Evangelizing to Catholics

Thanks for the reminder :slight_smile:

Honestly, for the most part that works for me. Knowing that I’ve been praying for them, taking it to adoration, brings me peace which lasts quite a while, but then there are times when I read posts here of examples of people doing more than just praying and I begin to question if I’m just taking the ‘safe’ direction by relying on the prayers and such.

Because the seeds of doubt come from our faithful members here in the forums I wonder if that’s God speaking to me through them, spurring me on to do more than pray, or if it’s the work of the devil trying to get me to give up on my siblings or go out and take matters into my own hand, thus forcing those evangelizing moments resulting in more damage than good (validating my siblings’ reasons for leaving the faith).

Your advice is calming, though, so for now I will strike the nagging in my heart against the dark side and continue to do that which I know with absolute certainty is correct: pray, fast and take it to adoration.

Thanks for the support.

He will always open the door when it’s time to open it. He doesn’t forget. You are responsible for being ready to walk through at that time. And your obedience in praying both asks for His leading, and prepares you for your further action when the time comes.

I am always surprised, (I don’t know why :rolleyes: ) , when a door suddenly flies open, seemingly out of nowhere. And at that moment, I know it’s the Holy Spirit, He will leave you with no doubt! And those are the most exciting moments you’ll ever experience, it’s like this beautiful gift! And there is no anxiety when He gives you a gift like that!

There’s a verse that comes to mind: Be still and know that I am God. Can’t say it any better than that. :slight_smile:

thanks ladies
sometimes i can get wrapped around the axle and think i have to do something now.
it will happen in its time :o
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On a positive note with regard to evangelizing to Catholics I do have three examples of how well these things work when we let God do the directing:

  1. A co-worker and I share the faith and we’ve attended mass together on holy days on occasion. One day she was talking about how the cousins were getting ready to take a niece out to the bars for her 21st birthday. I looked at her puzzled and asked what the point in that was. She explained it was just something they’ve done over the years with all of the cousins and such and come to think of it, many of them ended up with alcoholism and failed marriages and such. I asked if, as a Catholic female, she would be sending the right message to her neice by continuing to support this ‘tradition’. She said she hadn’t considered it from that perspective before, opted not to go to the bar but to take join them for dinner before hand, and then the next day she told me she went to confession to confess having participated in that tradition with her other nephews in the past.

  2. My son’s friend’s parents recently went through a divorce after 28 years of marriage. When the husband had left the family the wife began talking with me about the abandonment and anger she felt toward him. The hardest part is the husband considers himself to be a model Catholic, but he’s an alcoholic in denial (has been from day one). He always berated her for being a lousy Catholic so when she was talking to me I could hear the hurt in her voice, the belief that she was a lousy Catholic and God was punishing her. I was able to assure her that was not the case and I introduced her to the rosary. She prays it every day and with each step of the divorce process things she worried about worked in her favor. I can tell she is still uncertain about Catholicism being the faith, but she asks me questions which I’m able to answer so I’m praying that moves her in the right direction. My son and hers have been friends for over six years and she and I never talked until the husband left her. Obviously when the time was right, God put us together.

  3. A co-worker’s friend’s son committed suicide recently. I asked if the family was Catholic. They were. I told my co-worker about the Divine Mercy chaplet and encouraged her to take the friend to adoration that afternoon to pray it together for the boy’s soul. They hadn’t known about the chaplet before then and my co-worker felt good about being able to do something tangible to offer peace to her friend.

‘just’ standing by and watching, we’re doing the things God called us to do.

thanks ladies
sometimes i can get wrapped around the axle and think i have to do something now.
it will happen in its time :o
ChewChoo, I believe it was last week’s Gospel, about Martha and Mary. Remember the story? Martha was busy serving the Lord, busy, busy, busy and Mary was “just” sitting there at His feet. Finally Martha complained to Jesus and asked Him to tell Mary to do somehting useful. His response was surprising, He said Mary was doing better service, just sitting at His feet, and worshiping Him.

I know it’s hard for Type “A” folks to behave like they are Type “B”, (because I’m a Type “A” myself), but you must trust God to do the heavy lifting here, and that’s softening their heads and hearts to hear and be receptive to His grace. Without that being accomplished, your work becomes just noise to the person you are trying to reach. Pray, pray, and pray some more!

God Bless
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Christ’s peace to all.

I was one! I went to mass faithfully, but that was it. Then, the Lord sent a charismatic priest to our parish. He conducted “Life in the Spirit” seminars. I was “encouraged” to go by my wife. Well, I did. When I received baptism in the Holy Spirit, my faith life went from lukewarm (and NOT St. Luke!) to boiling.

I find myself witnessing to nearly everyone. I am compelled to spread the Gospel message. Amazing how many fallen away Catholics, including a 40 year old “exotic dancer” that He has sent. Once you see the expression on their faces by letting the Holy Spirit speak to them through you, it is simply amazing.

