I am a bit over niceness.
Well, I am over exhortations to be nice..as if this is all the Gospel teaches us..be nice to your neighbour, to your family, smile, never rock the boat.
Did Jesus come to save us just so we can be nice?
Yes, I try to be a nice person. But that is not the whole story of salvation is it? I am here to know, love and serve God on earth so I can be happy with Him in heaven.
So, yes serving God can mean being nice. But it also means a lot more than that.
Sometimes it even means to speak out , with love, but to risk not being nice for the sake of Truth.
And let’s be honest…niceness can lead to blandness, to complacency, to thinking I’m alright…to being lukewarm (…He vomits out the lukewarm, isn’t there that snippet?..).
As C.S. Lewis said, people who are nice may even be hard to save…their niceness leading to self sufficiency and a complacency of soul…I don’t need salvation, I don’t need church, I don’t need religion, I’m not a sinner, I’m nice.
So if I go to church and hear continual exhortations to be nice, and I am already pretty nice, then I am less likely to look towards Our Lord, to worship Him, to research Church teaching, to challenge myself…I am more likely to think, I am doing okay as I am, aren’t I? Well, according to the exhortations in Mass to smile at my neighbour and to phone my mum, I am.
I may be using contraception, I may sleep in and miss Mass many Sundays, I may not understand the sacrament of reconciliation, I may support gay marriages, I may think abortion is fine for others in case of great need…but I am nice because I am friendly, I put money in the collection when I do go to to mass, I bake my cousin cookies, I ask after your health, I like Father and his jokes and the cuppa..when I do go to Mass.
Now, I know I will be criticised for judging here. For not being nice. But you know what? If we are going to talk about being nice, wouldn’t it be nice to hear Church teaching explained, encouraged, exhorted? So I know what the Church teaches and why. So I know what I profess to believe, as a Catholic, and why. So my faith permeates every aspect of my life. For the salvation of my soul, and the salvation of others.
Wouldn’t that be nice?