Discouraged today


#1
 For those of you that know me on these forums you know I come from a non-catholic background. I often have to defend the Catholic faith against non- catholic relatives. Last night I was with a relative I haven’t seen in a long time. My wife and mother-in-law always tell me how involved he is with his church and what a devoted catholic he is. He told me how honored he was to be a eucharistic minister. He then told me that if it wasn’t for his local parish he would be a Lutheran. I was shocked. I told him there were differences in beliefs. Unprepared, I then fell into the trap most catholics fall into. He rattled off a question asking if I believe only catholics go to heaven? And then immediately afterwards he states he disagreed with the Pope on contraception . The trap being that I answered his questions in rapid fire form rather then addressing each subject thoroughly. He compared our beliefs about contraception to JWs beliefs in blood transfusions…..*?Don’t ask, I’m still befuddled on that one. My problem is I fight passionately for my faith and I always scare the fish away. I discuss my faith as guys would discuss football and what that does is end the conversation.

 I once heard an apologist say his biggest debates about Catholic doctrine are with Catholics. I’m discouraged at the fact that many catholics fail to look into their own faith for answers. I’m discouraged because even the catholics in my family go to the buffet instead of the catechism. Most of all I’m discouraged about my ability to express our beliefs in a loving way.

Is there a patron Saint of Apologetics I can ask for intercession from?


#2

I believe its St. Justin Martyr


#3

Michael C,

I recommend Search and Rescue: How to Bring Your Family and Friends Into, or Back Into, the Catholic Church by Patrick Madrid. He gives some practical advice to apologists that might be helpful to you.


#4

Our prayers are with you.

I am the only Catholic in my family, my brother (a pastor) and sisters are very well versed on the Fundalimest anti-catholic. When the attacks come, I just thank them for their beiefs. I do not try to defend the faith, because they would not believe it (pearls before swine). I know the time will come when they will want to know what I really believe. Today, when they ask me what I believe, i just say, “Do you really want to know and will you listen without agruing?” Once one of my sisters sais yes and we talked for over an hour on the Mass. She said she didn’t know and was really impressed with how organized the Catholics are.

Be strong in your faith. As St. Thomas (I think) said, “Evangalize continiuosly, sometimes use words.”


#5

[quote=dhgray]Our prayers are with you.

I am the only Catholic in my family, my brother (a pastor) and sisters are very well versed on the Fundalimest anti-catholic. When the attacks come, I just thank them for their beiefs. I do not try to defend the faith, because they would not believe it (pearls before swine). I know the time will come when they will want to know what I really believe. Today, when they ask me what I believe, i just say, “Do you really want to know and will you listen without agruing?” Once one of my sisters sais yes and we talked for over an hour on the Mass. She said she didn’t know and was really impressed with how organized the Catholics are.

Be strong in your faith. As St. Thomas (I think) said, “Evangalize continiuosly, sometimes use words.”
[/quote]

thanks DhGray. It was St.Francis of assisi.


#6

[quote=Michael C] For those of you that know me on these forums you know I come from a non-catholic background. I often have to defend the Catholic faith against non- catholic relatives. Last night I was with a relative I haven’t seen in a long time. My wife and mother-in-law always tell me how involved he is with his church and what a devoted catholic he is. He told me how honored he was to be a eucharistic minister. He then told me that if it wasn’t for his local parish he would be a Lutheran. I was shocked. I told him there were differences in beliefs. Unprepared, I then fell into the trap most catholics fall into. He rattled off a question asking if I believe only catholics go to heaven? And then immediately afterwards he states he disagreed with the Pope on contraception . The trap being that I answered his questions in rapid fire form rather then addressing each subject thoroughly. He compared our beliefs about contraception to JWs beliefs in blood transfusions……*?Don’t ask, I’m still befuddled on that one. My problem is I fight passionately for my faith and I always scare the fish away. I discuss my faith as guys would discuss football and what that does is end the conversation.

I once heard an apologist say his biggest debates about Catholic doctrine are with Catholics. I’m discouraged at the fact that many catholics fail to look into their own faith for answers. I’m discouraged because even the catholics in my family go to the buffet instead of the catechism. Most of all I’m discouraged about my ability to express our beliefs in a loving way.

Is there a patron Saint of Apologetics I can ask for intercession from?
[/quote]

Apologetics is not easy. This happens to everyone. You learn from it, move on, and are better prepared the next time. Defending the faith takes many years of study because you must understand ahead of time what the attack is going to be, before you can formulate the response. God Bless you!


