Categories
Apologetics

Practical Strategies of Evangelization

Bishop Robert Barron – WordOnFire.org

First, deepen your knowledge of the Catholic tradition. A recent survey showed that, among the various religious groups, young Jews have the weakest sense of their own religious heritage, but second only to the Jews in this dubious distinction were young Catholics. This is nothing short of tragic. We have an extremely smart, rich, and profound tradition, including the incomparable Scriptures, treasures of theology, spirituality, art, architecture, literature, and the inspiring witness of the saints. To know this tradition is to enter into a densely textured and illuminating world of meaning; not to know it deprives one of spiritual joy, and perhaps even more regrettably, renders one incapable of explaining the Catholic faith to those who seek to understand it better. Most Catholics stopped their formal religious education in eighth grade, or perhaps in senior year of high school.

In a word, learn the tradition of Catholic Christianity, so as to be a better bearer of it to others.

Second, invite someone you know to come back to church. Evangelization can focus on the conversion of the nations, or on the Catholicizing of Protestant Christians, but it can also focus much more narrowly on the re-activizing of inactive Catholics. Everyone reading these words knows someone—a friend, a co-worker, a family member, perhaps even a godson or goddaughter—who has stopped attending Mass or availing himself of the sacraments. Resolve in the next year to send that person a note, give him or her a phone call, sit down for a good conversation—and urge him or her to come home to church. This overture might cost you; it might prove a bit uncomfortable or embarrassing. Evangelization is always a risk. For the sake of that person’s spiritual health, take it.

Third, let the language of the faith be naturally on your lips. Many of us Catholics—consciously or unconsciously—censor our own speech against anything smacking of our religious convictions. We learn early on the etiquette of a pluralist society: it is not polite to talk in public settings about politics or especially religion. To be sure, we should never be aggressive or overbearing in regard to our faith, but we should never acquiesce to social conventions that require a privatization of our religion.

Fourth, don’t be afraid to pray in public. How many times have you sat down with your family or with Catholic friends at a restaurant and have simply dug into your food without offering a word of thanks? Again, you need not be ostentatious, but a simple, unaffected prayer, publicly offered, can be a powerful witness to those around you. Do you remember that sentimental but effective painting by Norman Rockwell depicting an elderly woman and her grandchildren bowing their heads in prayer before taking a meal in a truck stop? What I’ve always loved are the looks of bewildered admiration on the faces of the regular denizens of the place. Don’t underestimate the evangelical power of demonstrating your faith in public.

Jesus told his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations… Don’t miss the opportunity to be an angel of God, a bearer of the impossibly good news.

Read the full article here on WordOnFire.org

Categories
Apologetics

Why Jesus Died for Our Sins Instead of Just Saying, “You’re Forgiven”

Highlights from Trent Horn – Catholic Answers

Satisfaction theory: Christ’s death on the cross is not a punishment as if he were a bad person, but it is a sacrifice and a reflection of him as a good person. Jesus did not HAVE to be crucified. Instead, Christ wanted to offer himself to the Father as the ultimate and perfect sacrifice of love to demonstrate his love for humanity and desire for the sins of humanity to be forgiven.

What we would say, then, is that rather than Jesus being punished with all of our sins and that’s why our sins go away, rather we would say that Jesus’s death on the cross is so good, it’s so meritorious, it’s of infinite value, because Jesus is God and man—He’s divine, so what he offers the Father in that act is of infinite value, because He’s divine—that it outweighs the harm caused by our sins. It outweighs the damage, the punishment due. Imagine balancing the scales of justice, that when you have our sins put the scales one way, Christ’s sacrifice punches the scales infinitely in the other direction.

And he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

(1 John 2:2)

John says that Christ’s propitiation, or sacrifice, not just for our sins or the sins of believers, but for the sins of the whole world. Christ’s death on the cross was so good that it’s superabundant. More grace was merited in Christ’s death on the cross than would ever be necessary to atone for the sins of humanity. There’s more than necessary. Now, that doesn’t mean everybody’s going to heaven, it just means there’s more than necessary.

For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?

(Hebrews 10:26-29)

What can stop that grace is you choosing to not allow it to be applied to your life, or rejecting it later. Hebrews 10 says he who goes on sinning deliberately, for him “no sacrifice for sins remains.” The sacrifice of love outweighs our sins. It is more good than how bad our sins are, and we choose to let Christ apply that to our souls by receiving him primarily in baptism.

Jesus didn’t HAVE to do that, why? Aquinas offered several reasons. One of them that sticks out to me is that it’s a visceral reminder of God’s love for us. Why did God ask the Israelites to offer animal sacrifices? He didn’t HAVE to do that.

