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How to evangelize those outside the Faith January 24, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Our Lady, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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I think this accords with a comment skeinster left the other day.  I just read this in a nice book from 1925 called The Mother of God and Her Glorious Feasts.  In a chapter on the Feast of the Holy Rosary, it discusses how St. Dominic preached to and converted many of the heretical Albigensians.   There is some food for thought, here, including for me, even though this blog has always been more oriented towards confirming the faithful than converting those outside the Faith (although, it has played a role in that a few times):

IT may be asked then what are we to do with a view to instructing those outside the faith?  We must, like St. Dominic, teach the simple Christian doctrine and we may answer the objections of and give information to those who are sincerely anxious to know the Truth. The Church spread throughout the great pagan Roman Empire by the preaching of the Gospel, aided by the blood of Martyrs and the prayers of the faithful. [and, I might add, the visible witness to sanctity evidenced by some early Christians, especially the great Virgins and Martyrs]  When a nation or an individual loses the Faith, it is never for intellectual reasons nor because they cannot harmonize the beliefs of the Church with their philosophy of life. The Faith is lost through the loss of Grace owing to absence of prayer and through the commission of sin. [This is very true. It also should be illuminating to think on this, and the great revolution/apostasy that occurred, or really revealed itself, in the 1960s. Many think it was because error/revolutionary ideas started to be taught at that time, but Vatican II did not occur in a vacuum.  A large number of folks had already stopped practicing the Faith in a serious manner before the Council ever occurred, or the errors would not have been accepted.  There is also a correlation between great material comfort, and the “absence of prayer/commission of sin” noted above.  People tend to fall away from God when they are fat, dumb, and happy, as the saying goes.] The Faith in a country is preserved by the teaching of Christian Doctrine and by the self-sacrificing lives of the faithful.  Sanctity is only self-denial for the love of God. Some perform self-sacrificing actions, but for some worldly motive, and so that is not sanctity. The marks of true sanctity are prayer, self-denial, and zeal for God’s glory.  [I think this paragraph is as good a one-paragraph summation of how to practice the Catholic Faith as I’ve read, as well as it’s opposite, how to fall away]

When St. Dominic found that his arguments were of no value, he had recourse to the Mother of God, who has always been the consoler of the afflicted and the help of all those who carry on works for the salvation of souls. This sweet mother told the Saint to lay aside the arguments and begin the teaching of the simple Christian Doctrine.  The message of the angel to Mary was the beginning of the work of Redemption, and St. Dominic taught the people to repeat the Angelic Salutation, which at once reminded them of the great mystery of the Incarnation.  St. Dominic at once gave up his arguments with the heretics and began to teach the people to pray to Mary by repeating the Hail Mary.  While he repeated the Our Fathers and the Hail Marys, he taught the people in simple language some mystery of Our Lord’s life.  [and that is how the Rosary developed into a meditation on Our Blessed Lord’s entire Incarnation, Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection] In a short time the people gave up their heresy and returned once more to the practice of their religion. [Well, not exactly. St. Dominic did convert tens of thousands back to the Faith, but there was a hard core of heretics who refused to do so, and so a war broke out to crush these dangerous Moslemizers (Albigensianism being a heresy that developed under the Moorish/Arian idea . St. Dominic literally backed away from the area because he realized he could do no more with people so lost in error and sin. The Albigensian heresy developed into a full-blown Crusade.]  We see here the importance of prayer in the work of salvation.  Prayer removes the obstacles to the reception of Grace, and simple instruction will do the rest. Prayer obtains everything from God, simply because one who prayer prepares his soul for the sees of Grace and sanctification, and if only heretics and those outside the Church could be induced to pray, they would very soon receive the gift of faith.  The absence of prayer means the absence of Grace, so the evils of sin and heresy are all due in the final result to the want of prayer.

———-End Quote———-

Beautiful!  So, pray!  That’s the most important part!  Struggling with sin?  Pray!  Feel discouraged? Pray!  Desperately want to convert a family member?  Pray, but also try to get them to say some simple Catholic prayers.  Either the Hail Mary, the Our Father, or something from a prayer card. Short and sweet. Try to get your loved one to make a commitment to say a given prayer for a certain number of days, then, everyday.  If they will agree to that, a great and surprising miracle may occur.  I have read stories from Saints of literally hundreds of such conversions, people who were totally outside the Faith but had been induced to pray a Hail Mary every day, miraculously converting at some point.

Don’t give up!  It’s never too late to convert a loved one (or anyone) until they have breathed their last!

 

Comments

1. TG - January 24, 2014

Agree with your comments. I also got the idea about asking my son and daughter to say a prayer. I asked my son to pray the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary” with my grandson. I asked my daughter (who’s turned non-denominational) to pray “The Magnificant” – she can’t argue since the whole prayer is in scripture. My mom used to pray the Magnificant every day and I continue the tradition. I asked my daughter to continue the tradition and teach it to my granddaughter. She said she would. I know Our Lady will deliver and I feel hope someday my children will return to their faith like I did.

2. Baseballmom - January 25, 2014

Thank you for this encouragement. I am currently praying for two siblings who have left the Faith. I will not give up hope… Or give in to despair….


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