Apologetics using our heart, soul, and mind


#1

This is my first thread and I picked a topic which I think is essential for this entire forum to think about. I’ll start with a quote from Matthew 22: 34-40:

"Hearing that Jesus had silences the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’

Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

With that scripture in mind, I’d like to ask:

“Do we as Catholics approach apologetics (the defense of the Catholic faith) in a way that strives to love God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind as well as to love our neighbor as ourself?”

From my perspective, over the last year, I’ve learned some valuable lessons in apologetics, here are some:

  • Before answering a question, make sure it was asked in the first place, otherwise you will appear confrontational and single-minded. Not to mention, you’ll probably not truly be heard.

  • Once you have given an answer, let go of your answer and pray that God works in the hearer to open their eyes to His truth, don’t put hope in your own wisdom but in God’s Holy Spirit working in others

  • It is best to love (with your heart), know (with your mind), and share your faith (your soul) with another person, than to just simply share all-to-ready “canned” defenses and forget to invest love in the conversation… let Christ shine!

  • It is best to be both deeply human and intellectually sound in our apologetics, so as to “listen with the ears of the heart” - St. Benedict.

I’d like to know what you have learned in your defense of the Catholic faith!

Note: This is not intended to spark a defense of the faith, but to delve into the experience of the defense itself and to explore how we can better live out the greatest commandments, from Christ himself, in our daily lives.


#2

When possible, I try to answer the question posed, and ignore the tone in which it was asked, especially when someone is arrogant or condescending.

The bottom line is, even if the person is baiting with the question, often there are people “lurking” (for lack of a better word) who may share the same question, although on a more curious level. For every mountainboy with an attitude, there may be dozens of Christians that have the same concerns.

Those are the people I try to address my explanation to. Sometimes I do fail, and let my emotions get involved.


#3

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