the hard rocker who was good at his craft”. When someone says this to you it is because your new self brings to surface all that’s wrong within them and so the reactionary and passionate pleas usually have their foundation in a sort of insecurity about themselves. Pride restricts them from admitting this.
Also did you know people create images of you in their head and it’s these they fall in love with and want to desperately hold onto not ”you”?. Have you ever met an old school friend from years back only to discover they’re not the same and bubbly person you once knew? You immediately say ”ah this person is no longer the outgoing person I once knew, I’ll not be hanging out with them anymore.”
Your memory of that person stuck with you didn’t it? That fun and outgoing person now has a completely different outlook on life and is no longer the party animal. You thought you liked that person didn’t you? of course you didn’t, you only liked and fell in love with your own drawing of that person not the person themselves.
This is what we do, we use people as vehicles of gratification. We carry a shopping list not of people we love but personalities we want to hang out with and it’s these we fall in love with not the person. We never ever see the person, only what it is WE love and WANT in that person to suit ourselves.
So when you hear ”What happened the brother I once knew” or ”the person who was so normal and liked by everyone” what you’re actually hearing is ” I don’t actually want you, but the personality that once fitted my personal tastes and brought me satisfaction. You’re no longer a vehicle for my gratification, you have become useless to me now.”
Remember, if you’re a Christian but people still like you, it probably signals you have one foot in the world and one in the church. You have not yet fully committed yourself to Christ. Not only should your old friends hate you and avoid you altogether, but even Christians and religious clergy should also despise you.
The more hated you are the more and more likely you’re doing things right. So when someone says to you ”You’re no longer the person I once knew” take it as an absolute badget of honour, take it as Christ himself speaking to you directly saying ”You are on the path to Salvation and these rebukes and all this hatred is my gift to you, to sanctify you even further”.
People ask God for all sorts of crap. But rarely do we see the gifts that really matter.
Your persecution is Gods gift to you. Ouch, I bet it hurts to hear that but there’s no victory without Cross, none no matter how big that Cross is or what manner it comes in.