Tuesday, July 15, 2014

TRADITIONAL CATHOLICS UNDERSTAND THAT NO ONE SHOULD BE TALKED INTO BECOMING CATHOLIC

Traditionally Catholics don't proselytize. In the south it is quite common for Catholics to marry Protestants. Catholics know that no one should convert to Catholicism for marriage reasons only; they must truly desire to be Catholic. Therefore Catholic spouses don't proselytize their non Catholic spouses.

  In ecumenical settings priests, bishops and popes preach what is held in common and never proselytize in those settings.

Most Catholics in the south have been proselytized by fundamentalists. We don't like it and it creates ill will.

Does anyone suggest that Catholics should proselytize like fundamentalist Protestants, including the Pope? Just wondering.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's not bad to invite people to 'come and see' in a polite way.

"Hey Jim, what church you go to?"
"First Baptist, what about you?"
"St. Joe's in Macon."
"Oh.... that's Catholic?"
"Yeah, you should come see some time...."

Nice, non confrontational, inviting, hospitable. There's a thousand ways to be a 'disciple' without being annoying and artificial about it.

People who are 'into' some hobby, some sport, some passion, have a million natural ways to share their joy and encourage others to share it as well....and no one has a cow about this...until the subject is encouraging people to check out Catholicism!

Let it be any topic under the sun and we're all a-OK with sharing our passions and inviting people to share them as well..... but why the fear when it's to do with the faith?

Is it the presumption that it'll be artificial, stupid, confrontational, chip-on-the-shoulder-esque? But why do we make this assumption that that's the ONLY way to do things?

I don't believe in hiding my light under a bushel out of fear of being 'impolite' especially in a culture where it's common for non-Catholics to freely sharing THEIR beliefs.

The key is to do it respectfully and tactfully. Do that, in an inviting way, and I can't see the theological or pastoral problems.

Here's one problem though: the Church is not growing - marriages and baptisms are down across S.GA. If not for immigrants we'd be way down. If we're not sharing the faith with others (starting with our own family and extended family), then we will continue to decay.

Anonymous said...

A pope does not make a statement like "I'm not trying to convert you to Catholicism" and he doesn't go to a Pentecostal house of worship to apologize for the one, true, apostolic Faith. Probably getting down on his supposed arthritic knees while he is doing it bye the way. That's not his job.

The duty of every pope is not to speak about cutting down trees and the evils of capitalism, that's what the Dali Lama is for.

A pope has a duty to safeguard and teach Catholic doctrine in totality and to be a sign of unity and who doesn't purposefully cause unjust confusion on a daily basis. Nice try though trying to defend the indefensible.

Now, when Francis sends a letter of congratulations to the "Archbishop" of Canterbury welcoming women bishops and inviting the first woman "bishop" to preach in St. Peter's Basilica how will you justify that? Start devising a response now. Does anyone think for one moment it's not going to happen?

Marc said...

When a pope has a meeting with a some religious leader, this event is not synonymous with my daily life at work where I encounter evangelicals.

I do not proselytize unless asked questions (which I get a lot because I am overtly Catholic).

The pope's job, like your's, is to speak the true faith. If a Protestant pastor comes to your office to discuss religion, do you avoid proselytizing?

JBS said...

What you're saying is common sense, Fr. McDonald. It's a question of prudence. Jesus spoke plainly to his disciples, but in parables to the crowds. When Pilate asked Him who He was, Jesus could have recited a creed or manifesto, but instead just said a few words that appeared inconclusive.

What we're really dealing with here is "preaching to the choir" syndrome. Detractors among those committed to the True Faith want the pope to tell them what they already believe: e.g. there's just one Church, abortion is murder, contraception is diabolical fruitlessness, sodomy is disgusting, divorce is a contractual lie, those who leave the Catholic Church will burn in Hell, etc. It's all true, but just saying it repeatedly won't make people believe it, and so won't save any souls from damnation.

But the pope must proclaim the Gospel to non-believers, and must restore unity among Christians (including Eastern schismatics and Western heretics). This requires prudence and great delicacy.

qwikness said...

I wonder about this too. Peter and Paul preached and evangelized. The great commission is to go out and spread the gospel and baptize. It is what we are called to do. It is brave of folks to go door to door to tell the message. I wonder about Catholics doing that. Some brave souls might want to step out and try it. I have heard this does little as far as recruitment but more for strengthening those doing the evangelizing. If one is going to evangelize one better know what they are talking about. Getting stumped can be good so answers be found. If talking to friends, I have found a good introduction is: Do you have any questions about the Catholic Church?
If someone goes to Mass, explain the Real Presence in the Eucharist, because they have never heard that before.

