Combox Question from a concerned Catholic

I am opening this post up to all readers of my blog and i am hereby inviting them to comment, especially if they are Catholic!

A lady named Aly has a question she would like some advice about, I give my response below, but dear readers, if you feel inclined to respond, please do so in this comment box.

Aly writes:

Hi there. I am a catholic. My boyfriend is an Anglican. I was like trying so so hard 2 ask him 2 go for our mass at St Peter’s Catholic Church. He finally agreed. But, he did nt promise to become one. Im kinda upset. I couldnt convince him that the Catholic Church is the ONE TRUE church!

How could i or how can i convince him?
Plz reply… Thanks alot.

Speaking for myself (and that is all i have a right to do) I would say this:

Don’t stress about it!

It is perfectly understandable that you want your boyfriend to come to appreciate the beauty of the Catholic Church and recognise it as the Church that Christ himself founded…but…take baby steps with your boyfriend for now… having him agree to attend Mass with you, that’s a pretty big deal for a non Catholic! I imagine he agreed to do so because he cares for you and wants to please you, so maybe ask him to come with you again sometime, let him know how much it means to you and tell him how much you appreciate him doing so.

To be honest with you, i really do believe that the best way for your boyfriend to see the beauty of the Church and specifically the Sacraments, is for you to continue to live out your Catholicity with passion and commitment. You might find that you don’t always have to use words, but he might come to think  ‘hey, there really is something about this Catholicism!’.

For example, when you embrace the sacraments, when he sees how how important it is for you to confess regularly and receive communion…when he (hopefully) sees how they infuse your life in a positive way, a way that has you radiating God’s love. Then really, no words will be necessary.

I think it is also important not to belittle his own faith in any way. Not that i am suggesting that you do this. But it can be so easy to slip into ‘negative talk’ and feelings about the faith that is practised by non Catholics. I’ve seen it happen. Uppity Catholics!

It seems from the brief comment you wrote, that faith is important to both of you. That’s a pretty good foundation for a relationship if you ask me.  I understand how much you want to share this gift of your Catholicity, with someone that you feel very deeply for, but i really don’t believe you can talk a person into becoming Catholic, it has to come from love….living a life of love…and from prayer.

Pray often for your boyfriend!

Pray to the Lord that your boyfriend’s heart may be opened to where God wants him to be. Pray this prayer regularly and pretty much leave the details to God to work out!

You really can leave this in God’s hands. He can handle it, believe me!

I hope this helps.

I’m sure readers will share their thoughts on this in the combox.

God Bless you!

p.s. If i could offer one practical piece of advice it would be for you to maybe leave Kimberly and Scott Hahn’s ‘Rome Sweet Home‘ somewhere where your boyfriend will find it, i found it enormously powerful reading when i was in the process of being open to swimming the tiber from Anglicanism to Catholicism. Both my parents read it and found it very powerful too!

p.p.s One more practical piece of advice….purchase a green scapular (have it blessed if you can – or bless it yourself with some holy water) and place it somewhere near where he spends a lot of time…. I prayed regularly for my parents conversion and hid a green scapular in their bedroom…. they are both now devout Catholics!

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14 Responses to Combox Question from a concerned Catholic

  1. Rita says:

    To my mind, you gave a brilliant answer!…..incidentally do you know if the green scapular works to bring people back to the faith after they’ve lapsed. I may try it on Mum and Dad if it does.

    • ukok says:

      Rita, i just found this from an online bulletin

      “The Green Scapular is not really a scapular
      at all, but a cloth medal. Associated with it is the prayer for the return of lapsed Catholics back to the practice of their Faith or
      the conversion of the unchurched.”

      Found it here: http://www.olol-arlington.org/MAIN/bulletins/2003/111603.pdf

      Incidentally, Rita, the prayer on the Green Scapular for the conversion and re-conversion is ….Cor immaculatum Mariae, ora pro nobis nunc et in hora mortis nostrae (Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death). You might consider praying it daily for your parents. I will endeavour to remember them in my own prayers.

  2. Sarah says:

    You said what I would have said. Good response. Don’t ever push it, just live it and invite along.

  3. Julie says:

    We have to remember: it’s not OUR job to convert people. That job belongs to the Holy Spirit. And no one can be FORCED to believe. All we can do is live our faith, never forcing it upon someone else. The man has free will and that free will MUST be respected.

