I want you to be ready. We have a very real goal, a duty we are charged with from the time we are confirmed: to win souls for Christ. And that means studying apologetics.
There are many modes of spirituality by which to live out an example for others, but there is one mode of intellect. “ON.”
We can’t let our knowledge of our faith grow stale as soon as we graduate from our Catholic high schools. There’s a reason Pope Benedict XVI declared this year a Year of Faith, and thereby charged everyone to read their Catholic Catechism and to engage their friends: teaching them about the faith, correcting their misapprehensions, and demonstrating the most beautiful, most holistic approach to knowledge that only the Church offers.
People deserve to get the best chance they possibly can to become baptized and join the Church. Nothing will ever trump the importance of mental prayer and good example in showing others the beauty of our religion, but even these benefit from the added power of the scholarly weight of the Church’s 2000-year old teachings, when faithfully represented. The Catholic philosophy will speak for itself, so long as it gets a real chance to speak.
What I’m saying is that our job is to win souls. They are hungry for the truth. They are desperate for it, whether “they” is our friend, our co-worker, or our in-laws, and they deserve our best. Furthermore, the Church deserves our best.
Think about it. Your coworker down the hall who’s always making little comments about the Church, trying to gauge your reaction—he’s probably trying to figure out a way to talk to you about your faith. When he finally does start that conversation with you, though, and you shut him down with nothing more than a, “That’s just what I believe,” he’ll walk away, satisfied with the thought that you don’t have the answers. You’ll walk away feeling like you could’ve done more—that you just let a soul slip through your fingers. Gone. He could have become someone’s Catholic husband, Catholic father, maybe even a Catholic priest. There may never be another opportunity as great as the one you had to bring him to the Church.
It’s far-fetched, maybe, but it could happen. And situations like this happen often. Far more often than you think, if you know what to look for.
I want to help, because by helping you, I’m getting better myself. I spent most of my grown-up life in a state of constant debate with many of my closest friends who are atheists, Anglicans, Fundamentalists Neo-Cons, progressives, heretics, a-religious, and fallen away. They all want to hear what the Catholic has to say, because the Catholic Church is the 800 lb. gorilla in the room of religion. Sometimes, they even want to talk with you, instead of at you.
Most of the time, though, you’ve got to earn that. Let me help.
I’ll do the footwork. I’ll go through the research, find the talking points, and venture out into foreign territory, continuing on my sociological study of “How Many Ways to Fail at Attacking the Church.” And I’ll put all my findings here, in the Backroom, where we can mull over it and work to fundamentally alter the way our friends, families, and co-workers see our faith and the world.
Your part of the deal? Just keep reading. Read books by people of other faiths. If you want to, go talk with people who are not Catholic (and can hold a reasonable conversation; obviously don’t tolerate the trolls). Then come back here, and let me know either in the combox or in an email what they said so that I can incorporate it.
How’s that sound? Are you in? Can we do this?
I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.
You are not alone. Not in the Backroom.