Marc said...

"Does anyone suggest that Catholics should proselytize like fundamentalist Protestants, including the Pope?"

By the way, the misplaced modifier here actually makes this question more accurate than you intended.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Proselytizing is offensive and Catholics should never do it. Evangelizing is positive and quite different from giving offense.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A few years ago I was invited to give a class on the Catholic Faith at Mulberry Street UMC and I began with what we hold in common and then the differences. It was open to questions, answers and comments. In a preaching context where there are no questions or comments i would never proselytize or try to convert but to confirm what we hold in common.

Marc said...

You are assuming "proselytize" has a negative connotation when it is neutral in itself.

The idea that the pope or anyone is going to help someone enter the True Faith by telling them something false is, in my opinion, crazy.

If someone comes to RCIA and you teach then the Anglican faith, you haven't helped them at all. They've asked for fish and you've given them snakes. Preach the truth, in season and out.

I guess you pastors might be surprised how many people want to be told that there is only one truth and we can know what it is. Not many people want to join a church that is indifferent.

Marc said...

If those UMCs had asked you whether they should convert to Catholicism, what would you have said?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I'd say Cool! And then invite them to meet me privately and join the RCIA.

Marc said...

They didn't ask, "I want to convert, what should I do?" That is the question corresponding to your response.

They ask, "Should I convert to Catholicism?" Or maybe, "Is it necessary for me to convert to Catholicism?"

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I would have made clear by that point that Methodists are already a part of the Church Jesus founded but not in full communion which would have been discussed in my differences section. So I would say that being in full communion with the Catholic Church is extremely important and they should make an appointment with me.

Marc said...

Why are you so afraid to tell people the truth plainly? Methodists are not part of the Church Christ founded. Not only is it "extremely important" for them to join the Catholic Church, it is imperative.

I gave a talk to some Methodists a few weeks back myself. Believe me, they can handle it.

JBS said...

The Legion of Mary goes door to door, but they only provide information and answer questions. They do not coerce or argue during the initial visits.

Gene said...

A friend of mine who lurks on this blog sometime emailed me this morning. He said, "It is sad about the three Priests on this blog. If this Pope were to say that the Church is going to sponsor orgies, they would all run out and buy condoms. This is what we are up against." Apparently, the impression you guys give is getting pretty wide spread.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pope Benedict then explained that the Church “does not engage in proselytism. Instead, she grows by ‘attraction’,” “just as Christ draws all to himself by the power of his love.” (Aparecida, Brazil, May 13, 2007)

Benedict XVI, Address to Bishops’ Conference of Senegal, Feb. 20, 2006: “However, Christianity must not be reduced to a purely human wisdom or confused with a social service, for it is also a spiritual service. Nor, for the disciples of Christ, can the exercise of charity be a means of engaging in proselytism, because love is free. You often serve human beings in collaboration with men and women who do not share the Christian faith, especially Muslims. Thus, the efforts made for an encounter in truth of believers of different religious traditions contributes to achieving in practice the authentic good of individuals and of society. It is indispensable to increasingly deepen brotherly relations between the communities in order to encourage a harmonious social development, recognizing the dignity of each person and enabling everyone to practice their religion freely.” (L’Osservatore Romano, March 8, 2006, p. 5)

etc etc etc

Anonymous said...

It might be better if every time someone condemns proselytism they also immediately define what they mean by evangelization.

Because we are called to evangelize. We are called to make disciples of all the nations. We are called to share the hope we have with others (and St. Peter goes on to add that we do this in a kind fashion).

Anonymous said...

It might be better if every time someone condemns proselytism they also immediately define what they mean by evangelization.

Because we are called to evangelize. We are called to make disciples of all the nations. We are called to share the hope we have with others (and St. Peter goes on to add that we do this in a kind fashion).

Supertradmum said...

Sadly, the teaching on mixed marriages not a good idea was lost in modern times. Some of my Catholic friends felt forced into contraception in these marriages. Read Scott Hahn. A Catholic must lead the spouse to heaven, and how can this happen in a marriage where the party does not believe in the truth of Catholicism

Templar said...

I've never tried to overtly convert someone to Catholicism, but like Marc I do get a lot of questions from my Non-Cath co-workers becasue of my "Catholic ways". And I think that's as it should be, "preach the gospel at all times, use words if necessary" is what I was taught as a child.

