Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Different Strokes for Different Folks

I find it interesting that in certain situations I am very calm about talking about our faith, explaining it and not defending it, and that in certain other situations, I am very on edge, anxious, and doubtful of my abilities.

I personally work better when I am talking to a person face to face. I generally feel more comfortable too if I already know the person and we both respect each other. I get very anxious when I know someone has no respect for me because I am Catholic. It is not so much that I am hurt by it, but that I know they have preconceptions which makes my side of the conversation a bit more difficult.

I personally am not as hardcore apologist as others here (not to say it in a negative way) and I've learned to like it. Those here who do practice that way have 100% of my support. I commend you and the work you do. It's just not me. I am very comfortable with my small ways of doing things. I am comfortable with my non-confrontational, very slow-moving and cautious approach.

I think it has taken quite a while to really get to this point and I think it's important that everyone remembers that we are not all alike. I believe it was aloysius who said (I think) yesterday in open mic that not everyone is called to be a theologian or great apologist. He said there is freedom in the simpleton way of life. I think that is beautiful.

I really wanted to just share my thoughts about my own progress not only as an apologist but as a person. I also wanted to throw this out there for those who may lurk (as I once did and occasionally still do) and are unsure of 'if they are capable'. Everyone is capable. Approaches and settings are going to vary by person. It's okay to be simple. It's okay not to be an amazing apologist. Every win, big or small, is a win for Christ in the end.

God bless the obviously militant and God bless the unseen believer. Both are winning hearts for Christ! (Together... the world is His again!)

originally a phatmass post dated November 15, 2005
In response to this, snowcapta writes...
I thought that was just lovely -------------. It reminded me of a quote from St. Edith Stein that I think you might like. She talks about not necessarily needing to be the militant apologist, but, espeically with your feminine gifts, finding the right words, even little words, your little actions, your ways of being, that show Christ to that person, at that period in time.

She writes: [From The Significance of Woman's Intrinsic Value in National Life (1928)]

"The teacher thus needs a basic education in dogma and asceticism. Apologetics is certainly also good, but the former seems more important to me: ready arguments, as right as they may be, often do not have penetrating force. But she whose soul is formed through the truths of faith - and I call this ascetic formation - finds words which are proper for this human being and for this moment respectively."

You are using your gifts in your own way to help others find God, and that is just as valuable. Slow-moving, cautious and non-confrontational can truly be beautiful.
And in response I write...
Wow. That is a really awesome quote. I really like that. It sort of validates for me what I have already discovered for myself. Thanks for sharing that and thank you for your kind words!

This reminds me of something I didn't mention in my original post...
I believe that the witness of a true person is one of the greatest testimonies to God. Being myself, allowing my inner being, the one created by God Himself, to shine through in me at all times allows me to be more effective in communicating Christ's love for all of mankind. The burden does not then seem a burden but a joy to share Christ with the world. It is peaceful to be yourself. In this way, I communicate what I believe at all times and 'use words when necessary'. What a relief this is! [...please forgive me if that seemed prideful. I didnt mean to come across that way. I am a sinner in need of much mercy. These are just some things I've discovered about myself and my faith...]


Blogger A. Carlton Sallet said...

Interesting. What I generally do is to limit my responses in these situations to how the Church teaching being taken issue with has affected me personally.

That way, I can avoid a theological Bible-verse butt kicking by sticking to what I know from personal experience with (dare I say) the Holy Spirit.

Let them argue with that!

4/18/2006 11:47:00 AM  

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