So depressed might not be the best word, but perhaps ‘deeply sad’ is a better term. I had dinner with a Baptist friend who’s now attending a pentacostal church last night and I mentioned a guy that I was considering setting her up with. The guy was Catholic and she commented that that would’t work because she wouldn’t convert. Her brother just converted this past spring and I’ve talked to her a lot about the faith and have given her a rosary which she seemed very pleased to have, plus she seems to have a love of liturgical things. I don’t know, I was very disheartened by that comment and it makes me sad that such a lovely person could eventually be a lost soul. That someone who loves Jesus, and has questioned by his disciples had a hard time recognizing Jesus as God while He was on earth, seems to have an equally hard time recognizing Jesus in his one true Church and in the Eucharist. Was this unrecognition of Jesus in his own time a forshadowing of the unrecognition of Jesus in his Catholic Church and the Eucharist? Do they both require the same type of Faith to comprehend and internalize? Without that sort of Faith is one in danger of not achieving Salvation? I know that God will judge us depending on what we know and our level of ignorance, and I can not judge a person’s level of ignorance. But in a lot of ways, my friend seems more catechized in the Catholic Faith than some Catholics even. I’m very much tempted to despair and give up even though I can not stop hoping for her.
At times like this we can think of Jesus, weeping over his city of Jerusalem and all the people He loved there. But many became His true disciples later.
We have to fight against discouragement though. She enjoyed the rosary, so there are some good things to hope for with that. I would say, just keep praying for her and things can change much more quickly than we might think. Plus, her brother will be a good influence.
I think it is very commendable of you to walk in faith with your friend. Please don’t be discouraged, and please don’t push her too hard. God will work in his own way, in his own time. Continue to pray for her and put her in God’s care.
gugg15I used to feel this way sometimes too.
Here’s the solution I can offer. Pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that she change the Protestants’ hearts. The Hail Mary and the Prayer on the Miraculous Medal are good for this. Mary will then pray to her Spouse, the Holy Spirit, if it is her will to act. Then, her Spouse will change the Protestant’s heart and you’ll see surprising results, without your having to do a thing!
The second thing to do is to pray for faith. A man approached Jesus once with the words in the Gospel, “I believe; help me in my unbelief!” That is how we should pray. We believe as much as we can and we pray to believe more. This belief isn’t about “knowing” God’s will or filling out a formula like: “I believe” > “prayer answered”. It’s about submission of our souls to God’s will. You truly desire that your prayer be answered and you resign yourself to His will, that His will be done whatever it may be, even if it isn’t that this person convert now on Earth. Then, we pray persistently. We pray for faith and resign ourselves to God’s will, just allowing God to take care of the situation whatever His purpose is.
If it is a Godly sorrow that is not harming your life, join it with the Lord’s sorrow on the Cross as He say how His sacrifice would be fruitless for so many lost sinners.
Offer this to God through Christ.
Then perhaps, that offering will help her. It will certainly help in someone, somehow in some fashion, that much is certain.
It is as though Jesus said: “O My Father, I am indeed going to clothe myself with human flesh, but the greater part of the world will set no value on my blood!”
St. Isidore of Seville, Arcbishop, Doctor, Father of the Church
‘Let nothing disturb thee. Let nothing affright thee. All things are passing. Patience obtains all things. He who has God has everything. God alone suffices.’
St. Teresa of Jesus
‘Acting according to this pattern, one not only becomes holy but also enjoys perpetual serenity in this life. Alphonsus the Great, King of Aragon, being asked one day whom he considered the happiest person in the world, answered: “He who abandons himself to the will of God and accepts all things, prosperous and adverse, as coming from his hands.” “To those that love God, all things work together unto good.” Those who love God are always happy, because their whole happiness is to fulfill, even in adversity, the will of God.’
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
I recommend that you read “Rome Sweet Home” as I did during a retreat last week. It chronicles the 5-year journey of two hardcore protestants who eventually became Catholic, but not at the same time. Basically, they started out on the same page, ready to conquer the world, but then there was this 5-year period of dissonance. But eventually, they both ended up on the same page again – the Catholic Church, and are famous apologists (Scott and Kimberly Hahn).
We really have to remember that all things are done on God’s time.
Heck, there were extended periods lasting even decades when the Church had no idea who was the actual pope (2 or even 3 popes claiming authority at the same time). Can you imagine living through periods like that ? Decades !
At some point, there is no more that one can do from a practical/ intellectual standpoint. When one reaches that point, one can only pray. And live an exemplary life – the daily witness of Christ in ordinary life is like a steady dripping of water which, over time, can eventually drill holes through hearts of stone.
Beautiful, Shin! Thanks for the quotes!
I agree! That was an excellent analogy.
don’t despair… just pray for your friend. I was once a Protestant and it took me a long time to see the truth. Also remember we don’t know the state of another person’s soul. God is merciful, and Protestants can be saved too, although it’s more difficult without the Sacraments… the Sacraments are a great gift, one of the greatest there are. And I agree with you about the Eucharist, I think it’s similar to John 6…and how the disciples left Him. Did you know that verse about the disciples leaving is John 6:66?? (the number lol!)
But again, don’t despair… It sounds like your friend loves the Lord, and if she is open, and if He calls her to His Church, she will one day hear. Just don’t stop praying for her ,and don’t get discouraged. Pray also to Our Lady, St Anthony of Padua, St Padre Pio, and St Therese of Lisieux… they seem to be good with conversions
good post I agree.