It is GOD Who Converts

My words alone will not convince an atheist. Yes, Catholics need theology and apologetics, but these disciplines will  not convert  anybody, because Christianity is not primarily a moral theology or a philosophy, but a relationship of love. By focusing upon the reality of  our Christian experiences as they truly are, Christ becomes a living Messiah not only to us, but a visible light to others.

675-a5c77fba-29e2-451d-8672-0592ca4a6af4The contemplative learns about deep trust and complete abandonment to One he knows to be beyond all understanding.  The mystic does not have all the answers; he is not afraid to admit that he does not understand everything and he certainly does not berate or belittle those who are searching. The true mystic  experiences  God as unknowable, not an object nor a thing to be studied.  God cannot be boxed in, defined because He is a mystery. Such  experiential faith  reveals itself in the ground of our being.  This is where dialogue with atheists can begin, because God dwells at the core of our selves, atheists and indeed of all life.

Rather than allowing God to use us as a light, it is easy to become self-righteous, or defensive, when we feel attacked by atheists. However, indignant arrogant rants that bludgeon others with the ‘truth’ treats the unbeliever as an object and not an intelligent person who is also loved by God.  When I am  secure in the Love of God, I can love and respect everyone because I do not feel threatened.  Then it is possible to encourage respectful dialogue that actually listens to the crux of  atheists’ concerns and doubts. Such dialogue opens the door for the Holy Spirit to become the Divine Moderator of the discussion

1 Corinthians 13: 4,5,6,9,12

Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited,  it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth…..For we know only imperfectly…  Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face.

Many believers still cling to a false idea of a God with a white beard on a throne.  This image is a finite human creation, not the real, infinite Creator of the universe.  Of course,  intelligent atheists reject  false, naive views of God.  My own personal experience of the Holy, Immortal One, is often closer to the mystical apophatic tradition  The Christian contemplative is a life of  prayer. Such devotion is not one of rigid perfection and certitude, but a life which involves inner struggle, growth and healing, as we journey deeper into the Mystical Body of Christ.  The honest life in Christ is rooted in humility not pride, because we are constantly  aware of our own sinfulness and wounds.

Ultimately, it is God who reveals Himself to the atheist.

A brilliant young friend  was an atheist. He availed himself to understanding Christianity. When I asked what he had read on spirituality or Christianity he simply replied, “The library”.  One day, we were in a prayer group, and while praying, my friend relaxed as merely an observer on the margins of the group. Suddenly, he suddenly started to laugh. Our eyes popped open in surprise. This quiet, subdued young man was beaming, and he exclaimed,

“I’m hot all over, especially inside my chest, my heart really. It  feels  like a glowing, golden mist  all around me, inside of me…but it was there all the time; I just couldn’t feel it or see it.  All of a sudden I am plugged into a circuit board of power that has been here the entire time. God is real. He exists. I can’t believe it. Why did I not see something all around me, in my face? I feel this energy flowing between everyone in this room and connecting to me as well, like electrical currents, like invisible bands or cords. I want to jump up and down and start yelling on the top of my voice that God exists and He is right here.”

God converts atheists and draws them to the Church while our self-righteous preaching drives them away. What God really needs from us is just one open window, one landing strip, one antenna to perform miraculous conversions.

published on Catholic

21 thoughts on “It is GOD Who Converts

  1. “However, indignant arrogant rants that bludgeon others with the ‘truth’ treats the unbeliever as an object and not an intelligent person who is also loved by God.”

    The longer I walk with Christ, the more I realize that this is true. One must understand their faith and be able to communicate it to others in conversations of peace! We don’t need to convince others and when we realize this, it makes spiritual conversations with non-Christians so easy to have.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow,this was a great post and popular, too! The truth is magnetic! I’m a convert to the faith and it was the love, prayers and acceptance of friends that worked this miracle. Friendly faces, helping hands, and open hearts make it easier for God to shine through and touch people.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, Christianity is about relationships – of the Trinity, of the Trinity with us and of the community of believers. Jesus told us to love because Jesus knew that this is the only way to live. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) Thank you for this inspiring post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a good reminder of vital parts of conversion and evangelization, being sensitive and listening to others,meeting them where they are with love rather than beating them over the head with the bible or church doctrine when they seen aren’t there yet. It’s hard to hold back when so eager to share our faith,but we must respect that only God can truly transform hearts and minds and that He can work through us best when we are open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.


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