It’s Brittany here!
I’m a sophomore in high school, and God has blessed me with an entire group of very religous, Christian friends. I have no idea where I’d be without them, and they challenge my faith everyday. The only thing is that none of them are Catholic, and are mostly Baptist, Protestant, or non-denominational. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, and I love it so much because they support me in my faith, and I can learn about their faiths while at the same time teaching them about mine (and dispelling some pretty funnyrumors about Catholics:)) It has never been an issue…until recently.
One of my very outspoken friends has always questioned me very regularly about Catholics, and he told me how much he doesn’t agree with us. It has never bothered me, and we can get into some very deep conversations about the differences between our faiths. I love it when he questions me because it means that I have to search for my own answers to things I may not have questioned before. The only downside to our controversy is that, while I try to maintain very open to his faith and the faiths of my friends, he is very closed to mine…my arguments usually fall on deaf ears. Again, this is fine. I hope that one day something I say will get through to him. Our friendship doesn’t suffer because of these differences…until yesterday.
Recently, his “attack” has been on the Pope. Again, I have been able to answer his questions, although it is a little more difficult because I am sad to say that I don’t know as much as I should on the it.
Yesterday, I was doing homework before class and he came up to me with questions about the first Pope. I told him that the first priest was Peter…he asked me to prove it. I showed him a passage from Matthew where Jesus tells Peter that ‘upon this rock I will build my church.’ My friend immediately contested it, saying that the passage was not directed at Peter, but at all people. I agreed that the passage may have mutiple meanings, but that one interpretation was that it was directly to Peter, making him the first priest. The conversation began to flare up, and I am very sad to say that I began to fail in my testimony. He began giving me questions that I could not immediately find answers to, The debate evolved, and somehow turned to the Immaculate Conception. This was where I truly failed. He asked me to show him the passage in the Bible where it said that Mary was born without Original Sin, and I told him that I would have to go home and look it up…and he responded that that was what he had expected, and walked off. (I must put in a word for my friend…he’s not coming off so well right now:) He is very passionate about his faith, and sometimes very reluctant to listen…but he’s an amazing person and a strong Christian, just a little stubburn sometimes, especially toward Catholism)
I continued to work on my homework, and he went over to another one of my friends and began talking to him. I don’t think he knew that I could hear him, but he told my friend what I thought I heard as “her faith is really shallow.” Again, I could not really hear, but at that moment what I thought I heard hit me. I was really tired from the night before, and apparently very emotional:) I got up to go to class, and outside the room, I began to cry…of course, EVERYONE just happened to be walking by when it happened…and before lunch even came, my entire group knew because I don’t typically cry.
I was not feeling well and hadn’t been able to finish my homework in the morning, so I took my lunch and moved off to one side to try to cram before my final period. He eventually came over, and apologized for what he had said. However, somehow we got from ‘I’m sorry’ to ‘Catholism is a cult’, and there was little I could say to change his mind. The conversation ended with the bell and a final question from him of, “Don’t you want to know what’s wrong with your faith?” I couldn’t respond, and he walked away…not the most fun I’ve ever had:)
So now that my novel is over, I have several questions and requests. First, on Monday if he brings anything up again, I want to have the answers. If you could help me with any passages about the Immaculate Conception or the history of the Pope, I would appreciate it so much. Second, I had been told that the Pope has made only two infalible statements in like the last 50 or 100 years, and if this is true and you know what they were concerning, that would be incredibly helpful as well. Finally, if you could just send some prayers his way that God could open his mind to differences just a little, that would be amazing as well. Again, I’m sorry this was so long, I have a tendency to write novels when I should be writing paragraphs, but this was really bothering me and I want to be able to defend our faith as best as possible at every opportunity. Thank you all soooo much, and thank you again for listening to my rant:)
Sister in Christ,