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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill


GOD: Bringing Apologetics To You

Some time ago, after copious readings of Scott Hahn and GK Chesterton, I was so enraptured with the beauty and common sense of RC that I made a rather... hasty prayer one day at Mass: "God please make me an apologist for the Catholic faith." It was out of my mouth before I even had a chance to think about it -- and the calamity such a request might bring.

Oh, dear.

Mind you, no one outside our marriage, our church and the blogosphere knows that we're converting. So my opportunities have been limited. I'd not even thought much about that prayer (other than in the some-time ponderance of my duty as a Christian to "share the Faith" in a general way). I've been focused more on just a general defense of Christianity in general, not specifically of the Catholic Faith.

But if God is anything, He's comically faithful. So imagine my surprise when I walked into my boss's office this morning and found him watching daily Mass on EWTN.


"You're watching a Mass?"

"Yeah, I just wanted to see what they do."

Again, I repeat -- NO ONE KNOWS WE'RE CONVERTING; least of all my boss (Mr. Kenneth-Copeland-and-Jerry-Savelle-are-wallpapered-to-my-bathroom-mirror, "Word of Faith" himself).

A million Hail Mary's ran through my head as I explained that I had "studied" Catholicism a little and that it was surprisingly different from what I'd been taught. I explained "what I'd learned" about praying to the Saints for help, the Real Presence and how everything "we" know about Christianity "we" owe to the Catholic Church -- the beliefs of the Early Church Fathers were decidedly "Catholic".

I listened to his observations and points as well and we covered most topics in general terms. The conversation wandered into other denominational areas, most notably Pentecostalism -- his family and I both had lengthy stays at The Church of Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God. (We are all ex-members.)

But I couldn't help but feel raw and tender and sort of bruised as the bells which signal the Presence rang in my right ear. It hurt to hear something so beautiful and holy happening in one ear, and a defense of sheer and unadorned Protestantism in the other. I had to consciously keep myself still, the urge to kneel was so strongly automatic.

I don't think God arranged this little incident to change my boss.

I think He did it to open my heart.



Anonymous Martin said...

My wife's family went to a Baptist version of "The Church of Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God" when she was in high school. It turned the whole family off of the whole church thing. It wasn't until my wife decided to join the Catholic Church after we married (I was a nominal Catholic back then), that she found not all churches have preachers who yell and slam the bible and make you feel miserable. Her mom is inquiring into the Catholic Church, but the rest of her family, for the most part, aren't regular church goers.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope your prayer is answered. I have been going through an apologist period this past year that just suddenly arose. Mostly, I'm engaged in polemics (apologetics to other Christian faiths).

The Church could use a few more souls willing to tell the truth and correct misunderstandings.

May the Holy Spirit fill and guide you...

- Timothy

8:39 PM  
Blogger WordGirl said...

Hey, Martin!

Good to see you're still lurking.

I know, the whole "Bible beating" thing is wonderful... until it's turned on you. We usually left services feeling like the scummy goo on the bottom of someone's shoe.

One Sunday Tef looked at me quizzically and asked if I felt better or worse after attending Mass. It had never dawned on me before then -- "Better... Always better."

We attend, we genuflect, we humble ourselves, we repent, we listen, we learn, we pray, we bless our brothers and sisters with the sign of peace and then we leave, energized and whole, carrying the Presence with us into the world. It's not a scummy goo experience.

I wish everyone were Catholic.

Thank you, Timothy. And blessings on your endeavors as well.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous karen said...

WG- i'm so amazed at you and Tef- so impressed w/your love and zeal for a Faith that you can embrace and encourage w/in others. You do make me cry(i'm a wuss anyways).

I never believed it would happen, but you've come face to face w/the ~Catholic Girl~ w/in you and you look mighty fine. Be careful, though. It hurts when people try to tear what we know to be True and pleasing to God- into a million shredded pieces. I don't really know why they do this- hatred, fear, misunderstanding- annoyance. It really does hurt and it hurts to have to tip toe, cramps and streched tendons and stuff. I'm sure all of other Faiths could say the same thing, i know, but the hatred for the Catholic Church is so tangible.

It's great to find similarities w/friends of different Faiths- to know we are all sisters(& brothers)in Christ. It's indescribable the mutual feeling of understanding to share even blogspace in the comments section w/someone who ~gets it~ and feels the whole realm of the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ.

I just am so happy to hear you both explain your journey onward w/Catholicism- it's amazing to me. Like watching birth.

11:19 AM  

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