Catholics: Do you know how to share your faith or "witness" to others?


#1

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Aside from the very obvious: living it day to day…

How do you share your Catholic faith?

Do you know what “a testimony” is and if you had to could you give a clear, concise, and effective “witness” of what God has done in your life and why Catholicism is the way to go?

I failed to set it up to allow multiple choices, so please tell all you use in your posts thanks!

Feel free to give it here, or get ideas from what you find.
Pax vobiscum.


#2

I carry my pocket New Testament that has many helpful passages highlighted and annotated, and my Catholic Pocket Evangelist. I use them to answer questions as best I can.


#3

Good Start so far.
I ALWAYS have something with me to help me share my faith and I look for opportunities wherever I go.
I know the Bible fairly well (I may be being modest there…I don’t know. I’ve studied it a lot.) and I know how to present my testimony because I had 34 years as a Prot to develope it among people who taught that that was one of the best things to do. I firmly believe what St.Peter says in 1st Peter 3:15 “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,” So…I do. In general, I’ve found that most of us do not really know how to “give a witness” of our faith and that tends to make our separarted brethren think that we don’t have one, which is patently untrue. Catholics just don’t talk in those terms.

Either way it just comes down to being able to share the faith with others.


#4

I also could have marked the first four choices. I am not shy about sharing my faith and try to have materials on hand at all times to share. I regularly give books and tapes away and, when travel, I try to leave Catholic tracts in places where you usually find Jack Chick or JW material. If I stay in a hotel, I take along a copy of the Catholic Answers booklet *Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth * and place it inside or under the Gideon Bible (or Book of Mormon, if I am in Utah).

I am comfortable giving my testimony and, when I help teach RCIA or adult confirmation, I stress to them the importance of developing a testimony and getting used to sharing it. I think part of the reason that Catholics don’t think they have a testimony (aside from perhaps not knowing what one is) is that people in general think that their own stories, compared to others they have heard, all not remarkable enough to share. In my experience, however, everyone has *something * interesting to say when it comes to their relationship to God and what he has done in their life.


#5

[quote=Church Militant] [font=Arial][size=2]How do you share your Catholic faith?[/size] [/font]
[/quote]

I do have a testimony of my relationship with Jesus and what He has done for me. I share this often with non-Christians, fallen-away Catholics, or the many church-going Catholics I know who don’t have an active relationship with Jesus.

With Protestants, I stick with one subject, the Eucharist. Unlike many other popular points of disagreement, our understanding of the Eucharist can be supported by many Scripture passages and is clearly articulated by the early Fathers. Also, rather than just arguing over a less consequential matter, we have a great gift to offer in the Eucharist. And, when you are offerring a gift, it is much less threatening than just trying to tell someone that they’re wrong.

Blessings


#6

[quote=JimO]I do have a testimony of my relationship with Jesus and what He has done for me. I share this often with non-Christians, fallen-away Catholics, or the many church-going Catholics I know who don’t have an active relationship with Jesus.

With Protestants, I stick with one subject, the Eucharist. Unlike many other popular points of disagreement, our understanding of the Eucharist can be supported by many Scripture passages and is clearly articulated by the early Fathers. Also, rather than just arguing over a less consequential matter, we have a great gift to offer in the Eucharist. And, when you are offerring a gift, it is much less threatening than just trying to tell someone that they’re wrong.

Blessings
[/quote]

Very well said and I have found that so as well. :thumbsup:


#7

I could acutally use some tips in this area too since I chose the “tongue tied” option. Since I live alone (with my cat), I do not have any roommates to share my faith with. At my workplace, “religion and politics” among other categories are not supposed to be discussed. Even coworkers who will not say anything to your face may be tip-toeing off to Human Resources to complain about discussions they find offensive. That literally happened at my workplace though not over religion (If I recall correctly it was about jokes they found offensive).

Still, that has me kind of worried about starting discussions about religion at work. I do wear a smallish crusifix now to work and am thinking about putting a small picture of Our Lord in my cubicle. Keeping the restrictions at work in mind, I would appreciate some tips either in the thread or via PM. Also, I would like to know how to witness in my neighborhood (a trailer park).

Mother Angelica would often mention the need to “define and defend” the Catholic faith, and I admit I need help in both areas. Also, I tend to be an introvert almost to the point of being a hermit (though more out of fear than good and holy reasons). Going to daily mass helps that a little, but much room for improvment remains.


#8

Always obey the workplace rules. If anyone expresses interest then ask them to call you at home or go to lunch w/you.

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#9

I’ve been meaning to ask exactly what “witness” means in the context of religion. It seems to be a term of art that is used in several ways.

No one I know is ever interested in hearing about it. I wish someone was, though I tend to get tongue-tied. I do have one friend who rants about all the supposedly Catholic women she knows who had multiple babies out of wedlock etc and live like sluts. Next time she does this I will remind her that (1) at least they didn’t abort and (2) just because they were baptized Catholic upteen years ago doesn’t mean they’re truly Catholic. But it is amazing how many of the Catholic baby boomers were not taught anything, rebelled against whatever was taught, and think of church as just a place to get your kid baptized and attend funerals. And their parents taught them this by example


#10

thorugh a personal experience I find that the YAQism method does not work very well. For anyone who is not familiar with this method it basically is this: http://pages.prodigy.net/rogerlori1/emoticons/AN878.gif

(icon courtesy of Church Militant) c. 2005


#11

Dear ChurchMilitant:

I’m so happy to see a thread such as yours!!! I too feel it is most wonderful to look for opportunities to share our faith wherever we go!!! Not enough people, Catholics or Protestants do I’m afraid. Also I don’t agree with the notion that we should “wait until someone comes up to us to ask us about our faith–then share it”. We should share voluntarily, don’t you all agree? Not shove it down their throats or condemn but share.