#7

I am sorry to hear you are discouraged. I feel much the same way as you regarding my inability to grasp any apologitic skills.

I do talk about my faith much, so my good friends do confide in me often, but most of them are lukewarm Catholics who want to debate the premarital sex issues, ABC issues, and no good reason to go to confession.

My dearest cousin is Catholic in name only and has recently found that attending a Baptist church satisfies her more than Sunday mass. She called me in an excited rush because she had just started this fabulous book that I must read, “Davinci Code”. The result is that she doubts more than ever.

I think the very best thing you can continue to do for them is to pray. I believe God will either equip you with the skills somehow, or God will use you in some other way to get through to these people. (See, thanks to itsjustdave1988, we both have a book that may help in our endeavor).

Michael, maybe your way is supposed to be more like St Therese and her “Little Way”, show by example and simple open conversation? That is also a blessed way to lead souls to God.

I see it has a huge blessing alone that people will talk to you about religion - it being such a taboo and closed subject in most social settings. That people know they can confide in you and ask you questions. Someday it will click - and they will know exactly where to go for guidance. Maybe the time is not right yet.

God is working through you, so don’t be discouraged. You are still evangelizing.


#8

[quote=Michael C] And then immediately afterwards he states he disagreed with the Pope on contraception . It’s nearly ALWAYS something about sex. 99.9% of the time. Get him a copy of Christopher West’s book Good News about Sex and Marriage.

I discuss my faith as guys would discuss football and what that does is end the conversation.

Men DO that! We’re not all called to be Mister Rogers. As long as you fight fair and clean and shake hands when it’s over, you’ll be OK. And never go in for a kill. Only God will move his heart. But your passion has to be a plus!

I once heard an apologist say his biggest debates about Catholic doctrine are with Catholics.

You bet! I was talking with a priest the other day about having the parish offer a program to help Catholics reach out to their fallen-away relatives, and he said he wasn’t half as worried about the fallen away Catholics who had left the Church as he was about the fallen away Catholics who were coming to church on Sunday!

Is there a patron Saint of Apologetics I can ask for intercession from?

Try St. Francis de Sales – he re-converted some 30,000 Calvinists back to the faith . . .

[/quote]


#9

[quote=itsjustdave1988]Michael C,

I recommend Search and Rescue: How to Bring Your Family and Friends Into, or Back Into, the Catholic Church by Patrick Madrid. He gives some practical advice to apologists that might be helpful to you.
[/quote]

There’s a 10-part radio version of this in EWTN’s audio library. Go to the home page, click on libraries, then audio and type in “rescue” in the “series” search box. Take ya right to it.


#10

Hey My Franciscan Brother!
Rough night at the OK coral huh?
I always find that when I feel my emotions begin to “cook”, that it helps greatly to make a conscious effort to take a couple of deep breaths and to silently beg the Holy Spirit to help me answer with His words and wisdom. It IS frustrating when someone we care about says something crazy like that, but the fact is that they are not the authority and very often it is moral issues that they are smokescreening for or they haven’t ever really given the issues a serious thought.

My suggestion…The Divine Mercy Chaplet.
PM if ya wanna talk…
The battle is always the Lord’s :thumbsup:
Pax vobiscum,


#11

[quote=jrabs] She called me in an excited rush because she had just started this fabulous book that I must read, “Davinci Code”. The result is that she doubts more than ever.

[/quote]

My wifes Aunt who is Catholic rushed to tell me about that “Great book”. Thanks for the kind words.

I invite all on this forum to come and move close to me so I will have well informed neighbors. The invitation is for the non-catholics here also, even though you disagree with Catholiscism, at least you know the difference between Lutheran and Catholic.


#12

Excellent suggestion. I believe he converted almost no one for the first couple of years. A good example of patience and persaverance.


#13

[quote=mercygate]…I was talking with a priest the other day about having the parish offer a program to help Catholics reach out to their fallen-away relatives, and he said he wasn’t half as worried about the fallen away Catholics who had left the Church as he was about the fallen away Catholics who were coming to church on Sunday! …[/font]
[/quote]

You hit the nail right on the head with that one. I see that phenomenon every day. And it wasn’t so many years ago that I was one of them. Too many Catholics haven’t studied their faith since their original catechesis (and usually that was loooooong ago and sketchy at best). That is definately one area that most protestant churches have on us - their adult scripture study and sunday school activities are far more developed than most Catholic parishes’.