As human beings, ritual helps us…sometimes we understand things not just through what we are told, but through what we do. So offering your lambs and your goats and the animals you’d really like to eat, and killing them and giving them to God is a way to reinforce “Hey, God is more important than your lamb, your goat, your hut, your tent, your tabernacle—he’s more important than anything. So Jesus dying on the cross shows us that God loves us; a visceral, stark, and graphic reminder of how much God loves us and is willing to give of himself for us. It’s the supreme demonstration of Christ’s sacrificial love. As Jesus says of the Greek love “agape,” that no man has greater love than he who would lay down his life for a friend. It’s that stark demonstration of God’s love for us.

The suffering and death of Jesus does not mean that the Father poured out his wrath on the Son and punished him for our crimes because it doesn’t make sense to punish an innocent person for somebody else’s crimes.
Read Jimmy Akin’s article, “Did God Punish Jesus on the Cross?” to learn more about this subject.

A caller asks Trent Horn, Catholic Answers Apologist, why Jesus had to die for our sins instead of simply forgiving us. Was it a choice that God made or was Jesus’s death on a cross mandatory for our salvation?
Categories
Apologetics

Is Catholicism Pagan?

Trent Horn tells us that we should first ask the person what is their source for the accusation. These statements can often be old recycled arguments from non-reliable sources. Asking for the source will get the other person thinking, and it can also give you the opportunity to show proof and evidence supporting Catholic beliefs.

Ask the person what is your primary source to show you these ancient religions predated christianity and believed in these very specific things related to christianity.

Nine times out of ten they can’t give you a citation. They’re just taking it on faith, reading from this anti-catholic or anti-christian author they’re quoting.

Trent Horn

It’s not really helpful to tell the other person that they are wrong when they bring up claims against Catholicism, and it is better to ask the question of how they came to believe that or why do they think that is true. Asking for evidence can plant a seed of doubt which can be more effective than just telling them they’re wrong.

Keith Nester and Trent Horn discuss how to answer people who claim that Catholicism is fake and based on old pagan stories.
Categories
Apologetics

Are We Saved by Works?

Jimmy Akin – Catholic Answers

(The term “works” is) used in different senses in different passages of the Bible. A lot of the time when St. Paul uses it, he’s not referring to good works, which is how the term is commonly taken in the history of Protestant theology, and to some extent in the history of Catholic theology as well—”good works” being works of a morally good nature. Very frequently when Paul is using the term works he means works of the Mosaic law, or things you do because you believe you need to fulfill the Mosaic law in order to be saved. And that’s why he talks so much about circumcision in Romans and Galatians, because the point he’s making there is you don’t need to be a Jew in order to be a Christian and be saved. And so when he’s talking about works, much of the time St. Paul means works of the Mosaic law.

Now suppose, though, that we use the historical definition that has been contentious between Protestants and Catholics, which is “morally good works.” Well, there’s sort of two kinds of morally good works. There are good works that are done by human nature, and then there are good works that are done by God’s grace. Prior to the point of justification, it is not possible for us to do supernaturally good works, or works done by God’s grace, because God’s grace isn’t yet acting in our souls. We haven’t yet been justified, we haven’t yet received his grace, and so it is impossible for us to do supernaturally good works prior to the point in our lives where we convert and we’re justified. And as a result of that, nothing that we do prior to justification merits the grace of justification. So the first thing that happens—I mean, we come to God, we believe, we repent, we get baptized—that’s the point at which, in the ordinary course of affairs, he justifies us and gives us his grace.

Then, over the course of the Christian life, we grow in his grace. And because we have his grace working in our souls now, it’s now possible for us to do supernaturally good works…

And this is the kind of justification that James is talking about. In James chapter 2, James is not talking about the beginning of the Christian life. The example he cites is Abraham and his willingness to do whatever God wanted, and that’s something that—Abraham had already been justified for years by this point. So James is not talking about how to get into a state of justification, he’s talking about growing in Christlike-ness in that state of justification. And then at the end, when we stand before God, we’ll also be justified there.

So there are these different aspects to justification; there’s past justification at the beginning of the Christian life, there’s ongoing justification during the course of the Christian life, and then there’s final justification when we stand before God. And when we stand before God, he will pronounce us righteous on the basis of Christ and what he did in our lives, and he will reward the good works that we have done. This is something St. Paul stresses both in Romans and in Galatians. He says “God will reward every man according to his works,” and among the rewards that Paul says God will give, in both places, is eternal life. This is in Romans 2 and it’s also in Galatians.

