I became very active in the teaching ministry in 2017. Having this gift to explain complicated or nuanced topics in simple terms, I felt called to use my gift to spread the Catholic faith.
But this wasn’t my first attempt at starting my ministry in the way it is today. In 2014, I tried to become more vocal about the promptings of the Holy Spirit in my soul. Back then, I was in many situations where I strongly felt I needed to say or do something.
The problem was that I lacked the courage to speak. Courage, I would later realize, was something I also needed to pray for. For some reason, my gifts didn’t come in the “Apostolic Bundle” that hit the disciples of Christ on Pentecost Day. Hehe.
After receiving the sacrament of confirmation in 2015, I felt this unquenchable urge to speak. I still didn’t have all the courage I needed to launch headfirst into this ministry, but the fire within me was so unbearable that I felt I had to let it out.
It reminded me of this part of the scriptures:
“If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.”
— Jeremiah 20:9
God’s word and teachings had this same effect on Jeremiah. But I thought, “Jeremiah was weak. I can resist. I can hold it in. I don’t need to preach about God to serve him.”
But that last sentence echoed the nonsense I had heard dozens of priests, pastors, and preachers say from the ambos and pulpits of their parishes and churches.
In case you didn’t know, every last one of Jesus’ disciples and followers spoke about Jesus to someone else. Every. Last. One.
After I had made up my mind to keep the Word to myself, the Holy Spirit brought another part of the bible to my mind. This time, it was a warning:
“So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.
If I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way; he shall die in his iniquity, but you will have saved your life.”
— Ezekiel 33:7–9
In case you didn’t get what God told me in this passage, He basically said, “I will hold you guilty for the death and damnation of every unbeliever you didn’t try to save.”
Immediately, you see the problem. I had become an “ambassador” for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), and an ambassador must declare the wishes of the Authority he represents. Must! It’s not optional. He cannot just wake up one morning, decide against the will of the Authority he represents, and then go off putting forth his own opinions instead.
No. That would be criminal.
God was essentially saying, “You’re either a minister (just like in the ministries of a country’s government), or you’re a criminal with a minister's authority, power, and privileges. And I will deal with you according to what you have done (Revelation 22:12).”
They say a word is enough for the wise, but I need a good spiritual beating to come to my senses finally.
I had enough.
Even though I didn’t really know what I was doing then, even though I had no formal training in speaking, writing, or theology at that time, and even though I was still scared, literally for my life, I decided to speak.
I decided to teach.
There were times when I was low. There were times I was on fire for the Lord. But I spoke. I wrote.
I made mistakes. I fell into and crawled out of horrible sins. But I spoke, and I wrote.
If something in your heart is tugging at you in different situations during your day… Speak. Write.
Don’t let the Word be fruitless within you. Don’t let it condemn you. Instead, let God, through you, save humanity.