Sadly, I also get a lot of questions from my nominally Catholic co-workers, who quite frankly, are more in need of "conversion" than the non-Caths. And therein lies the problem. Rome and her Bishops talk about "new evangelization" when they've lost their own base (to use a political reference). They're building a house on a foundation of sand. Get the house in order, clean out the bad bishops and clergy, give the laity the real hard truth via a real hard catechism, and THEN go out and convert.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - A friend of mine who reads this blog - a life-long member of St. Joseph Parish, by the way - is always complimenting me on my thoughtful, knowledgeable, and even-handed posts here.

Yes, let the impression spread.

Anonymous 2 said...

Ah, prudence, Father JBS, he said wistfully. What a quaint idea! It used to be the master virtue. It needs to be again. What on earth happened?

One of the obstacles in the way of people joining the Catholic Church is the negative perception many Protestants and others have about Catholics and the Church; and I firmly believe, based on experience, that one of the places they get those perceptions is this Blog and others like it. We are not the only ones reading, you know. Perhaps some of those who comment should remember that before they launch their next “blast” at Protestants, non-Christians, Pope Francis, gays, or whatever. Such attitudes are, as the expression goes, “a right turn off.” There are two examples on this thread alone. I will let you guess which they are.

John Nolan said...

The Gospel is available, in many versions, for anyone who can read. The Gideons put a bible in every hotel room. Becoming a Catholic is more than reading the Gospel. Thirty years ago a convert put it to me in these terms. 'I chanced to visit a monastery in Germany as the Conventual Mass began. The abbot entered to a fanfare of trumpets and Bruckner's Ecce Sacerdos Magnus. I knew from that moment that the Catholic Church was the one, true Church of Christ'.

In festo Sancti Henrici, qui erat Rex Bavariae AD 972, Rex Germaniae AD 1002, et Imperator Sancti Romani Imperii AD 1014. Obiit AD 1024.

Deus, qui hodierna die beatum Henricum Confessorem tuum e terreni culmine imperii ad regnum aeternum transtulisti: te supplices exoramus, ut, sicut illum, gratiae tuae ubertate praeventum, illecebras saeculi superare fecisti, ita nos facias, ejus imitatione, mundi hujus blandimenta vitare, et ad te puris mentibus pervenire. Per Dominum ...

Richard M. Sawicki said...

The Trappists were able to convert numerous Zulus in South Africa, suggesting perhaps that lived example may be the best form of evangelization.

Also, the late Dr. Karl Stern, M.D., the Jewish-convert psychiatrist who wrote "The Pillar of Fire", mentioned how the daily example of so many working-class Catholics in Germany inspired not only himself, but many others in their spiritual quests, which ultimately ended upon the doorstep of the Domus Dei.

Just food for thought.

Gaudete in Domino Semper!

Anonymous said...

What did St. Francis Xavier do? What did St. Dominic do? What did the martyred North American Jesuits do? What did St Paul do? Follow their lead and ignore the false ideology of the modern eucumenical movement.

JBS said...

Anonymous,

Regarding the definitions of "proselytism", "evangelization" and the "new evangelization", I suggest that, since this is a Catholic blog, we assume the definitions given us by Holy Mother Church. All three terms are clearly defined in the CDF's 2007 "Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization".

Gene said...

So, Anon 2, let's not offend anyone with straight talk or, God forbid, truth. Let's all be sweet and nice and everyone will like us and come flocking to the Church.
I'd rather have a handful of Nolan's, Marc's, Johnson's, Henry's, et al than a million like you.

Marc said...

A2, my wife and I are the only Catholics in our families. So this is a personal issue for me.

I think people like clarity. It is the Catholic teaching that one cannot be saved through Protestantism. There is no sense hiding this teaching.

I agree there is equally no sense trumpeting it unnecessarily. But I would point out that we are only discussing it because THE POPE SAID SOMETHING CONTRAST TO THE TEACHING. Presumably, he could have said nothing. Or he could have taken a gentle approach with this Protestant person and said something along the lines of what Fr. McDonald proposed earlier.

Instead, he said something contrary to the teaching. Now, we are required to clarify the teaching.

JBS said...

Marc, what official Vatican source provides this quotation from Pope Francis to which you refer? If Pope Francis ever says the papacy, the sacraments, etc. are optional, then we do have a problem. If, however, some Evangelical pastor simply misquotes the pope, then who cares?