Turn to the Holy Spirit. It took me a long while to comprehend that we are supposed to turn to Him. He is “the Advocate” that Christ left us and will teach us what do say or do. May we make use of Him!

Christ’s peace to all.

Yeah, now your PRAYING. But you know, people have to have a interest in being Catholic in order for us to evangelize.

That’s the part you have to leave to the Holy Spirit. He’s the one who draws them. Puts the hunger in their belly. The praying we do asks for just that, His intervention. Then we wait for the opportunity to present itself. And usually it’s VERY obvious, like, He’s practically handing it to you on a silver platter, obvious. That’s when you know it’s Him, and you give Him all the glory for it. You’re just along for the ride!

Now, of course I’m making it sound like there are no bumps in the road, easy as 1-2-3. Sometimes it can be a drawn out affair. The door opens and then it closes. It opens and then closes. If you don’t have faith, it could leave you confused and anxious. Every person is different, every conversion is different, every reversion is different. Learning patience on our end is part of our ongoing conversion in this process. It can be a two for one deal. :slight_smile:

And then again, you may never even be involved in that next phase of their conversion. You may just be the one who sacrifices your time and energy in prayer, a work of mercy, and the door may open for someone else to come along and help that person in the next phase. It’s almost like being on a tag team at times. The goal is always the same though, getting that person to heaven!

this isn’t evangelizing to catholics, but i think it might have been a holy spirit moment.

my chinese friend at work basically has no religion. and she’s okay with that i guess. well the other day i showed up at her cube and she and another woman were struggling with the word paparazzi. they put a T in it and googled papa ratzi. well lo and behold, papa ratzinger showed up. and so they were chatting about that, and then how many popes are there. my friend was interested in the different names of the popes and she was going to make a list of the different names the popes have taken. i found the list in newadvent.org and she was overwhelmed. she then made an inquiry about christianity and so i showed her pjpiisoe.org, and right about then she didn’t want to talk about it any more, so i just left it at that.

so i see what you mean that the opportunities just fall in your lap.

i’ll be patient with my aunt’s situation and just pray and then pray some more.

on a side note, do you think it would be pushy if i put a crucifix in her gift that i got in rome this year??

thanks

Isn’t it exciting when those things happen? Don’t get kind of a chill when you’re in the middle of it? I know I always do. And it’s hard not to show “too much” excitement.:wink:

I think it would be a lovely gift. You could just put a note something like, “Hope you find this a comfort as you start your new life” and pray they are drawn to think about the meaning of the sacrifice everytime they see it. :thumbsup:

Oh my goodness… you’re gonna have to drop me a PM and let me know who that is so I can pray for her by name. How cool :cool:!

“Wow” is all I can say! I don’t know where to start. I just joined the forum on Monday, haven’t even done an intro yet. The topic of Evangelization is on the top of my list right now and something told me to check out Catholic Answers. I know a lot of Catholics who are serious about their faith, but a lot of them are like me… kids, no time for serious conversation. I belong to a small parish now after being part of a suburban mega-Church for many years. We don’t have a strong adult education program and am currently working with some other like-minded people to get something going. I share all of the thoughts and feelings that I’ve read in this thread. I have been involved with the Alpha Course for many years. Although it is not a Catholic course, it is not contrary to anything Catholic. I received my baptism in the Spirit while taking this course and had an adult conversion which brought me deeper into my life-long Catholic faith.
I get so sad, sometimes to the point of tears, week after week when I go to Church. I think the majority of the people there are the “going thru the motions” type. I spend most of my time at mass being upset because I can see the cleavage of the teenage lector or I can see the writing on the T-shirt through the altar servers vestments. Most people are not there to worship God or can even conceive that Jesus is there in the Blessed Sacrament.
I too struggle with my anxiety and thank all of you for pointing to prayer and the Holy Spirit. :shrug: It’s hard enough trying to live out the faith, but the patience and perserverance part can be just as tough. I’ll definitely be visiting many parts of the forum and would be happy to hear any specifics about successful adult education programs. God Bless!!!

No, unfortunately, there’s enough complacency throughout the Church to keep us all on our knees. But the good news is, there are people who are aware, like you and me and the rest of us on this forum and elsewhere, that we can indeed pray for “revival” (to use a Protestant term.:wink: ).

And we do have to guard our own emotions, we can fall into judgement and/or despair, that would be non-productive on our parts! It’s a struggle we all have in common!

Come back often and be refreshed, it helps to be able to communicate with others of the faith who love the Lord and His Church!

Welcome, Kimberlyg, and thanks for taking the time to post.

I hear ya on the close to tears part. I, too, get this way at times.

Interestingly enough, whenever that happens, my mind immediately flashes to Jesus during His ministry, and God in Heaven.

If I’m feeling in this particular moment this heaviness of heart and sorrow, how much worse that feeling must have been for Jesus when He was walking from town to town, preaching in the temples and to his apostles but seeing the blank stares in their eyes. He becomes man to fulfill the promise to His chosen people, and they don’t even acknowledge him! That must have been awful.

