How to Respond When Your Faith is Being Challenged
This happens most of the time. You are in a social gathering, out with some friends and someone who knows you are a Christian and a Catholic by denomination, out of curiosity or any other personal motive, prompts up to ask questions that have nagged them for a while. Why can’t a Catholic marry a non-catholic? Why can’t women be priests? Why don’t priests get married? Why do Catholics say the Rosary? Is it a must to genuflect? You are in a corner or maybe you are not, but it gets you thinking. The Catholic Church is clear on all these questions but that doesn’t necessarily mean you know them.
However, there are various ways of answering these questions but before you attempt to render any response to them, you have to be well informed and rooted in the ways of the Catholic Church. The answers to these questions should come from a place of Love and Understanding, intended to simply clarify and draw people closer to the Catholic faith and God. This also prevents criticism and cynicism, but not a guarantee that we may not be misunderstood. Ours is not a religion of logic and literal intellect, it is a religion of self-awareness and intimacy with God. Everything in our faith is interwoven into one another, from one degree to the other – it is important not to add or remove or give up. The truth is always out there. We know this. To a point, they know this. You only need to make them aware to it and keep it simple. Jesus identifies as the way, the truth and the life and we live a Life similar to his on Earth, the answer is out there and in our hearts.
While the truth is not universally accepted as pleasant, the manner in which we present it should be pleasant. It is necessary to converse with people and address the topic with a level head, sensitivity and reason. Charity and meekness are key. Try to have a mental picture for the bigger message behind the answers. Quoting or citing of Bible verses are not enough as we usually think. This is it according to the book of or the works of… but why is that? That is what people want to.
What should always follow is an attempt to point out the reasons behind whatever your answers may be; to broaden their understanding of the issues and not raise further doubts. There are often tricky questions and needs to be answered without backing up the wrong tree. These answers serve as models and attempt to provide a solution and bridge a gap to faith in the new age.