This past Saturday, my husband and I were working in the garage and were approached by three people. We thought that they were from the Democratic Party, because we’ve been getting a lot of those lately due to the upcoming election. These folks wanted to take a survey about religion, (one of my favorite subjects), so I agreed! What they were really doing was trying to get people to visit/join their church.
It’s terrible, but many Catholics – myself included – are afraid of being confronted about our faith. Most of us don’t know it well enough to defend it against people of other faiths who do know their faith really well. I have managed to kindly avoid Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons who regularly blanket the neighborhood with pamphlets. Anyway, yesterday, I was so proud of myself. I had a wonderful faith conversation with these kind folks. There was only one thing that I wish I had said – that came to me moments later – regarding “Faith Alone” vs “Faith + Works,” namely from St. Paul, “Faith without works is dead.” We agreed upon the importance of reading scripture, the importance of forming and ministering to our youth – the church of tomorrow, the fact that our redemption is through Jesus Christ, etc. At the end, they left me with some literature that I will not be reading – no disrespect.
There is nothing that could draw me away from the Church that Christ Himself instituted. I will not leave the only Church who can offer me Jesus’ body in the Eucharist. There was a time in my young adult life that I did visit different churches. I was searching. My searching was not fruitless. It led me to the Church to which I had already belonged since my baptism!
What I thought was wonderful though was being challenged about my faith and being able to comfortably defend it while being loving and respectful. We really do have a lot in common with our brothers and sisters in the Protestant religions – we agree on many big, important points.
I am taking a course right now being offered at Mary Queen of Peace Church in Mandeville in Catholic apologetics with Judy Klein. It’s excellent, informative and inspiring. Apologetics does NOT mean apologizing for our faith. It means being able to defend our faith (especially scripturally) to those who get their beliefs from scripture alone. It is so important that all Catholics get educated about their faith. Knowing more about where we get our beliefs from helps us to truly appreciate our beautiful Catholic Faith and to live it more fully!