Then I fast forward to my particular moment and realize how long God has been patient with mankind, and continues to be. After all this time, still we don’t get how much He loves us and how real He is. I’m amazed with His patience but also struck by how many times we’ve let Him down. If He does ‘feel’ emotions at all, I can only imagine the sadness I am feeling is nothing compared to His.

Those two flashes of imagery serves as a slap in the face for me and my desire to cry subsides. It is replaced with gratitude and love for this incredible, merciful and loving God. I am reminded He knows what He’s doing so I back to doing my part - praying.

Enjoy your time on the boards!

another work evangelization (sort of) story

i’m at co-worker A’s wedding ceremony, sitting next to co-worker B (prior to the ceremony).

i’m telling B that this will probably just be a wedding ceremony not a mass because A’s spouse is not catholic. B has never heard of such a thing, all catholic weddings are masses. not always, but okay, whatever.

the wedding is in a military base chapel, so it has to accomodate all faiths’ services, and so B and i talk about that, and some how (can’t remember all of the conversation) i say that co-worker C just converted to catholicism. B says, why would they do that? i’m like, what? basically B’s philosophy/understanding of christianity is that all denominations are the same. WOW!

now i knew there are nominal catholics and catholics in name only. but this is a whole new view point of catholicism that i haven’t come across before. how do you even start with a person like this?

chewchoo,

Have the Essential Catholic Survival Guide? It explains 2000 years of CAtholic teaching, as well as the teachings of the most popular Protestant denominations and some of the non-Christian cults. It also shows why some of those bible-only teachings are non-biblical. Funny, since the bible is all that so many of them have.

The bible (New Testament), sacred as it is, is a book written decades later about the life of Jesus. But, don’t you think that His life was more than just what was written down? We are all poorly catechised to some extent. The world comes against the Church, and you just saw some of the results. Moral equivalence, moral relativism, whatever name it travels by, leads to exactly what you heard.

The Lord be with you.

yeah, i do have the survival guide. i just don’t seem to have the right words and the right times. i have to study more.

Hi Kimberly G, and welcome to the forums. My passion is Evengelization as well, and even though the two previous popes, and the current Pope all have urged Catholics to evangelize, we are still a little slow starting out sometimes.

One great book I found a year or so ago which I highly recommend is Pope John Paul II and the New Evangelization, edited by Ralph Martin and Peter Williamson, published by Ignatius Press, 1995, (and I believe there have been more recent reprintings). I got mine only slightly used, and cheap at www.half.com. It is an inspiring read, difficult to put down if you are interested in knowing more about the need for and how to evangelize. My copy was clean when I got it, except for the name of the previous owner, but it now has lots of highlighting, notes in the margins and dog-eared pages. I also bought another copy for our pastor, who is very evangelistic as well.

While you are visiting around various threads of the forum, be sure to wear your thick skin because like in any cross-section of society you’ll find all types of folks. Many of them have weathered attacks from anti-catholics using the same old talking points over and over to the point that they sometimes sound rather rude. But don’t be bashful, join in, ask questions, offer your thoughts too; that’s how we all learn as we seek the truth of Jesus.

God Bless You :thumbsup:

kimberlyg,
Yours is an inspiring post! Don’t let the lukewarm worshippers get to you. Believe it or not, you are the example that they now look to. I believe that is precisely why the Lord brought you to your parish. Since it is small, your piety can influence precisely those who may cause you anxiety. The beleaguered priest has little time to teach and correct. Since the Lord always provides, he has provided them with you. Just teach with love and it’s offspring: patience.

At mass, lose yourself in the sacrifice. I feel ashamed if I receive without tears, because we join Mary and John at the foot of the cross as the eternal sacrifice is made present. Be of good cheer and always remember: God is in charge.

The PEACE of Christ be with you.

I think one of the biggest problems that Catholics face in evangelizing is they are not really sure what it is, or how to do it. My experience is that most catholics are trying to evangelize people to the Catholic Church. In my opinion, based on the writings of the recent popes, this is not evangelizing. It is still important, very important as a matter of fact, but it is NOT evangelizing. Evangelizing is the process by which the Good News of Jesus is announced to the hearer. Many people aren’t really sure what the good news of Jesus is. It is simply this. We are all sinners deserving hell. Jesus came in our place, died for our sins and has invited us to share the relationship he has with the Father for eternity! This is the Good News! This needs to be presented plainly to the hearer as an invitation to be responded to fully. The hearer needs to invite Jesus to be his Lord and personal saviour and accept that Jesus had to pay the price for his or her sins personally. At this point, the Holy Spirit will touch the life of the hearer if they have responded fully. This is evangelization. Now that this person is Evangelized, we can now begin to Catechize them as to all the benefits of being a Catholic. But we first need to evangelize them in the fullest sense of the Word.

For further information on this, I would recommend reading the first few chapters of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Redemptoris Missio. He is very clear on the topic.

John

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