Have you ever been asked a question that you struggled to adequately explain? I’m pretty good at thinking and speaking “on my feet,” but there are times when the subject matter and circumstances of the asking make it difficult to pull my thoughts together. This has happened to me a few times and left me feeling very frustrated at being unable to communicate what I want to say. It happened again the other day.
I was in the grocery store when a young woman stopped me and asked what church I went to.
“The Catholic Church,” I replied.
“Oh,” she responded with obvious disappointment. “I am looking for someone to go to a church my friend wants me to try, but I’m scared because it’s pretty out there.”
Further conversation revealed she’d been raised in a Baptist-style home, but has been wrestling with whether what she’s been taught all her life is actually true. A friend has told her she needs to speak in tongues in order to be saved and she wants to know what’s true and what’s not. How are we saved?
We stood and talked for some time. It wasn’t the best environment for it, but I did the best I could and assured her that God would guide her if she would seek Him and His will. After assuring her of my prayers for her journey, we went our separate ways.
Over a year ago I was asked the same question by a family member who is struggling to understand our conversion to Catholicism. Unfortunately, it was asked in a noisy room and “off-the-cuff” as well. There are issues with both circumstances.
First, my hearing is getting worse and I struggle to hear when there is a lot of background noise. I almost have to close my eyes and concentrate on what is being said to sort it out from everything else, so discussion was difficult. Second, although when I was an evangelical that would have been a five-second sound-byte answer, “Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior,” that’s not the case as a Catholic.
Why is it so different? Well, rather than trying, once again, to explain it with my own words, I’m going to use someone else’s explanation who knew he was being asked and adequately prepared to answer it. I’ll warn you, though, it’s an almost 25 minute explanation, so grab a cup of coffee and settle in to listen to Fr. Matt Hartley in Arvada, CO.