Biggest influence on you outside of your own faith tradition

Just wondering…for Catholics…of non-Catholic’s who would you say has had the greatest influence on you spiritually?

For non-Catholics - the same thing, have you been particularly influenced by someone from a different faith tradition - a Catholic or even a “non-Christian”??

For myself, I guess I’d have to way that CS Lewis and Ghandi fit the bill for me.

What about you???


Mother Angelica on the Catholicism side, for sure. As far as philosophy, I’d say Taoism.

The 13th Century Sufi mystic, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī.

Rumi’s importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. In 2007, he was described as the "most popular poet in America.

In terms of famous people whom everyone might have heard of, C.S. Lewis for sure. I read his ‘The Four Loves’ when I was very sick and it was a real eye opener for me. I learned a lot from it and hope to read his others non-fiction works some day :slight_smile:

In terms of which non-Catholics have had the **biggest **influence on me, it has to be my university college chaplain (Anglican) and a female English tutor who was also a welfare tutor (Presbyterian). I was under their care when I was very sick, a short while before I read the Lewis mentioned above, and though we rarely talked about religion, they taught me more about God’s love and compassion for us and made it more real for me. They taught me life lessons about my faith that, for whatever reason, I had never managed to learn in church or at my convent school :slight_smile:

The biggest non-Catholic influence for me would be a Church of Christ pastor and a Church of Christ elder, also an elder of the Presbyterian church.

For a non-Christian influence it would be Buddhism as I spent part of my formative years in a Buddhist country.

Since my faith-tradition from birth was Atheism, I’d say the biggest influence on me outside of it was Roman Catholicism… :wink:

Now that I am baptized, it is the Ukrainian Orthodox church and the Church of England.

The Ukrainian style, language, liturgy, architecture, and use of colour inspire me deeply to contemplate the overwhelming majesty and beauty of God in Heaven. Their chant, called Znamenny Chant, is very old and glorious as well.

The Anglican tradition - i.e. pre-1920s - used to do vernacular liturgy very well. I wish ICEL would have listened to the Anglicans in the first place when translating the Mass in the 1970s. The Anglican love of simple, Christ-centered prayer within the Church - making use of litanies and services of all sorts - is very inspiring to me.

My husband, Church of Christ member, who showed me the importance of living a Christian life 24/7 and not just Sunday morning. Basically, to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Many years ago, I was reminded of FDR’s famous words from his first inaugural address. "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself ". Those words helped me deal with a particular situation back then. Thank you FDR:thumbsup:

I’ve always taken an interest in tribal cultures especially in Australia and Africa, and the value they attach to family and tribe and the significance of offering sacrifice. Pope John Paul made a significant comment regarding the animist traditions in his book Crossing the Threshhold of Hope.

"At this point, it seems opportune to recall all the primitive religions, the Animist type of religion, which puts first emphasis on the worship of their ancestors. It seems that those who practice it are particularly close to Christianity. Among them the missionaries of the Church more easily find a common language.

Is there, perhaps, in this veneration of the ancestors a kind of preparation for the Christian belief in the communion of saints, wherein all believers - whether living or dead - form a single community, a single body? Faith in the communion of the saints is, ultimately, faith in Christ, the only source of life and holiness for all.

There is nothing strange, then, in the fact that the African and Asian animists would become confessors of Christ more easily than followers of the great religions of the Far East."

Etienne Gilson, who brought Thomas Aquinas into my life 50 years ago, and Thomas Aquinas who has now brought Aristotle into my life, and Dr. Edward Feser who keeps the fire going.


C.S. Lewis and Rev. Martin Luther King (his “I Have a Dream” speech)

that would be for i; Jewish and other early and ancient monotheistic religions, the idea of

one Love or “Logos,” polytheistic and other beliefs prophesies about the arrival of Jesus

the Christ, Noah and his actions, dinosaurs, rocks, then lastly ancient plants.

God bless

Existential Philosophy. And people such as Albert Camus, Fyodor Dostoevsky, C.S. Lewis, N.T. Wright, and Peter Leithart.

CS Lewis

C.S. Lewis and his Screwtape Letters were brilliant.

Martin Luther King Jr and his way with expressing the civil rights condition through the eyes of his faith.

Edgar Allen Poe and his soulful expression through poetry

An Evangelical youth pastor I helped and his approach to communicating the gospel with kids.

Pastor Francis Chan and his genuine devotion to preaching the bible.


Love em all

That’s a tough one. I’ll leave Greek works from before the Schism aside, as we Catholics have as much claim to them as the Orthodox. In philosophy, of course, we cannot escape the influence of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. In literature, the figures of Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, and Eliot certainly loom quite large. In more devotional work, though, I have none but the highest praise for the anonymous Russian classic The Way of a Pilgrim, widely known from its being featured in J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey, a work of fiction I’d highly recommend.

I’d also add the works of the Orthodox Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh, Vladimir Lossky, and Alexander Schmemann; and, from the Protestant world, American Quaker Thomas Raymond Kelly’s A Testament of Devotion and Markings, the spiritual memoir of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, a Swedish Lutheran.

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