#Catholic,#Religion : I challenge you, and I challenge myself, to be unashamedly Catholic in Holy Easter. (by Michaela Daphne)

Going through the checkout at the shops I got talking with the girl behind the cash register who proceeded to tell me that Good Friday was her favourite day of the year.

She said that her family all gets together and at night they throw a seafood feast. Seafood being her favourite food, I can understand why she might think as much. She went on to ask if I did anything similar and when I proceeded to tell her that we eat fish and chips for dinner like her family - but that we fast the day leading up to it and do the same on Ash Wednesday as well - she looked at me in confusion and asked what Ash Wednesday was. When I said it was the first day of Lent that leads up to Easter, again I was met with confusion, this time at the word "Lent."

She said she'd never heard of it before.

How can it be, that in a Christian country with more Catholics than any other religion, where Good Friday is a public holiday, that one could not know what Lent was, what Ash Wednesday was?

Am I living in a Catholic bubble where I take for granted that the people I surround myself with just know what these things are because it is a part of their everyday life? Or is it the rest of society that is ignorant of the Church? Or have we, as Catholics, removed ourselves so far from society, hidden ourselves for fear of rejection, closed the doors of the Church from the unchurched, that no one knows about Catholicism and the reason Good Friday is a public holiday, simply because we have not shared it? Because we have not proudly worn the badge of our faith publicly?

This Holy Week, this Triduum, this Easter, I challenge you, and I challenge myself, to be unashamedly Catholic. To share with family and friends and strangers at the check out what it is that we celebrate in Easter. That it not be of chocolate and bunny rabbit ears and holidays, but of Christ's death and resurrection, His saving grace, His suffering and sacrifice for our sake, for how much He loves us.

I'm not saying to Bible bash or alienate those who do not practice or believe, but when the occasion arises - and it will - and people ask what you are doing this Easter, tell them you went for Mass.

Michaela Daphne

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