As I was getting my hair cut at a new salon, the stylist, a young woman, began asking me how I discovered their salon, what part of town I lived in and where I worked.
Responding about my work, I said, “I work for a Catholic evangelization ministry…” I continued to explain very briefly the ministry adding my excitement about the various things we do.
She bent over, as to almost whisper in my ear: “I am Christian, and I know Catholics are Christians, too… Ummm … Do you worship saints?”
Haven’t you been asked that question?
I responded, “No, we don’t, we ask them to help us through their prayers.” Approaching the subject further, I thought my response would be two-fold; a personal example and a general one. First, I spoke about my father’s photo by my office desk. He passed away last year. I glance over at the photo and remember my father. Sometimes, I take the photo in my hand, place it on my heart, and ask him to pray for me, or to help me in a specific situation.
Then, I explained how the Catholic Church has sacred art like statues of saints, stained glass windows, and so on to remind us of role models who have lived faithful lives: “You may see people kneeling before a statue or touching it; they are taking a quiet moment to pray, asking that saint to intercede for them. As Catholics, we use our senses in prayer, such as touching and kneeling.”
She listened with interest, and then shared that her grandmother was Catholic, but that her mother had married outside the Catholic Church and had fallen away from the Church.
Reflecting on my conversation with this young woman, I wondered how many people may be in the same position as this young woman; through no choice of their own, their lives are directed outside a firm foundation of the Catholic faith.
Conveying our faith to another person is important, and can be simple. A good start can be to speak briefly about a personal experience that helped you realize the love of God.
The world needs a message of hope, an encouraging word that will initiate a desire to begin a search for God. Mother Teresa of Calcutta expressed it well:
The reason for our existence is to quench the thirst of Jesus. When he asked for water, the soldier gave him vinegar to drink—but his thirst was for love, for souls, for you and me.
Next time you are given an opportunity to express your faith, remember: Keep it brief, simple, and focused on God. Your time and sharing with that person may be just what they needed to hear, to motivate a desire to search for God.
Only if people change, will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly (on the night of Christmas) entered into our night. – Pope Benedict XVI
Would you like a friendly and casual introduction to the saints? We invite you to a Social with the Saints; a monthly, informal gathering at Pilgrim Center of Hope, wherein we learn about a saint over a cup of tea and sweets, discuss the person’s life and their relevance to our daily paths, and end with prayer. Socials are posted on our website Events Calendar and Facebook page. All are welcome. See you there!