One sometimes hears otherwise faithful persons say that although they never speak to their friends about their faith, they try to live in such a way that their lives will be a witness to the Gospel.

A bogus quote from St. Francis of Assissi is often used in support of this idea.  No, he did not say “Always preach the Gospel, and when necessary, use words.”

The problem with the idea of being so good that words become unnecessary is that none of us are that good.

Even if we were that good, our friends would need words to know what accounted for the fact.

Besides, our witness rests not on our virtue, but on the mercy of the God who suffered as Man what we deserved.

Christ used words.  Wouldn’t it be strange if our lives were better witnesses than His?