I am a freshman in college and I’ve become really good friends with an atheist. She was raised and baptized as Catholic but she has lost her faith. She also unfortunately leads a pretty sinful life. She knows how I try my best to put my faith first in my life as much as I can and she respects the fact that I am a believer of Jesus. I really care about her and I want the best for her as I want the best for all of my friends. I want to genuinely introduce her to the faith but I do not know how to do this because it seems that she is set on being atheist. I have invited her to go to Church but she never wants to go and I sadly feel like she does not have much interest in the faith. How can I possible spark some interest in her heart so that she may be introduced to the idea of being a Catholic? Thank you!
@vk02, I get where you’re coming from. I also have many non-Catholic friends, both atheists and protestants, who I want to share the faith with and maybe plant the seed that would lead to their conversion. First as always, I would pray for this friend of yours that God may move her to become a Catholic. Second, lead by example. Be vibrant and active in your faith. Show your friend how Catholic Christians know how to live life joyfully and to the fullest. Third, I would recommend Trent Horn’s book ‘Why We’re Catholic’. It’s very accessible for practically anyone and I’m sure it would be a good conversation starter. Hope this is helpful! I’ll say some prayers for this friend. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Thank you very much for your very good advice, Merry Christmas!
First, abandon your anxiety about it to God. You are not her anyone’s savior. Christ alone saves. Second, pray for guidance in how God is calling you to love her. You will be the vehicle of grace. So you receive the grace from the sacraments and by loving her well, you will be a vehicle of grace to her.
The more you let that grace shine through you without putting out an agenda to convert her, the more God will be able to work through you and perhaps lead her back to the Church through you.
Beyond that, wait for her questions and when you don’t have the answers be honest that you don’t. That’s really the best way to be a witness to the faith.
People don’t appreciate being people’s projects. It turns people off.
Wow ! You’re a great friend !
Well, she definitely knows who to turn to -
if / when - things go bad.
That’s the best thing you can offer - your candle !
Your light of faith !
Ask her why she chooses to Identify as an atheist, to be honest with you having actually gone to college, I found that most of the people that call themselves atheists are actually agnostic. A lot of them don’t seem to know the difference. But I think that’s the key though, have discussions, see what her objections are, and tell her where you think that those objections are unwarranted and explain the faith to her better. Poor catechesis, I think is responsible for 90% of the people that leave the Church. Don’t look up statistics, I completely made up that number
I think you should live the holiness that God is calling you to and through that holiness your friend can be brought back.
There is a lot of truth to this. No matter how sincere you are in your efforts to bring her to Jesus, it can easily be perceived as your agenda.
Set a good example. In time, she may tell you why she doesn’t believe. You don’t know what scandals she may have seen in the church
I get where you are coming from. Most of my closest friends are not Catholic or lapsed.
Keep caring for her and being a good friend and keep praying. I agree that people don’t appreciate being other people’s projects, and that it is not your job to convert her. However, be ready to share your faith when the opportunties come!
I have had several friends surprise me and ask me questions or end up coming to church events/ mass when I least expected it.
Remember that He loves your friend and wants what is best for her too, even more than you do.
We can try to appeal to the intellect, to reason, and sometimes this may work. But a common thread for conversion—whether it is an atheist coming to the faith or a lifelong Catholic making that constant conversion to Jesus, is that the heart is touched.
For the hardened heart to know the truth, goodness, and beauty of God, a miracle is needed. And all that may cause this is prayer.
‘For nothing is impossible to God.’
I love it when Catholics talk to me about their faith. But I always warn them there is a chance they will end up agreeing with me! Unfortunately where I live there are few Christians of any sort who want to discuss their faith with people unlikely to be converted. If you want to be in with a chance of influencing your friend, treat her views with respect and acknowledge intellectually (I know you cannot do this in faith) the possibility that she may be right, or that you both may be wrong. If you treat her views as a stepping-stone to conversion it is very likely you will tire of it far before she does.
Pray for her. Inviting her to Church was a good step, but the truth is she won’t convert until she is open to it. Occasionally throw out an invite and be a good model Christian. Answer questions politely if she asks. Perhaps you could invite her to participate in non-religious volunteee activities with you
How can you demonstrate that the supernatural is real? Do you know any Catholics who can ? This is why the catholic charismatic group is blessed with the work of the holy spirit.
Other wise its just someone’s religious opinion. Or a commentary that they were taught. This is why saint Paul said in 1cor.2 that he came with the demonstrated power of the spirit. So that their faith was not based on someone’s opinion.
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