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc - No, the Pope said something that YOU have concluded is in contrast to the Church's teaching. I would suggest you are mistaken.

This is similar to your earlier assertion that Quo Primum must be read/understood to disallow ANY and EVERY change to the liturgy since the time of it's publication.

You would do well to reconsider Anon2's earlier, thoughtful comments regarding the misunderstanding of the law by those who are inadequately trained in the law.

Protestants can be saved - as Protestants. They are saved by Christ who acts through the Catholic Church. "Furthermore, the salvific action of Jesus Christ, with and through his Spirit, extends beyond the visible boundaries of the Church to all humanity." (Dominus Iesus 12)

Protestant communions are used by God as a means of salvation for their members. "But with respect to these, it needs to be stated that 'they derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church'." (Dominus Iesus 16)

It is not enough to quote "Extra ecclesiam nulla salus" and then ignore the other Magisterial teaching of the Church regarding salvation.

Marc said...

JBS, I appreciate your attempted defense, and you are correct to an extent. But there needs be no "official Vatican document" to create scandal.

Even if the pope didn't say these things, they have been attributed to him and remain unrebutted by him or anyone else in the Vatican. Therefore, a defense of the truth is required to ensure this false idea doesn't lead to scandal.

Marc said...

Pater, which of your quotes says that Protestants can be saved by their Protestantism?

It doesn't surprise me that you defend this pope's error (assuming, as JBS rightly points out that this report is accurate) since you spend your time with this ecumenical nonsense as well. The fact that you are defending it is further evidence to me that it is erroneous, honestly.

It is not enough to quote John Paul II and then ignore the other Magisterial teaching of the Church regarding salvation. I can understand, though, how someone with your inadequate training might fail to understand these subtle doctrinal discussions, though. With time, maybe understanding will come to you.

Desiree said...

When I was Methodist, my mom's newly learned clear Traditional Catholic truth is what converted me. To think I'd go to Hell as a Methodist got me thinking!

Sugar coating and silence isn't saving souls. I don't think it makes Jesus happy either. I wish my long-time Catholic friend had been more evangelical. She says she knew I'd become Catholic eventually.
What if I had died during my Methodist years?!

This past year of converting has changed me so much. I am very open and honest about my faith. I have attracted a few people to Catholicism. Don't think I've converted anyone yet, but 2 are close. Those who are content being Protestant blow my mind. I pray for world conversion daily. I could never enter a church without showing reverence for Jesus' presence by genuflecting, kneeling, bowing, veiling, etc. The thought of going back to my old church bothers me. It feels empty and pointless. I've found what I was missing now. I don't think any church but the Catholic Church buildings should use the word on their signs. They are Bible clubs, not churches.

Gene said...

Desiree, Methodists do not go to Hell. They go to a Methodist church in another dimension where they are forced to sit for eternity and listen to old Methodist sermons and sing Wesleyan hymns. They are sometimes dismissed to a Methodist country club where they listen to others gossip about the pastor and degrade their wives, daughters, and other women. The men are allowed to play golf without balls...

George said...

What I believe:

The Catholic Church is what it professes to be and it therefore contains the Fullness of the Truth. It is the God ordained and Divine gift, the Instrument of Salvation established and instituted by Christ as the means for our Eternal salvation. Indeed anyone who is saved comes to salvation in some way or another from the graces which flow from all the salvific means the Church possesses. This is what any Catholic loyal the True Faith accepts and professes to believe. The Holy Catholic Church is the pre-eminent and perfect means in all that it contains for us to avail ourselves of the Treasury of Divine Grace, that Holy Repository which was filled by merits of Christ's redeeming Sacrifice, His Suffering and Death. The 'gates of hell" shall not prevail against her and thus she can never teach or accommodate herself to error .. The salvific grace which comes through the Church is available to those who "through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church". If this were not so, then how could we say our God is merciful? Indeed, is He not Mercy itself?

George said...

I attended Catholic schools grades 1 through 7, but my first introduction to religion was a Methodist pre-school. Wesley House. Even being that young I knew there was something different about the place versus the Catholic church. It wasn't that bad though. Maybe they figured I ann my siblings would become Methodists. It was a lot different following that experience to walk into a first grade classroom and come upon a tall lady with a long black habit and something on her head ( I later found out it was called a cornette). I was wondering the other day how long that was worn after Vatican II. I didn't attend Mt De Sales but I remember seeing the nuns in full habit even in the 1970's -quite a ways past Vatican II. Maybe someone here can tell us when they stopped wearing the traditonal dress.

