I have a question that hopefully someone out there can answer for me! I have recently come to a much deeper relationship with God and my faith has become a lot more important to me. As I have been finding my way and deepening my Catholic roots my boyfriend is going crazy! He constantly is asking me religious questions and says that I am (changing) I hope that I am! but he doesn’t mean it in a good way. I think he senses that I am different but he doesn’t understand a spiritual life because he doesn’t have one. He is a very good wonderful person but he has had no religious upbringing whatsoever and I can see his questions about my religious life are really making him think about his. He’s open to Catholicism and he told me that he really wants to learn because I think he’s afraid of me shutting him out (which is not going to happen). Well… I wouldn’t be writing this post except that I have no idea on how to address religious issues with him. I’ve had similiar experience to this in the past but only with protestants. When I talk to him I have nothing to base it on because he doesn’t know anything… He says he believes in God and Jesus but I don’t think he really understands it… I tried to explain the trinity the other day (which is hard enough if you’ve been around it your whole life!) He told me I sounded crazy! My spiritual director suggested a retreat but I know how if you don’t really understand them they can sometimes be scarey! The eucharist as awesome as it is I can see as being a little wierd to outsiders as well… I just don’t want to scare him! Anyway… I’m really sorry for the long post but my real question is does anybody know of any really good… really “simple” books, movies, anything that I could give to him. I want to help him so bad and he’s really struggling but all of the books I have found that are good are really geared toward protestants or would be “over his head” Mere christianity I think is even a little too wordy for him…
Again sorry for the long post! I hope there isn’t one like this already going but I looked and couldn’t find one! Thank you for anybodys help! God Bless!
Good Movie, the best on Christ’s life would have to be Jesus of Nazareth, on His Passion and death would have to be the Passion. Quo Vadis is excellent to explain the beginning of Christianity. Ignatius Press has some excellent videos to chose from. If you are looking for Old Testament which is a little harder to work with there is the Bible, Ten Commandments and several others.
I have the Illustrated Catholic Bible on a cd rom to look up any biblical information.
Fr. John Hardon has some excellent Catholic Catechisms.
I just began teaching religion out of NCE (National Catholic Educators) Right now they have 1st through 6th grade available and are very informative as far as the sacraments the importance of them what they are all about and alot of the Biblical stories.
Also Faith and Life has a good series, I would almost start with a younger version of a good catechism that would help tremendously.
Sometimes in coming back we want to give to much information and tend to chase people away. (I can testify to this I did it more than once)
The Trinity I am not sure how you dealt with that one but there are also great videos from CCC that explain St. Patrick and the trinity. I have many times used the illustration book of an apple and the three parts of the apple but it is still just one apple.
May God Bless you on your journey and pray for the grace for your boyfriend to long to learn the teachings of our beautiful faith.
Eventually you can graduate him to the Catholic Catechism but work slow. Remember before we walked we crawled.
It really is difficult when you have no common ground to begin a conversation. That is why I enjoy talking with Protestants becasue we can both open a bible. The good news is that he sounds like he is struggling or searching or whatever the word would be in his case. If he is truly searching then I have no doubt that he will come around eventually.
Back when I first began to really seek the truth, I was aware that the Bible seemed to be the key to the whole thing. All my Christian friends (all Protestant) kept telling me that “the bible says this” or “the bible says that”, and I kept saying, “well who cares what the bible says, that means nothing to me!” I knew that I needed to have some confidence in the fact that the bible is inspired by God and is inerrant and all that. I found a really short book written by a Protestant scholar and I cannot even think of his name, Im sure someone else here will be able to help me out on this. The book was called “Reasons Why Skeptics Should Consider the Bible”, it was very short and easy to read but it was also very well done. It was a starting point for me and soon I was on to bigger and better things. I would certainly recommend that book for him, and I am sure you can find it at any Christian book store…well probably not a Catholic one!! :rolleyes: I cannot believe I am recommending a non Catholic book!!!
Well Catholicism for Dummies breaks down the faith a little easier than the cathechism. But even that book deals with some high brow topics that are not the easiest to understand. In some ways Catholicism is a lot harder to explain and its doctrines while more complete are more complex than say evangelical ie. just say this prayer and your going to heaven! Well catholicism doesn’t work that way we have sacrmanets. a church hierarchy, apostolic tradtion, ancient devtions, ancient theologians and church history containig historical church councils and church fathers which help shaped the foundations of christiantiy.
The essence of Christianity is the gospels themselves. A good starting point would be the Gospel of Mark its the shortest and the least theological developed of the gospels it doens’t deal with some more theological developments of the trinity as say the Gospel of John which while a deeper book in some ways it is harder to understand for the new Christain. Then you could got to Luke then Matthew then John to give a broader view of the Jesus story. A good idea is to good a good study guide for those gospels Ignatius puts out a study Bible by Scott Hahn each gospel is sold sepearately also the Navarre Bible sells its Bible commenary in hardback edition with all the gospels and acts or in softcover each book sold seperately.
There is no one step easy appraoch to understand catholcism just take a little info a little at a time. In a way its like learning a new language.
