When conversion to Catholic faith doesn't take

How do you try to help a friend who keeps changing their mind about staying Catholic after converting? Just looking for ideas. It has to come from within them, and through others’ prayers, I know, but if you have found anything that works please share.

What is he doubting? There are three things you can do with your faith: pray, study and practice.

Same as for all Catholics. We make the choice daily whether to live the life of grace, or not.

But we have “weapons” at our disposal for these spiritual battles. And these are spiritual battles! We are all fighting against principalities and powers, the powers of darkness and evil. This battle makes all the other wars mankind has ever fought, rolled into one, seem like a picnic.

Our weapons include the Sacraments, especially Confession and the Holy Eucharist. They include the Rosary, which is the most powerful private prayer in the Church. We have sacrifice, self-mortification, self-denial, fasting, etc. We also have holy water and blessed salt, as well as other sacramentals.

It isn’t for lack of weapons that we don’t fight the good fight. It is for lack of trying and clinical ignorance of our faith.

He needs to ask himself “what can I do for Christ” and not “what can Christ do for me”. To answer the first question the answer can only be found in Christ’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The latter can be found at any protestant or non denominational service where the focus is on what you “feel” at the service and on “community” more than being focused on Christ. Not bashing protestantism, just speaking from my personal experience from church hopping in my protestant years before becoming Catholic last year.

If it is something he openly talks about with you, how about comparing it to marriage?

It’s a choice to be made, and recognizing that there are good days, bad days, doubtful days, joyful days, and days where the only reason you are faithful is because you promised you’d do so. It’s doing what is asked because he loves the lord and knows this is how the lord ordered things, even when the “feeling” could be gone- even though it comes back, too!

If it’s specific questions, can you help him to answer them, or refer him to appropriate persons/places?

Apparently 1 in 3 who go through RCIA drop away from the Church.

Stony ground!

To grow deep roots we need to foster our relationship with God, through prayer, scripture and the sacraments.

Prayer and patience.

Start with teaching him the rosary. Then get him to pray it everyday.

Also give him a blessed green scapular and have him carry it in his wallet and say the prayer every day. Then get yourself one and say the prayer also everyday for him. But say it with trust and confidence in Mary.

Promises of Mary:
… Conversion of those who do not have the faith
… Reconciliation to the Church for those who have lost/strayed from the faith
… Assurance of a happy death
… Strengthening of the faith for those already in the Church <<=========================
… Protection from Satan for those who wear or promote the scapular

Invite Mary where she wants to be.

I’ve thought about this for a time, too. It didn’t take for me, for a long, long time, either. Part of what moved me back toward the Church was an inability to find lasting satisfaction in worldly things (and it wasn’t for a lack of trying). There is a great emptiness in most things. Even our family and friends pass away, or at least age before our eyes over time. Nothing is permanent in this world, not even the universe itself. If we go to RCIA, we are at least looking for something on some level, even if we do not understand we’ve already found it. Maybe exploring that angle can help some.

People forget that it takes time to get used to the church. Converts undergo a lot of spiritual changes that can become overwhelming and hence they decide to leave. I think your best bet is to suggest your friend get some spiritual direction. If the person is hesitant find some places and then recommend them. This way your friend will not feel alone or overwhelmed.

This original question brings up an issue I have often thought about – how well do we in our parishes support new converts once the RCIA program?

This is a horrible analogy, but it reminds me of couples that love the preparation, the marriage ceremony, the reception, and the honeymoon — then wake up and realize this is for LIFE!!

As far as specifics about helping this particular person, without more info I can’t offer any concrete suggestions. Prayer is the only answer I can give

The rich man who Jesus invited to join him is one example of being attached which prevents the following of Jesus.

Young people get wrapped up in their lives and find it too difficult to continue.

Just plain Jane hard to give up sin, lost weekends, pot, and don’t feel like it.

The consolations from God stop comming.

Never committed to begin with, just sort of went along.

Didn’t believe is some things that they should have and didn’t bother to find out.

They believe in catholicism, but the tradition they were rased in holds more attraction for them.

They get lazy and drift. Not worth effort.

No encouragement from family and friends, or maybe just the opposite.

The teachings they once found a delight, are now becomming dim with little or no follow up.

Mortal sins pile up and confusion sets in.

Did it for the kids just to find out what they were being taught, with no deep conviction.

Someone wounded their feelings.

Weak marriage, discouragement.

Their faith is new and fragil, and must be pampered.

And there is more.

But for answers to all the above, is the following.

The Green Scapular is for everyone, faith or no faith, saint or sinner.

Ten years after the manifestation of the Miraculous Medal to Sister Catherine Laboure in 1830, the Blessed Mother entrusted the Green Scapular of her Immaculate Heart to
Sister Justine Bisqueyburu, likewise a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.