Anonymous 2 said...

I don’t think there is anything wrong with straight talk, Gene. The problem is with the warped way in which it is sometimes delivered. But you knew that already.


rcg said...

This is a tough idea for people to get their head around, especially in our current times when, as many in this thread have already explained, Catholics are assailed from all sides with attempts to convert us. Everyday I become more convinced that it is the right way because it gives us the latitude to act freely and apart. Active conversion implies a trade and a pact that we cannot keep. The conversion must come from inside the person, the pact must be with God.

Desiree said...

Haha! Mr. Gene, you are very creative!

Desiree said...

I had a lengthy back-and-forth on Facebook with an old friend last night who believes Israelites are the chosen people, and one only needs the Bible to keep them on track...not the Church. Any church is just a place for like-minded people to support each other during hard times, according to him. He's not alone there because I've heard it before. I don't understand why people think anyone who denies Jesus as Messiah is chosen. A recent convert agrees that Israel is still chosen. She said the NT doesn't change the OT. The Church needs to catechize better!
The horrible pedophilia was brought up, to which I had to tell him that was not the doing of true priests...or the Church.
My friend went on to tell me I was brainwashed, the Catholic Church was almost cultish, and that he was disappointed in me. I brought him back to reality by telling him I'm not here for his approval. It was quite funny to me though! Narcissist! Saying I was brainwashed did insult my intelligence though.
Of course, he had issues with praying to Mary because somehow praying to her means we think she is "saving" us. Praying to the dead is somehow wrong too.
Another Catholic friend of mine brought up how denying Catholicism lands one in Hell. Naturally, my old friend had a hard time with that.
My mind is blown that he, and so many others, think we just need to be "saved" by praying a special prayer and we are free to lead ourselves in lukewarm Christian lives while telling ourselves that we are trying. Most Protestants do this. Living by the "saved" prayer and Bible only method is so dangerous and rude. There's no authority or translator besides oneself. The Bible even says we are not to interpret it alone. I say it's rude because Jesus went through all that torture and death for us to say "I'm saved" and then follow our own idea of the parts of the Bible we have actually read, or those quotes we have heard? That's not fair to Christ...or the martyrs. It's not even fair for one human to do more for another either.

We need to pray hard for these people. Catholics should evangelize more. Protestants are out there so much with their message that it's become the normal. The Truth is shocking because it's not said enough. Think about abortion, or gay marriage, or premarital sex, or birth control. They used to be seriously taboo topics that carried serious weight when merely mentioned. Now society barely bats an eye at them, and they are fought for!
Killing a baby in the womb is ok, any sex between adults is ok, protected teen sex is ok, but going to Hell because you refuse to worship the way Christ tells you is outrageously wrong?!

I know I'm out of practice in the writing department, but I hope my message is understood.

Anonymous said...

Note how we argue with one another. They say soldiers fight like they train. So it would follow that our manner of correcting fellow Catholics corresponds to our style of speaking with non-Catholics too.

Some of us seek for clear distinctions, definitions, doctrine. Bright and crisp. Christological and biblical. It's all about a desire that others come to know what we know and thus love who we love.

Others no doubt also love Jesus and their fellow man but their borders are fuzzier, less distinct, a sort of Heisenberg's principle where you're never quite sure exactly where Catholicism ends and Protestantism begins. No doubt many feel that lowering and muting the threshold between the two is an act of charity to allow for easier transition.

I think it's a dubious exercise and here's why: most converts I've come to know came to the Church through a) Marian spirituality b) studying the Church fathers c) encountering Catholics 'in the trenches' of the pro-life movement or d) their own study despite lots of bad examples of local Catholics.

I've yet to meet a convert whose passage was imperceptible and vague, a sort of drifting from one confession to the other. Most have a moral or intellectual crisis that they work through and discover Catholicism as a key to unlock doors they earlier thought sealed for good.

Converts tend to admit that it was clarity of doctrine, morals, tradition, etc. that they really saw as exceptional - not the choir, buildings, 'community' feeling, etc. they have all those and some are better than ours. Either you accept Jesus in the Eucharist or you don't. Once you do, the whole world changes. There's no slow slide from one state to another. It's night to day.

So in evangelizing I think we need to keep in mind a few things: 1) unless people are healed and liberated from evil they can't hear the world 2) if we first heal them with kindness, untie their wills and hearts from vice or obsessions with prayer, fasting, and testifying to the truth...then we can expect the Holy spirit to work in their hearts.

