Catholic Writers: Stand Up for the Truth in LOVE


The challenge is to witness to the validity of our Catholic spirituality with a mature love, without stooping to ridicule our Protestant brothers.  It is God who converts and convicts; we are simply called to tell our stories and to pray.  Then our sinfulness will not hinder any move of God

vermeer007I am proud to proclaim I am a Catholic writer. A saved, born again, Spirit-filled lover of Jesus who expects to be accepted by Protestant lovers of Jesus, because I am a sister in Christ. However, my culture conspires against my attempts at reconciliation, because my language habits sound foreign to Protestant ears.  I am misunderstood and judged to be against the true faith by Bible-based Christians.

Initially, I wrote for secular and Protestant sites and felt I had to hide my Catholicism. When I finally wrote about my Catholic faith, I was immediately grilled and interrogated by shocked readers and co-authors. Yet God had His own agenda and through the moderator, forgiveness and unity began. Of course, the site decided to simply ignore my Catholicism and centre on my love of God.

When I discovered Catholic sites and was accepted as a writer, I was thrilled to finally be free to write about my faith without filters. Of course, Protestants and agnostics still attack me through comments, but I feel I am defending my faith on my territory, surrounded and protected by other Catholic writers – especially by the editors. Yet, tears still well up in my eyes at times, because I know exactly how anti-Catholics perceive the Catholic Church. I too once reviled Catholics and thought they had corrupted true faith in Christ the Saviour.

download (1)Protestants insist the Bible alone is the inspired Word of God, demanding every spiritual practice should be biblical. In an attempt to purify the Church during the Reformation, Protestants discarded thousands of years of teaching, wisdom and revelations. Yet since the definitive books of the Bible were not decided until after 300 AD, Catholics understand the Holy Spirit taught man through tradition, as well as Holy Scripture. Even scripture tells us to uphold tradition:

2 Thessalonians 2:15  – So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

1 Corinthians 11:2  – I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you.

However, it really does take divine revelations to break down the ingrained prejudices against Catholic tradition. I am a convert only because of 7e81006774b3b840fa5c5f511d8aac95divine intervention. My sister and I met the Lord when we were 16 and 17. She became a Protestant Missionary and I became a Catholic mother of nine after Jesus placed a hunger for the Eucharist and His Mother into my heart. As a result, my sister still prays for my salvation, because she reviles my deep relationship with Mary, seeing it as an insult to Christ.

My tears and pain are my silent prayer, whispered from the depths of my spirit as I choose to let my pain from this misunderstanding flow from me to the heart of Jesus. I cannot change my sister. Only He can open eyes. I yearn for the day God reveals His Mother to my sister, to all our Protestant Brethren. Yet I must caution myself against attacking any Protestant or defending myself without mutual love and respect.  I always remember the Canadian founder of  L’Arche, Jean Vanier,  when he reminds us that winning a debate can actually mean losing in the long-term.

“We can be right. We can be dead right  – and bring death to all those around us.”

 

We-can-be-right-We-can (1)

The challenge, then, is to witness to the validity of our Catholic spirituality with a mature love, without stooping to ridicule our Protestant brothers.  It is God who converts and convicts; we are simply called to tell our stories and to pray.  Then our sinfulness will not hinder any move of God. Indeed, there are fascinating stories about whole congregations entering the Catholic Church with their Pastor, seemingly with no human intervention but prayer.  I remember a story written in a Catholic Charismatic magazine thirty years ago about a Pentecostal conference where David de Plessis spoke ( a friend of Catholic Charismatics). The colours of the conference happened to be blue and gold. In the midst of  a gathering of committed Pentecostals, the Blessed Virgin Mary revealed herself to so many participants, people were excitedly asking each other, “Have you met Mary?” rather than, “Have you met Jesus?”

Let us witness then in love, without sinning against those who have yet to experience the joy of the Eucharist or a deep relationship with their Heavenly Mother. Pray and watch God move to bring unity to His Mystical Body.

published on CatholicStand , May 22, 2015

 