As a new Catholic, I feel so excited and want to share what I’ve found with many Protestants in my family and friends. Some have shunned me, even though I do it gently, perhaps mention something, then share a tape or book. This has not gotten very good results, only alot of negative and nasty e-mails, etc…Protestants can be EXTREMELY defensive I have found, as they’re so used to “Bible alone”, etc. etc., “But this verse that verse says this”…contradicting Catholicism of course, (they say)…They don’t even want to consider anything else!!! So, it’s still exciting for me nonetheless, to simply share what God is doing in my life, and what I’ve found to be true. I want to learn to be a much better Apologist though, at least with the basics.!!!

God Bless~~


#12

[quote=sparkle]Dear Church Militant:

I’m so happy to see a thread such as yours!!!
[/quote]

Garsh Ma’am…It weren’t nothin’. It wuz the Holy Ghost ]

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#13

I’ve been waiting for two years, and finally got a chance just last night! My husband and I eat often in a little restaurant where a really great Evangelical family also are regulars. Sometimes the wife has been a little “edgy” with her “former-Catholic-but-I-saw-the-light” digs, and questions like: “Why do you worship Mary?” “Why do you pray to statues when it says in the Bible . . .”

Last night, she was talking about letting out a four-letter word in a conversation at work, and how she apologized for it and prayed for patience in the future. So I shared my story of having once (once?) confessed that I had re-named my lawn mower “Jesus” in a fit of frustration after 14 gut-wrenching pulls on the starter cord. The punch line of this little story is that I think every priest who hears this in confession should have to start his own lawn mower before passing judgment on his penitent.

So naturally, this led to the usual: “Do you go to confession? Can’t you just confess to God? Only God forgives sins.” You know the drill. I was able to set up a tidy little non-confrontational presentation of John 20:23 and why Catholics believe in sacramental confession. I launched with: Yes! I get to confession about once a month. It’s one of the BEST things about being Catholic. You have no IDEA what graces come through that sacrament!

My goal for this bunch is just to get 'em to understand that Catholics are Christians. That we don’t worship statues or Mary. That (here’s the biggie) the Catholic Church is more Scripture-based than any Protestant denomination.

When it comes to people like these, I am a great believer in sound-byte evangelism. Their armor is so tough they can’t sustain anything more drawn out. E.g., “The Catholic Church has never taught that we can be saved by our own works apart from Christ.”


#14

[quote=Psalm45:9]thorugh a personal experience I find that the YAQism method does not work very well. For anyone who is not familiar with this method it basically is this: http://pages.prodigy.net/rogerlori1/emoticons/AN878.gif

(icon courtesy of Church Militant) c. 2005
[/quote]

Dude! http://pages.prodigy.net/indianahawkeye/newpage08/8.gif

BTW the icons came from here: pages.prodigy.net/rogerlori1/emoticons/pageindex.htm


#15

Knowing how to effectively share your faith is important to the spread of the gospel. This is not just the venue of the Priests and religious (although they do a great deal of it), but something that applies to all of us via the great commission. If we feel shy or “weird” about it then there are ways to better equip ourselves for this task, without having to get a degree in theology from Franciscan U. (No Offense F.U. S. folks. You have a great school and I WISH I could go!) so that we can share our faith accurately and with confidence.

So…what do you all say? Shall we study to show ourselves approved and to be about our Father’s business while carrying out all the corporal works of mercy as well?
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#16

I capture them, and force them to listen to Gregorian Chant, really loud until they give in.


#17

[quote=itsjustdave1988]I capture them, and force them to listen to Gregorian Chant, really loud until they give in.
[/quote]

LOL!

Ever read The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy?

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#18

[quote=itsjustdave1988]I capture them, and force them to listen to Gregorian Chant, really loud until they give in.
[/quote]

:rotfl:

I will have to try this one. Sounds very effective. I suggest we force them to watch Mother Angelica on EWTN for days on end without sleep.

btw–CM–This is a great thread. I would like to gain more confidence in this area. I just get very flustered when I hear the ignorant remarks made about the Catholic faith (worship of Mary claim really gets me). I am afraid I will blow up and get very sarcastic if I open my mouth. I pray for patience.


#19

A really good book is Patrick Madrid’s Search and Rescue: How to Bring Your Family and Friends Into, or Back Into, the Catholic Church .

Although he fails to mention the Gregorian Chant technique in his book, it’s pretty good nonetheless.

Church Militant, I haven’t read that book, is it good? I’m looking from something less “textbook” to read. My books are geeky engineering texts and theology. I need to lighten up a bit. :wink:


#20

It’s fantastic and you can actually get the whole series in one unabridged volume at B&N pretty reasonably. It’s nuts, but funny…also, for your geekness…has a starship powered by an “infinite improbability drive”.

On a more serious not but still outstanding reading, I suggest Bud Macfarlane’s novels, beginning with “Pierced By A Sword”. The Characters become like old friends. They’re very Catholic novels. The price is right too. Look here: catholicity.com/saintjude/


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