July 10, 2019 | Vincent Bellinghiere, Third-Year Philosophy Student
Many of us have friends or family that want nothing to do with Catholicism, and thus we find ourselves stuck in between a rock and hard place. We have found the pearl of great price, we have found Christ—the very source of happiness itself—and yet our loved ones just simply don’t care. In response to this common conundrum, here are seven keys to keep in mind when sharing the faith with our friends:
1. Remember that conversion is a grace of God. We must realize that our own faith is a gift. Therefore, we cannot expect conversion in another. Hope, yes, but expect, no. We must humble ourselves in our efforts by knowing that all the fruit of our conversation is entirely in the hands of God. God in a single moment can give the grace of conversion to someone. Pray and offer sacrifices for their soul, because ultimately their conversion is the work of God.
2. Win their hearts. We must assure them that we are not “just trying to convert them,” or judging their way of life but that we love them even if they live a sinful life. Love their gifts and talents and express interest in what they love.
3. Show forth the joy of being Catholic. Joy is contagious. If they see genuine joy, love, and virtue, they will desire it for themselves and seek the source of that joy.
4. Respect their free will. God gave each of us the gift of free will. This includes the ability to reject Him. In other words, if they do not want to speak about the faith, we should not talk about it. We cannot force conversion, as this will only drive them away from us. Let us imitate Christ in the Eucharist Who sits in our tabernacles waiting patiently for our love.
5. Pray with great desire for their conversion. God wants our prayers, and especially our hearts and desires. Our hearts must burn for the conversion of others. He is more likely to answer the prayer of a fervent soul who trusts in His mercy than a soul who prays simple because he “should.”
6. Wait for the right opportunity. Once we have won their hearts, we must look for the opportunity to share the faith. When the moment comes, let us share the faith with love and truth.
7. Be a saint. The conversion of every soul will be different. We must learn when to speak or when to be silent, when to be patient and when to encourage. We must develop supernatural prudence. However, the only way to obtain this is through the conquering of ourselves through the daily pursuit of virtue and frequenting the sacraments.
I hope all of you are not afraid to share your faith with your friends and loved ones. We may fail time and time again, but what matters is that we keep trying. Let us respond to Christ’s heroic call to make disciples of all nations and set the world on fire with His love.