I am a Catholic of the sort who really loves being Catholic. You know, the sort who goes to Church six days a week and is sad on the seventh (which is today, but I guess it is good penance for a Friday?). I do not simply love practicing Catholicism, I really believe that the Catholic Church offers the opportunity to get the closest to God that one can while on earth.
So why don’t I focus on converting1 non-Christians? Because it is quite possible that any given non-Catholic is closer to God than most Catholics, including myself.
Sound odd? Think of this: I love my husband. I believe that being married to Joshua gives me the opportunity to know him and love him in ways that no one else can. Being married offers the opportunity to be the closest to Joshua that anyone can be.
But simply being married does not mean that I love my husband, or even know him well. With the passing of time others could become closer to Joshua while I focus my attention on everything else. I could even start to hate my husband and deliberately hurt him in ways unthinkable to his friends who really love him.
The point is not simply to be married, the point is to love. Marriage offers the best opportunity to foster the highest sort of love, but it is virtually meaningless in itself and could even become the source of the greatest of hatred.
The same is true of Catholicism and loving God. I would love for everyone to become a Catholic because I believe that would offer them the chance to know God most fully during this life (and the Real Presence really rules!). But simply being Catholic can be useless, or even harmful at times, and I am ultimately most interested in others loving God.
So, if you’re interested in seeking Truth, then we’re cool. I have no interest in converting you, simply in sharing the journey as we both seek Truth. And while I do believe that the Catholic Church is where it is at, I am quite aware that you may actually be closer to God than I am. I will do my best to learn from you rather than focus on converting you, so maybe at the end of the day I will have something to offer others.
What do you think about evangelization/proselytization? Be honest, are you interested in converting me/others in general (whether religiously, politically, or otherwise)? How do you feel about people who believe that they have truth, but aren’t in any hurry to spread it around?
1. One can only “convert” to Catholicism if one is not already a baptized Christian. If one is already a baptized Christian then one can merely “reconcile” with Rome since one cannot “convert” to a religion of which one is already a member! So a more accurate question would be “why do I not focus on converting non-Christians and reconciling non-Catholics?” But you don’t really care about that sort of accuracy, do you?
- Delicious Snacks & an Agreeable Husband
- 15 years later…