Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Evangelizing the Faith

On a Saturday morning when I look out the window and see well-dressed men and women, in pairs, making their way up to people's front doors and waiting patiently for someone to answer, I know what it means. And while some people will hide behind their curtains and pretend to not be home, I always answer with a smile.

Whether the people at my door are Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormon's, I always assure them with a smile that I am familiar with the saving ways of God and wish them a wonderful day.

As a Catholic, I have doctrinal differences with both of those groups, but I don't get into that on my doorstep. I may not agree with their theology, but I have deep admiration for their willingness to go out in the streets to proclaim it.

I have a hard time proclaiming my faith. Even in situations where it would be expected, I am uncomfortable doing so.

An example would be at the recent Baptism Class my husband and I taught. This is an informal meeting with several couples who hope to have babies baptized in the coming months. We go over the technical details of the day at our church as well as the meaning of Baptism and also some real life examples of how we live our faith with our children.

At this particular class we only had three couples. Two of them had older children (as well as infants), one who was going to be making his First Communion in the coming year. The mother of that child told me that she didn't go to church. Just didn't. She figured she could pray at home just as easily. The other mother of an older child's eyes lit up and she said "Oh yes, that's how I feel too!"

And there we sat, acting as representatives for the church. But we couldn't sit there and say that it was a sin not to go to church. To chastise them would simply convince them they were right in their position. But yet, we couldn't quietly let their assertions go, because it would seem like we agreed. So, I had to say something.

I told them that of course they could pray at home. That it was wonderful to pray at home and in fact they should do it all the time. But then I told them that the Mass offered them something they couldn't get at home. It offered the Eucharist. Don't cheat yourself out of that, I told them. I also shared how when I was in college I was not too consistent in my church going and that after several weeks of missing Mass I felt that something was out of kilter with my life. I went to Mass and suddenly felt much better. It was the first time I'd ever really gone to Mass because I "wanted" to and not because it was expected of me and I had reaped great benefit from it.

I don't know if these families will be getting to Mass anytime soon, but I'm hoping they'll try to go now and then.

And I have even more respect for people who go door to door to tell unsuspecting strangers about God.

1 comment:

Ermelinda Cortes said...

This was really a great way to handle that. Instead of chastising, you reinforced how wonderful it is to pray at home and still enlightened them to come to Mass, to participate in Holy Communion. Wonderful.