My husband and I were talking the other night and it came to light that he’s so scared of offending other people and coming off as a crazy person trying to convert everyone that he is afraid of sharing his faith with other people. He said it doesn’t cross his mind to say anything to people about Christianity and even if they bring it up, he will try and change the subject so as not to offend. He realized this is wrong and now he wants to learn more about the faith so he can talk about it instead of running from it. Where is a good place to start? All suggestions welcome!! I thought maybe reading the Bible, studying saints, or maybe some papal encyclicals… whatever it is, I’d like to do it with him so we can both grow in faith.
I’m no expert myself, but have done a fair amount of apologetics self-teaching myself in the past few years. I’m a reader and find that the best way to learn the correct arguments to make that are in line with orthodox Catholic teaching. A few books I’ve read that have been a great help are:
Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic - David Currie. Fantastic book! He’s a former Evangelical so he does a great job using the vocabulary that a non-Catholic Christian will recognize. This book is even helping me bring my wife around to the truth of the Real Presence.
By What Authority? - Mark Shea Great book the dissects and disproves the non-Catholic notion of sola scriptura. Lots of Bible verses and a great treatment on some of the great social teachings re: abortion and monogamy.
Handbook of Catholic Apologetics: Reasoned Answers to Questions of Faith - Peter Kreft. This just came out, and I haven’t read, but it appears to be an apologetics reference/answer guide. Looks great.
I hope this helps!
The Catechism of the Catholic Church would be good for him to read too.
This is the Faith, by Canon Francis Ripley. Written in the 1950s, slightly updated by TAN Books, it can be had on Amazon for $15. I’m around 70 pages into it, and it’s GREAT. It covers everything in great detail, without being too fancy, or going over the top of your head. If there was ever ONE book you would read to lean more about Catholicism, THIS BOOK IS IT.
Thanks for the replies and recommendations so far. Keep them coming! I will show him what has been said so far and we will try and pick something out. By the way, I didn’t mention in my other post that he is a cradle Catholic not a convert (I’m the convert).
Also, if you can get the Christian Prayer, which is a shortened version of the Liturgy of the Hours, by all means do so. I’ll suggest the Wiki page for Liturgy of the Hours.
The LotH is the official public prayer of the Church, outside the Mass.
You cannot go wrong praying it. If you need help, ask your local parish priest. He’s obliged to say it daily, so if you ask him if you could pray with him (maybe cook him a dinner, too?) to learn, that would help (LotH is really learned by example, I think).
With the LotH and the Rosary, you cannot go wrong. Toss in “This is the Faith,” and you’re basically set!
Great questions, I’ve been through this heavily in my life. Here’s my personal opinion on what to do.
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY - Enter God’s presence in prayer. Ask Him to increase your faith. In my personal experience, this has worked far more than any book, article, or anything.
JOHN - read John’s gospel. If up to it, get a good study guide. My personal favorite is by Steve Ray. It’s highly detailed though. The Ignatius study is in less depth but still very good.
TALK TO A PRIEST - get spiritual direction from the ordained
DISCIPLESHIP - I’ve learned so much by hanging out with devout people who are more spiritually mature than I am. If there’s someone that you know who obviously “get’s it”, walk along side them and learn from them.
That is good and you can also grow in practicing many Catholic devotions such as daily mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Rosary, Divine Mercy, frequent Sacrement of Reconcilation. You can also participate in different ministries at church such as Nursing Home visit - our actions can speak louder than our words.
If you would like to grow in faith, I’d reccomend doing some voulenteer work. There are several ways to serve God through serving others. I’m a children’s liturgy helper, and it really has helped me get closer to our Lord. I get so much out of it. Try finding something that you enjoy.
Another thing I’d reccomend is spending time in the Real Presence in Adoration. Several churches have chapels, but just ask your pastor about when/where you can go. It’s amazing and very humbling sitting in His presence.
As to the suggestion to volunteer together, he’s not really into that sort of thing. I have taught PSR (RE, CCD, whatever you call it) for three years now and he helped me this year because I had the baby in January. He covered maternity leave for me, and he hated it. He liked the kids and enjoyed spending time with them and getting to know them, but he was bad at teaching them and he had no idea how to control a room full of 4th graders :shrug: He said he would not do that again unless he had to.
When I went through RCIA he came to the meetings and just sat there. He wouldn’t ask questions or add to anything even if he had something he wanted to say. I’d like him to join K of C but he’s reluctant (new thing + new people = nervous husband). He’s very shy and most definitely reserved around groups of people which is why I was looking for something we could do on our own at home.
It’s good to hear from someone that has been there and done that I will try and get him to pray with me once a day… maybe the chaplet of divine mercy (I LOVE that in song). He said he was going to talk to a specific deacon that he knows personally, but hasn’t had the chance yet. Maybe we’ll run into him this weekend at mass.