#14

[quote=Church Militant]Hey My Franciscan Brother!
Rough night at the OK coral huh?
I always find that when I feel my emotions begin to “cook”, that it helps greatly to make a conscious effort to take a couple of deep breaths and to silently beg the Holy Spirit to help me answer with His words and wisdom. It IS frustrating when someone we care about says something crazy like that, but the fact is that they are not the authority and very often it is moral issues that they are smokescreening for or they haven’t ever really given the issues a serious thought.

My suggestion…The Divine Mercy Chaplet.
PM if ya wanna talk…
The battle is always the Lord’s :thumbsup:
Pax vobiscum,
[/quote]

Where have you been I thought you’d be first to reply to this thread.It’s almost always the moral issues. I find the examples brought up are always to the extreme also.


#15

[quote=Michael C]I invite all on this forum to come and move close to me so I will have well informed neighbors…
[/quote]

As an aside on that subject, if you’ve read about Ave Maria University they talk about the new town in Florida where the campus will be located - Ave Maria, Florida. The thought of an entire town developed around a Catholic university is pretty exciting. Maybe we all should move there if it ever gets off the ground. :wink:


#16

[quote=OhioBob]As an aside on that subject, if you’ve read about Ave Maria University they talk about the new town in Florida where the campus will be located - Ave Maria, Florida. The thought of an entire town developed around a Catholic university is pretty exciting. Maybe we all should move there if it ever gets off the ground. :wink:
[/quote]

Hey Bob, on your way down from Ohio to Ave Maria, Florida stop by NY. Make sure there’s enough room for my 4 kids,my wife and me.


#17

I am sorry, I don’t think it’s our calling or even helpful to “debate” people on our faith. When debtes are purely for who “wins” and “loses”, it’s in fact a no-win game. The Bible is so huge there are too many ways someone can manipulate Scripture, meaning, and more (ie false prophets) to put you in a corner.

I just refuse to debate by saying, “If you have genuine interest in what we believe, especially if I can help you in making a decision about your faith, I would love to help. But help is the key word here, I have better thgins to do with my time than intellectually debate.”


#18

[quote=dhgray]Our prayers are with you.

I am the only Catholic in my family, my brother (a pastor) and sisters are very well versed on the Fundalimest anti-catholic. When the attacks come, I just thank them for their beiefs. I do not try to defend the faith, because they would not believe it (pearls before swine). I know the time will come when they will want to know what I really believe. Today, when they ask me what I believe, i just say, “Do you really want to know and will you listen without agruing?” Once one of my sisters sais yes and we talked for over an hour on the Mass. She said she didn’t know and was really impressed with how organized the Catholics are.

Be strong in your faith. As St. Thomas (I think) said, “Evangalize continiuosly, sometimes use words.”
[/quote]

An atheist one time used to ask me quick-fire questions all the time.
So one day I just said to him, “if you want to know what I believe, then just say the apostles creed”.

I don’t know if he even knows the apostles creed, but he was brought up Catholic, but that answer sure brought a little bit of peace in my life that day.


#19

Hi MichaelC;

I have the same problem in my extended family. Most are lapsed Catholics, the only exception being my two parents, one aunt and uncle, and my grandmother. It’s sad but true that it’s sometimes harder to convince Catholics of the beauty of their own faith than it is to convert a beligerent Protestant. I don’t know how things got to the state they are in, but perhaps the world needs a few more people just like you, who are on fire for the faith.

I don’t know you, but it sounds to me like you’ve got the right message but just need to turn down the heat. Put on the mind of Christ when you speak to people about the faith. My personal meditation prior to engaging in a discussion of the faith is to consider Christ’s attitude when He was speaking with the Samaritan woman He met at the well, so serenely and peacefully, yet full of confidence and also full of love for this woman whose life was so full of pain.

Just my two cents.

-Rob


#20

[quote=awalt]I am sorry, I don’t think it’s our calling or even helpful to “debate” people on our faith. When debtes are purely for who “wins” and “loses”, it’s in fact a no-win game. The Bible is so huge there are too many ways someone can manipulate Scripture, meaning, and more (ie false prophets) to put you in a corner.

I just refuse to debate by saying, “If you have genuine interest in what we believe, especially if I can help you in making a decision about your faith, I would love to help. But help is the key word here, I have better thgins to do with my time than intellectually debate.”
[/quote]

Hi awalt, My problem is when a relative says they’re Catholic but really has no idea what that means. This is different then discussing what we believe with our christian brothers of a different denomination. The creed says WE believe. Not the second pew over there believes this and the people in the back believe that…etc. I don’t think I could let that go unchallenged.


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