  4. Cathy says:

    From my personal experience. Forty years ago I married a young man who was not Catholic. He was Methodist. After we were married, he started taking instruction. I would attend with him when I could, but I was a nurse and worked 3-11 at the hospital and did not always have that evening off. He attended religiously. One evening he called me and asked me if HE should become Catholic. I told him it wasn’t my decision, he was the one who had to make the commitment. He told me it would be hard. He was raised to walk around the block rather than cross paths with a Catholic. I just told him the decision was his and I would abide by it. Nearly 8 years later he finally chose to become Catholic.

    I agree with Deb. Practicing your faith with faithfulness and praying worked for me. Since then two of my children have married non-Catholics and they have become good practicing Catholics. Kindness not demands is the best way to touch the heart of one who is seeking.

    God bless you! Persevere in prayer and good will come from thic. Cathy

  5. Edel says:

    I think yours is a wonderful answer! Thank you for the information about the green scapular – I think I may need to purchase one or two for some important people in my life.

  6. Suzanne says:

    Your response could not be much better and then add what the other comments have been…well…great job everyone! Thanks for the additional news on the Green Scapular. I knew some of this. I will get this prayer and pray it! 🙂

  7. Sharon says:

    Your response is just the ticket ukok and the green scapular is most enlightening. Just to add that my partner is not even a church goer [and yes, I did say partner as opposed to husband ~ can it get any worse??]. I am a recent catholic convert. I’ve found the best way to approach these personal divides [for want of a better word] is to show the gentle face of Catholicism, the loving face of Christ, be a signpost for your faith and church. If your other half sees you living that life with joy and peace then it becomes desirable, if it’s a source of battle and conflict it becomes an even bigger stick to beat you with and a good reason to stay away.

    My other half now comes to Mass with our little boy regularly. He participates and he helps me teach our little one ‘my’ faith. Softly, softly catchy monkey.

    The young ladies bf is already half way there because at least he is already walking in the light of Christ if maybe not in the way she’d would like. Sometimes it’s just important that we DO worship our Dear Lord and not always so important how.

    Enjoy your break

    Every blessing

    Sharon xx

  8. stf says:

    non catholic response here

    I’m an advocate of

    belong, believe, behave

    in other words if we really welcome outsiders into our church /fellowship – explain the things that are /might seem indiocyncratic to them – and extend a lot of love … they will be attracted to our lifestyle. That was the reason for so many conversions in the early church … the pagans saw that the Christians lived out their faith … were ‘better’ people, took care of one another and outsiders etc etc

    when you feel you belong … then your belief and your behaviour begin to change too

    Question for you … have you been willing to go to your boyfriend’s church … and allowed them to love you and extend hospitality to you. That would be important too. Assuming you are both church goers that is. If he’s a nominal Anglican it’s a whole other ball game.

  9. nonjuror says:

    Dear Lady,
    I wouldn,t worry too much about your friends attitude to Rome. Simply be grateful that he , a member of a Church that has its roots in the, ‘upper room’, in Jerusalem, has attended mass at your denomination without much of a struggle! Remember he has done you a kindness have you thought of returning one for one?

  10. Hidden One says:

    Aly, if you know or know of a good Catholic priest, speak with him about the matter. Far better to have the in-person counsel of a good priest than the brief, textual counsels of a collection of varyingly qualified individuals.

  11. Carol says:

    There’s always the possibility she’s, like, 14. If this is not a marriageable time (age-wise or for any other reason), she doesn’t need to think about his conversion. Proselytizing is distasteful and offturning no matter who does it. We are to invite, not coerce. The Lord’s last words to His followers were to go and preach the gospel to all the nations. Also, as a Catholic, she’s even more unobliged to go to his church.

  12. Rosemary says:

    Your answer was exactly right, I believe. My daughter’s boyfriend, now her fiance, was an evangelical Protestant. He sometimes questioned my daughter about the Catholic faith. She would answer but did very little to try persuade him. Once while visiting the Basilica at Notre Dame he asked what a mural depicting the Assumption was all about. She told him. He gave her a look like “yeah, right.” She shrugged her shoulders and walked on. I think the fact that she didn’t seem to feel the need to defend her faith set an example for him. It also allowed him to look without feeling pressured. At the Easter Vigil of last year he entered the Church.
    God has a plan and He has his timing. I imagine changing a person’s heart is pretty complicated. But He’s the Savior and he loves to save.

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