I’m so glad to hear you have rediscovered your need for God and his Church in your life, I to am a revert to the faith and it can be confusing at best for those in your life who don’t quite understand what is happening to you. But don’t lose heart you have been given many good suggestions for movies and books in this thread, walk don’t run. One of the most efective tools in my own personal experience is to continue to grow in knowledge and holiness so you can more efectively answer the questions that arise.This can be helped along by a good reading program, that can be set up by your spiritual director, and above all else regular confession and Mass as often as possible.Your boyfriend will see the peace you have found and be drawn to it but you must let him go at his own pace. Trust in God and in the power of prayer.
the process for becoming Catholic is called RCIA, but even before that begins there is something called Inquiry. It is just informal, a chance to ask questions about the basics and get answers. Call around to Catholic parishes in your area and find out who has an Inquiry class going on. I can’t speak for other parishes, but we are always available the 1st monday of the month for inquirers, just sit around with snacks, asking questions all over the place: what about Mary? why do Catholics do this, that or the other? why do Catholics . . .? Is the bible true? etc. anything at all you want to ask.
Why not just explain to your boyfriend how excited you are about your faith? Tell him the love of God excites you like nothing else. Let him see your faith moving in you. Then if he asks specific questions about specific topics you can discuss them. But maybe start with some generic discussions about Christianity and your relationship with God.
I’d suggest reading - and passing on to your friend - C. S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity”. Lewis was an athiest, a skeptic, and a very intelligent man - and while not Catholic, he is one of the great Christian authors/thinkers.
Also- you should be the best advertisment for Christianity. A walking billboard for the Peace of Christ
I dont’ think you’re in seach of your Faith at all. I think you’ve found it.
Now the difficult question. What should you do with your relationship? That is between you, your freind and God.
I am married to a protestant. When I found my Faith while sitting in a Baptist church I decided right then and there that following Jesus was the single most important thing in my life. Faith is more important then my wife, it is more important then my kids. There is nothing more important then your Faith. You might say I became Catholic while in a Baptist church listening to a preacher give his ‘fire and brimstone’ sermon.
Being married to a protestant is difficult at times. We have managed to stay married though many Baptists wanted us divoraced. Marriage is a covenent with God and thankfully the Catholic Church taught me that. Our marriage is stronger now then ever though our disagreements over theology - or lack of it by one of us (won’t mention her name;) ) - occur regularly. My wife helps out at the AWNA club at our old Baptist church and all my kids are in that Baptist club to this day. Why do I say this? You must think hard and long about a relationship with someone who is not of your Faith or possibly not really of Faith at all. There will be problems and you must be ready to face them.
My suggestions to help you out:
Pray together. Pray often and show him your Faith by example.
Both of you go to the Church for counseling/advice.
Both of you attend the RCIA process.
Read Scripture together and thus prove to him that the Catholic Church is Scripture.
Discuss your beliefs together. You give him theology and let him say his opinions.
Allways work in “Love” together and show respect towards his opinions. Know where he is comming from.
Never fight or argue about theology. If he fights then talk later. Fighting or argueing gets neither of you anywhere.
GO TO A RETREAT! The more Catholic activities you can share with him the more he will ‘see’ your Faith and that of others. He my actually learn something. He may actually gain a great gift, the gift of Faith!
Someday you may have kids. You must be ready at your justification to go before Jesus and answer to Him how you raised your children. You must allways ask yourself, “When Jesus asks me why I did something, what will I say to Him?” Your salvation, your Hope, will rest in your hands in that regard.
I think I believed in God for about thirty years, but never did anything about it.
One day I was talking to my brother in law about God, and he said if you believe in God you have to do something.
He did not say what I had to do, he left that in my court. That is what faith is all about you have to act on your beliefs or they have no meaning.
Faith in God requires a change of the heart, rather than a change of mind, or gathering more knowledge.
First believe that God exists fully and totally, and he is as real as the chair I am sitting on. Jesus loves me and he died for me. If you believe just these two things and act on them you have faith.
Faith is a journey that has to grow always one day at a time until the day you die, often it is tested, in sickness and deaths of loved ones, but your actions must continue to show that a loving God exists.
If you pray for faith and you pray to be guided by God then that can helps us.
In your search for explanations on the Trinity and how Christ might be one with the Father here is a possibility.
Christ loves the Father as he loves himself.
The Father loves Christ as he loves himself.
The Spirit is often referred to as the Spirit of love, but possibly if you substitute the word serve for love, I think it gives a greater meaning in how we love others.
I know of a retreat and a wonderful priest just for you. He has
been a Spiritual Director all of his life. He has heard this same
story many many times. email me and I know he would be
wonderful both as a Retreat director and for this problem which
is really simple. He, your boyfriend sees Christ in you and has
fallen in love with Christ…and he wants to feel like you do.
But he needs classes…in Catholicism…that’s my humble
[quote=Eric Hyom]That is what faith is all about you have to act on your beliefs or they have no meaning.
Exactly Eric… well put post.
I was speaking to someone a few days ago, and said the exact same thing: If you profess to believe in God, then you have to live like that, and follow through on the logic.
All people must continually struggle to re-asses their “deep beliefs”, the beliefs that actually guide their choices.
For so long I said “I believe in God the Almighty”, but my deepest thoughts were more along the lines of “How can I become important?” and “Where will the money come from?” and “How will I attract the ‘perfect’ mate?” and other worldly questions.