Let me start by saying, to clear up any confusion, that I am Catholic. My friend is not. After four years of knowing him I finally had a conversation with one of my best college friends and now roommate regarding the most important topic-God, and to a greater extent the various religions. I realize I could have brought up the topic earlier but for some reason (maybe fear of making him uncomfortable) I never did.
Anyway, we talked a bit and as I suspected he is basically agnostic. However, and I found this to be the most surprising part-he has a very positive view of most forms of organized religion (with some exceptions) because he recognizes that religion for the most part helps people to become much better than they would be without it. His words were “I think religion is wonderful.” He’s been to many religious services with friends, most of which he said he enjoyed greatly. On an even more positive note, he said he would definitely come to the Latin Mass with me sometime.
At the same time, however, he has his doubts. He’s seen those who use religion as a crutch, both to get by for themselves and to beat others over the head with. Plus, his attitude is that he has a fairly good idea of the claims of the major religions and that there’s just not a good enough way to establish the objective, verifiable truth of any of them beyond a reasonable doubt. I briefly told him the basic reasons for my faith regarding my conviction that the existence of this universe cannot explain itself, as well as the uniqueness of the claim of the Resurrection among world religions.
A little background: my friend is a good person, someone who’s reliable and hard-working coming from a good family in a small town. He’s very strict and conservative in his social views and in his own personal morality. I cannot in good conscience call him a moral relativist.
Obviously my friend could use your prayers, and I thank you for them in advance as I’m sure those who read this will not neglect. Also, have you had friends or acquaintances like this? How do you talk to them effectively about God, faith and specifically Catholicism?