14 thoughts on “Catholic Writers: Stand Up for the Truth in LOVE

  1. You more or less ‘bared your soul” with this, Melanie. THANK YOU–Your sister is letting her PRIDE allow her to pass judgment on you. You cannot change your sister. You can only change how you react or feel about her view of your faith. She is wrong. She is passing judgment on you and if Jesus taught us anything it was NOT to do that. (RE:His great example of dealing with the woman caught in adultery) God bless you. You are fighting the “GOOD FIGHT” and I know it is not an easy battle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful article. I never expected this walk would lead me to the Catholic church, but here I am- a Jewish protestant now entering the catholic church, preparing myself for rcia. Nobody led me there but the holy spirit. I have been a Catholic in my heart for a little shy of a month and in that time have experienced Him in a way I cannot explain. I know once I “come out” there will be many brethren who will also leave me or ridicule me, but at the end of the day we all are accountable to Him alone. We must love love love. Love to you my friend

    Like

  3. Melanie, I find agreement easy. I find communicating a discomfort less so. The words that follow are a discomfort – I hope of Love – and if they offend, my apologies: that is not my intent.

    Labels a plenty hide the God of Love. I found that thought becoming more strident as I read your words here. Catholics, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic, and every Godly label known to man (but perhaps not God).

    The thing I wonder is this: is the very act of promoting one label above another any different to attacking or defending – (when surrounded by moderators/editors/like minded writers). Because as with music – wherein I may prefer one style or another – surely the source is simply of one. And if I love “music”, what do I gain from promoting one preference above another? If I love music I love music – and that simple enthusiasm connects across preferences. I don’t need to promote one over another.

    I am curious. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand what you mean- It takes maturity and wisdom and love to listen to the symphany of others.Or to use another metaphor, to reconize a hand, a foot, or an ear as part of the same Body

      I was verbalizing my own pain and insecurity about being misunderstood. It is frustrating to have revelations, insights and spiritual experiences dismissed or labelled as diabolical.

      This is a phase, I am going through.

      Actually your comments and the act of writing a response to you has me smiling now with a sense of the Presence of God, a sense of freedom and truth. It is a call to be myself without needing approval, without needing to change another whose experiences are different than mine.

      I have changed and evolved, let go and died many, many times and I will until I die and no longer see through a mirror darkly.( to quote St. paul)

      Like

      1. 🙂
        Thank you.

        As I pondered “what do I do now?” – this stuff tends to get heavy very quickly – “Another” came to mind: Semra Polat: https://yabakientelbaki.wordpress.com/ – she “found me” (likes, etc) and allowed me to find her (and I now “follow” her posts).

        What does this mean to me? Semra connecting and allowing me to connect “It is a call to be myself without needing approval, without needing to change another whose experiences are different than mine.” And that IS love (personal opinion – obviously!) 🙂

        Might I share something I dream of? That this bloggy space becomes a church of all – denominations, faith, belief, and disbelief. That this bloggy “church” is a place of “freedom and truth” with a God called Love at it’s heart. Drawing all – labels and everything – to a place where all are welcome, all connect and all find the God (by many names) we all seek – that we all know as “Love” … in all of us. We each are this church of Love. And that each love outflows to all we meet in our “non-virtual world.” I know it is having that effect in me.

        Thank you – you have allowed me to find my discomfort! ((hugs))

        Liked by 1 person

      2. beautiful poem- thank YOU
        -I have been changed by what I have read in a book or now in this comment, because you are right, a real connection , a flow of Love, which changes me in my “non-virtual world” do not just happen face to face in the physical world.

        Like

      3. Thank you Melanie – I was going to end there, and a thought … “Plop!”
        I would not have said this to you face-to-face (same room, other people, other conversations, too many hesitations, the “moment” passing – me being a scaredy cat!). Yet here it is natural, gentle, respectful – and hugely “spiritual growth” at this end.

        The Presence of God you said … I just felt that so strongly as well! 🙂
        Thank YOU!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this. I converted at the age of 27. I was raised a fundamentalist Baptist, but I fell in love with the Catholic Church and it just rang true to me point for point where by upbringing failed me. I really struggle with convincing my friends in my former church that I am a Christian. I have answered their interrogations with sound reason and Scripture, but if anything DOES seep through to them, I certainly don’t know about it, because they sure do dig in their heels and insist I am wrong. I really don’t want to attack them or ridicule them or hurt them in any way when I write, either, but sometimes my bitterness or sadness comes through. I just keep extending that olive branch and it gets swatted back at me 😦

    Like

    1. Yes, all we can do is love- Finally, after decades of pain like you are experiencing, I realized even Jesus was not understood, thought to be one who blasphemied against God, from satan by the religious people of His time. I can only be true to myself without needing approval, without needing to change another whose experiences are different than mine. and then PRAY for protection and that His light shines through, even if others do not get my spirituality. Our fruits will be our defense

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s