But if we intentionally don't pray and fast for them, if we intentionally don't speak clearly, we're expecting the Holy Spirit to do miracles rather than provide the means by which miracles usually take place.

John Nolan said...

There was a post yesterday with my name as by-line. However, the opinions it expressed and the style in which it was written would seem to suggest that the actual author was Wipo of Mainz, that great medieval chronicler.

Since Wipo is essentially diachronic (like the Church) there will be a report next month from Speyer concerning the Pontifikalamt on the Feast of the Assumption (Mariae Himmelfahrt) celebrated in the Kaiserdom.

In Commemoratione BMV de Monte Carmelo. 'Deus, qui beatissimae semper Virginis et Genetricis tuae Mariae singulari titulo Carmeli Ordininem decorasti: concede propitius, ut cujus hodie Commemorationem solemni celebramus officio, ejus muniti praesidiis, ad gaudia sempiterna pervenire mereamur. Qui vivis ...'

JBS said...

Desiree,

Your message is understood. The Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church alone, has got it all. Out of gratitude for this, we should generously offer the fullness of the Catholic faith to our neighbors and friends, inviting them all the way into the Catholic Church.

When Pope Francis was born, Latin America was almost entirely Catholic, with a few Jewish congregations and the usual handful of menacing Freemasons. But now, a large percentage of Latin Americans have abandoned the Church, and many more are toying with the idea. It's also worth noting that this phenomenon is now gaining a foothold in more recently Christianized parts of Africa.

In the face of this mass exodus, Pope Francis doesn't want us to circle the wagons, reciting the canons of Trent to ourselves. Rather, he wants us to introduce such Evangelicals to the person of Christ made fully available to them only in the Catholic Church.

Gene said...

John Nolan, Wipo has, in fact, commented here before and I found his observations to be quite on point.

Regarding Himmelfahrt…I have a friend whose father was stationed in Germany back in the 60's. He said he always loved watching the Lone Ranger on German TV
because the Masked Man always said, "Hi Ho Silver, fahrt!" LOL!

George said...

Desiree:

"an old friend last night who believes Israelites are the chosen people."
The people of the Old Testament were indeed the God's chosen people. These chosen people were under the Old Covenant. As believers in Christ we are under the New Covenant which was written and sealed by the Body and Blood of Christ. It is best to stay away from arguments or discussions on the realtionship of God to the people of the Old Covenant today. We are all to be judged individually and only God possesse the Wisdom and Knowledge to do this. Let's leave this to his Mercy and Judgement.

"one only needs the Bible to keep them on track...not the Church" .
The Bible didn't come along until well after the Resurrection. The Church was already in existence: "upon this rock I will build my Church." The Bible is part of the Magesterium, the "Deposit of Faith" of the Catholic church and that includes the OT.

"Of course, he had issues with praying to Mary because somehow praying to her means we think she is 'saving' us". Catholics believe that it is only God that saves us. Ask your friend if he can find anywhere in Catholic teaching that Mary "saves " us, at least not in the salvific meaning of that word . Mary gave birth to and raised the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, who we believe is likewise God. Do you think she just might have some intercessory influence with Him?

If you can, get your friends to read some Catholic books or literature. Ask them if they would like to find out what the Church believes and teaches. It is most important to realize that many outside the Faith have been converted just by providing to them a good example. Always be nice to others. Go out of your way to do something for them.Think of others as if they had something you really wanted (when it is in fact something you want them to have). If they had something you really wanted how would you treat them? Remember, no arguments, no matter how convincing will convert anyone. They can help but only the grace of God can convert another. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are necessary but above all, love and genuine concern for the other person. I know the last part can be difficult because human beings can be difficult. One thing to keep in mind is that God respects a person free will. Also, conversion is something which can take a long time.

Bee said...

No, I don't try to proselytize directly, because it seems to just to turn them off more. Many seem to have mental barriers up, worried about falling into the "whore of Babylon Papist Church." Of course I pray for them, and what I hope is that by seeing our way of life, our values, and the blessings we receive, they will see for themselves the truth of the Catholic Church, and realize not only are some of the myths they believe about us wrong, but that what we do believe (the Real Presence) makes more sense and is more true. I think it is more the work of the Holy Spirit that our direct efforts.
It takes longer, but it makes the conversion more authentic.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes go door to door in my neighborhood asking people to sign up on southern orders.