How to use it.
Wear or carry the green scapular for yourself.

To help another, place it in their vicinity (i.e. their room, wallet, purse, or all over; lamp, house,car, chair, bed).

Pray, at least daily: “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.”
This prayer should be said for oneself and separately for each person to whom it has been given.
Scapular(s) should be blessed.

Have the strongest possible trust in Mary’s promise.
Mary’s own words were:
“The GREATEST graces come from using the scapular but these graces come
in direct proportion to the degree of CONFIDENCE IN ME which the user has.”
The user is you, not the one to whom you give it to.
Confidence means that you believe Mary will keep her promises. (How could she not do so?)
It just means you do your part and she will do hers.

Promises of Mary:
… Conversion of those who do not have the faith
… Reconciliation to the Church for those who have lost/strayed from the faith
… Assurance of a happy death
… Strengthening of the faith for those already in the Church <=================
… Protection from Satan for those who wear or promote the scapular

Be faithful to the prayer every day.
She didn’t say when, just that she promised it would happen.

“Great graces are often attached to what seems trifling.” St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Remember it was Mary’s request to give this to others. We are doing her a favor.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=544742&page=3

My father, a fallen-away Catholic, passed away several years ago. When he first became ill and was hospitalized, one of the Vincentian priest pinned a Green Scapular to his pillow. I know my mother was especially worried about his salvation, as he had not awakened following emergency surgery. He did awaken many days later, and that same Vincentian asked if he wished to receive the sacraments. He was on a ventilator, so he could not speak, but he could indicate “yes” or “no”, so the priest simply asked if he was sorry for any and all sins he committed, then he was given Extreme Unction. This was 2 years to the day of my auto accident, August 3rd. He died 2 days later, on the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows on August 5th. There is a promise attached to the Green Scapular that Our Lady will obtain the conversion of those who have fallen away from the True Faith. I’m convinced she did so with my father, the day of his death was clearly Providential.

I have a friend who attends RCIA regularly (for years) to be a sponsor should someone in the class not have a Catholic friend/contact. Most Easter’s she is there @ the vigil Mass as the sponsor for a new Catholic.
She is amazed @ how many stop attending Sunday Mass w/in a year or 2.

Ok, I think I should weigh in on this because I actually started a similar thread the other day. I can only answer for myself so I don’t know why other converts drfit. I embraced the Church and felt so strongly that I had zero doubts about any of the teachings. But after experiencing a new liberal priest, I felt like the bottom is falling out of my faith, so to speak. I would never be a member of a church (small “c” church) that taught what he teaches back when I was a Protestant, so there’s a certain level of resentment that I felt trapped at this parish (in retrospect, I’m not trapped, but that’s how I felt). Then as I saw that nothing is done about him and the fact that he has taken license with the words of the liturgy, etc. and that he and others are choosing which beliefts to believe, etc. it shakes any foundation I thought there was in the Church.

I shouldn’t let other people’s faith walk affect my conversion but I tell you, the past week or so, I feel like I’ve just woken up from a weird couple of years. I’m reading the Bible and seeing things that I can’t reconcile with Catholic doctrine.

It’s so weird . . . I could understand this turn of events if I were in a state of sin, or if I were depressed or something else going on. But I’m honestly not doing anything I ought not to be doing. My relationship with God remains really good.

So as far as the original question about when conversion doesn’t take . . . I suppose it goes both ways since there are Catholics who become Protestant and then return to the Church again. And there are a multitude of reasons . . . I was thinking about this last night and I’m wondering if the RCIA programs should be longer. I began to seriously consider conversion 3 years ago and within a couple of months I was in RCIA and then less than a year after I started on this journey, I was Catholic. Perhaps it’s like a marriage - - some people can have a happy marriage after such a short time but some need to know the person a bit longer and have a longer engagement, etc.

Just pray for all of us.

Thanks.

=Apologista;9909483]How do you try to help a friend who keeps changing their mind about staying Catholic after converting? Just looking for ideas. It has to come from within them, and through others’ prayers, I know, but if you have found anything that works please share.

Understand that God ALONE is the granter of TRUE FAITH.

Try to understand what it is that is blocking them from “comming HOME.” Quite possibly its a need to overcome a wrong understanding or a incomplete teaching, that they struggle with. There is an abundance of mis-information; wrong ideas and concepts, and not corretly understood beliefs and practices in the thousands of COMPETING faiths, that many of our friends migrate from.

Patiece, charity and clarity of teaching can often resolve the issues. BUT charity MUST come first. We NEVER force someone; anyone, to come into the church.

IF you don’t absolutely know the answer; don’t guess. be frank and promise to get it for them; then DO IT!

This FORUM has many able to teach and prove what we hold and believe. Make use of us.

Most importantly is pray with them and maybe invite them to church.

God Bless you BOTH!
pat/PJM

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