LET IT aLL sTART hERE
For Catholics who care...
This was a comment left by a woman at my blog, www.letitallstarthere.com in response to my post, Being Catholic is Eternal: “On entering, (a Church), all the rituals (the holy water, the genuflecting) immediately return and I can hear the stories of my grandmothers about saints and the hand of God gracing their lives in moments of tragedy or even an ordinary bad day.”
Sharon’s response made one thing clear to me. There is a question that all Catholics committed to following the call of The New Evangelization must attempt to answer:
How do we get people to trust us? How do we get them not to be afraid, so that we might invite them to experience the magical feeling, the beauty, the comfort and the peace that comes after having given Christ and His Church a chance?
How funny people can be! Think about the last time you were very lost on a car ride (Men are less likely to relate to this example…but just go with it). Most people would think nothing of stopping and asking a perfect stranger to direct them into their future. I mean, the trust element is huge! And I choose these words intentionally: “direct them into their future.” That is what really happens when you are lost and ask for directions. For that moment, if you think about it, you don’t know what lies ahead and you still ask a stranger to guide you. You trust him.
I can’t stop myself from wondering why it is so difficult for three of my dearest, most devoted friends, (who are “fallen away Catholics” or atheist)…why is it so hard for them to trust in me and open their hearts to my sharing The Joy of The Gospel? Am I too childlike? Am I not sophisticated enough? Am I not as intelligent as I need to be to convince them of something different than what they think they know? Is my life experience so much different than theirs that I’m disqualified? Am I so much different than they are? Why must they say these words in the middle of a dialogue, with a smirk and with a tone of condescension: “Good. I am glad it works for you?”
END OF CONVERSATION.
Once, I had an idea about a documentary I wanted to make to celebrate our altar boys who once served the Catholic Church. I saw a connection between the influence of Christ’s teachings, the Church’s guidance and the lives of service many of these men went on to live. My film would have been called: It All Starts Here. When I shared my idea with a friend of mine, she, in adversarial way, questioned me: “Why do you care if a person believes in God or not? What’s it to you?”
My answer was quick and certain: “It’s just the type of person I am. If I have found something that is helpful or works for me, I want share it. The world is a hard place to navigate. Everyone is looking for solutions to their problems. If I lost 40lbs and kept it off, I would share my secret. If I survived my child’s drug addiction and remained loving, healthy and sane…I’d share how I manage to do so. If I found the “fountain of youth”, I would probably tell a few people where it was. Why wouldn’t I tell everyone I meet about Christ at work in my life?”
I guess with today’s post I want to ask my friends and my daughter, whom I love: Won’t you trust in me at least as much as you might the stranger you’ve asked for directions when you were lost? It would mean a lot to me. Thanks.