This is my last Shine On column for The Catholic Telegraph.
I was running through my neighborhood over lunchtime during the COVID lockdown three years ago and praying about this column. I asked God what message He wanted to share with the world. There are more gifted writers and certainly holier people who could fill these pages, so I knew if I was going to write for the magazine, I better focus on God’s ideas, not my own.
Then this passage from the Gospel of Matthew came to mind: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Mt. 5:14-16).
As I look over the past few years of writing this column, my mind goes back to that beginning, to those verses. At the time, I remember thinking how our culture tries to twist the goodness of our faith, and how Christians are often faced with a choice to let their light shine and get attacked for it or to put that light under a bushel basket.
God is so good—from the outstanding work of the ministries that serve within our archdiocese to the amazing holy “nobodies” who love their neighbors every day without recognition. And yet, we so often allow the lights to be dimmed.
My hope was to put the goodness of our faith on a lampstand. I hoped to shine a light on God’s greatness and the people who work for His glory. In my last column I share with you these parting prayers, offered up to God for all those who read our magazine:
I PRAY THAT YOU WILL NOT BE AFRAID.
The Gospel has never gotten far when the people trying to share it acted out of fear. I pray that you always boldly proclaim your faith and are never afraid to shed a light on the goodness of God and His Church!
I PRAY THAT YOU STAND TALL.
The world will always try to bring down men and women of great faith. It always has. Don’t make it easy. Don’t shrink your faith or stand in the shadows to make other people more comfortable. I pray that you allow yourself to stand out in a world that begs you to sit down.
I PRAY THAT YOU LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!
God has done and continues to do amazing things in your life. The sufferings and sinfulness of this world make us forget that from time to time. Bad things happen to us and we make mistakes. Still, I pray that you find your light and let it shine before others.
Thank you for reading. Shine on my brothers and sisters! Shine on!
Dominick Albano is The Catholic Telegraph’s outgoing director of digital engagement, an author and national speaker. He and his wife have been married for 15 years and have four sons.
This article appeared in the May 2023 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.