Thursday, August 18, 2011

Called to preach, not convince

When I first began to study my faith from the perspective of defending it logically, I found myself frustrated at not being able to convince people of what I felt was my well reasoned and right opinions. I found my opponents to be curiously stubborn.

For a time I felt that my missing was to convince the world of the Truth of the Church. That I must win over the world though argumentation and logic. As our age claims we are the most rational age of mankind. Surely then logic and reason would simply carry the day.

Over time I became frustrated with what I felt was a fruitless enterprise. If people are not only irrational at times, why should I even bother? Why spend time arguing if my intellectual opponents couldn't even understand the train of logic, or refused to, then why attempt to reason with the unreasonable?

I have learned many lessons since then. In time we will discuss others. But to me the main lesson I learned when I realized that Faith was a gift from God. In my own life I often found that what led me to God was not my own intellectual steam but a number of events and a lot of grace. As such to say that I could convince others is to some extent simply folly on my part.

Another aspect came to me when reading Holy Scripture. What I discovered was that as Christians we are called to preach and to baptize. Yet I noticed something for the first time. We are not called to convince. Shockingly we are not able to force someone to come to Christ. And if Our Lord is content to allow us to disregard His word, who am I to say that someone else MUST come to the Faith?

This to me was actually quite freeing. To me it meant that as long as I attempted to share the Faith with others the rest was in God's hands. As long as I acted in Faith with the Church what I write may not be the best in Catholic writing, but it fulfills my duty to preach the Word.

As such while I attempt to write to the best of my ability I no longer become frustrated when I fail to win over converts. Ultimately it is God who wins hearts and minds. We are simply His instruments. And I am free to make music without having to fret if there is no one willing to hear. My job is simply to preach and hope for the best.

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