A Gift? More Like an Invitation 

When I first began teaching right out of college in 2013, I worked a low-paying teaching job with two classes , morning and evening. Thankfully,  it was all for public service. 

While at this organization,  I had a coworker who occasionally gave me rides to our weekly Friday meeting at home office.  On our commute,  we would chat about many things such as politics, our passionate social causes , and Christianity. At the time, I was a very strong Protestant, so in our conversations I managed to sneak in small bits about my beliefs. 

Apparently,  she must’ve been a Catholic because one day she said “I have a book I want to give you” and I gladly accepted her gift. To my surprise,  it was a book called Answering A Fundamentalist. Essentially, it’s a introductory book on answering objections from Protestants.   Initially,  I didn’t pay attention to it. I read the table of contents, and figured she was trying to persuade me away from my beliefs, but I accepted her gift because she was a very kind-hearted person. I Wasn’t offended at all.

Anyways, I glanced over the book many times and didn’t pay attention to the proofs. I didn’t receive an “aha” lightbulb moment for many years after I received the book. Occasionally in my spiritual studying,  I’d read the book and glance through chapters that had similarities to beliefs I was familiar with in my faith tradition. At times, I’d read the other chapters about , let’s say, the Magisterium and wouldn’t be convinced. Similarly,  I did this with the catechism I purchased in the fall of 2014 too. Picked the portions I knew were essential to the faith, and ignored or attempted to read the ones that were foreign to me.

Fast forward to now

When I look back at the title of the book, I kind of giggle a bit. Considering what I know how a fundamentalist is portrayed by a few Catholics,  I ask myself “was I really like that to her?” It’s funny to reflect and poke fun at yourself from time to time.

When I reflect back on the last 4.5 years I can definitely see this book was the first encounter with Catholicism I had. I appreciate it’s simplicity and concise answers with not a lot of technically advanced scholarship. The average chapter is 9-10 (some shorter) pages unlike many books I own that are 20-30 pages that deal with Catholic apologetics. This book managed to capture all their heavy  information while using economy of language (a term we use in teaching that means use fewer words to get across clarity in your message). Accessible for beginners, but not rudimentary for those that are well learned or advanced in the faith.

This book is very sentimental to me. It was a gift,  but most importantly an invitation to experience God in the one, holy, catholic,  and apostolic Church. No greater love than that which seeks the best for another. Now,  I read it from time to time and always find something more interesting than the last time. 

What a great earthly gift, with an eternal reward, and a divine invitation to fellowship. 

5 comments

  1. Jesus calls us to His Church in so many different ways, doesn’t He? I often wonder why He called me to it? I only know this, for those of us who have become Catholic, it was not a choice for us. I know no matter how I fought it, which I did, the result was, I was going to become a Catholic.

    I thank God many times for that grace and calling. God Bless, SR

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very much an interesting question you put here. I’ve ways wondered about how free will and God’s sovereignty work and a conversion experience is a perfect example. I heard Dr. Ray Guarendi mentioned one time “doesn’t matter when you came to the faith, but what matters is that you came.” God’s timing is always perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think free will and God’s sovereignty work together when we are obedient or not. I did have a choice in one way, I could of told God, “no.” However, being that said, telling God, “no” is not a choice for me. That is a “sin” to me.

        That is not to say God and I do not have some heated debates. I place myself in good company though with those such as Moses, Jonah, etc… These are mostly when I do not understand what He is wanting me to do and why, such as becoming a Catholic. To put it more simply, it is when He calls me out of my “comfort zone.”

        In the end when I realize I need to do it, and trust Him for the outcome, the answer is going to be “yes.” I do not think “free will” diminishes the sovereignty of God at all, because that is the way He set it all up. God Bless, SR

        Like

  2. My path was similar to yours. In my case, Reading Humanae Vitae encouraged a (paradigm shift?).

    I’d expected what to me was the ‘usual’ religious mix of sentimentality and melodrama. Instead I found a detailed and rigorously logical discussion. I had a choice, of course. I could reject H.V.’s conclusions. But that would mean rejecting some of my basic assumptions about realty. That didn’t seem reasonable, so I was left with accepting the work’s conclusion.

    That let me start making sense of what I’d been learning about Western civilization’s last thousand years – eventually I knew too much, and had to join the Church. I had a choice about that, too: but only one viable option.

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s nice when things make sense.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What an amazing story. There are Tons of papal encyclicals I need to read and this is one of them.

      Although not read, it has influenced me somewhat in a way to start natural family planning in our marriage.

      I’m glad to hear that you’ve been positively impacted by such an amazing resource that’s highly beneficial. Glad the rigor prompted your thinking to accept the conclusions drawn.

      Liked by 1 person

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