The source of this information and full transcript is available here on catholic.com

Categories
Apologetics

For Too Many Catholics, “Jesus Was Just A Great Teacher…”

Robert Mixa – Word on Fire Blog –

The recent “State of Theology” survey alarmingly demonstrates that US Catholics are far from uniform in believing in the divinity of Christ. In fact, many tend not to believe in his divinity. When confronting the statement “Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God,” a shocking 30% of Catholics “agree,” 27% “somewhat agree,” 9% are “not sure,” 12% “somewhat disagree,” and 22% “disagree.”

When a majority of Catholics in the United States agree or somewhat agree that Jesus of Nazareth was just a great teacher but not God, we have a crisis on our hands.

The tendency to see Christ as merely human likely stems from the same worldview that informed the findings of last year’s Pew Report on transubstantiation, wherein only 31% of responding Catholics expressed belief in the Real Presence.

This denial of Jesus of Nazareth as the divine Son enfleshed laid the groundwork for all the “historical Jesus” reconstructions that are standard within popular media, which has done so good a job of communicating its dubious catechism that many people think what they’re hearing is similar to what the Church teaches. But it is not. 

Belief in Jesus as the divine Son incarnate is the hinge upon which the whole faith turns. Ratzinger says, “The unmistakable symptom of the present decline of Christology is the disappearance of the Cross and, consequently, the meaninglessness of the Resurrection, of the Paschal Mystery”; and, “With such a basic reinterpretation all the rest of Christianity is likewise altered—the understanding of what the Church is, the liturgy, spirituality, etc.” Weak Christology is a house built on sand, and we now see how quickly it falls. But most of us in the West prefer this type of Christ because he is less threatening to our spiritual complacency.

The survey results are alarming but no cause for despair. Like Flannery O’Connor, who understood her art to be epiphanic, Pope Benedict made every effort to retrieve Christian epiphany by retrieving the theology of creation and the centrality of Christology. By proclaiming Jesus Christ as the divine Savior and explaining the epiphanic nature of the world, Christians can help call back their brothers and sisters to faith in the true Lord. We have been called to give witness, so let’s do it.

Read the full article on WordOnFire.org.

Other Links:

Cardinal Ratzinger’s address at the meeting with the Doctrinal Commission of Europe in 1989.

Articles by Robert Mixa.

Categories
Apologetics

Arguing With The Resistant

Matt Nelson – Word on Fire Blog

You may be the world’s most persuasive debater, but there will always be those for whom your every utterance —however true, charming, eloquent, and compelling—will be as vomit. These outliers we might call the Resistant. As apologists for the Christian faith, then, how might we efficaciously engage the Resistant?

Here are three options for your consideration:

Walk away and pray.
When interacting with the Resistant we may see no sign of them hearing us. Indeed, we may see no sign of them hearing themselves. In such cases, and for a variety of reasons, walking away may be both wise and prudent. Other times, we may discern it best not to walk in the direction of the Resistant in the first place.
Invite the saints, and especially their guardian angels, to do the same. By doing this we submit the Resistant to the mercy, timing, and tactics of God, and let go of control.

Plant a pebble.
Your best option may be to offer small, stimulating points to ponder. Apologist Greg Koukl likens this tactic to putting a pebble in the shoe of the other. The goal is to humbly but powerfully offer an interesting insight that will penetrate through the irrational shell to the intellectual core. We want to offer “pebbles” that will unsettle those who disagree with us, even mildly irritate them, that in private they may find themselves staring off into the cosmos musing to themselves: “Maybe it is true!”

Argue vigorously.
Well, just because someone is excruciatingly impervious does not mean that they can’t be argued with to some avail. This is what we need to tease out. How, then, should the Resistant be argued with?
A) Start where you agree.
B) Become well-acquainted with common logical fallacies.
C) Become well-acquainted with common rhetorical tricks.

Sometimes our best move will be to create or maintain distance between ourselves and our critics. Other times some tactful though subtle argumentation may be best, the placing of a pebble in our intellectual opponents’ shoes—but nothing more. And in some cases, an all-out intellectual sparring match may be called for. For there are some among the Resistant who are more easily disarmed than you imagine, who don’t know they’re committing logical fallacies, who don’t know how ill-nuanced the slogans are that they hold. You might be the first one to show them their unreasonableness. Then again, you might be the hundredth, but the first to meet with any success.

Whatever the future holds, the time is now for preparing to make a defense of the hope that is within you. That’s St. Peter’s command to us all (1 Pet. 3:15). But we should also never forget that without prayer, wisdom, and discernment, all intellectual preparation is futile.

Read the full article on WordOnFire.org

Categories
Apologetics

Priests Share in the Mediatorship of Christ

Nicholas Senz – Catholic Answers Article –

Dr. J.V. Fesko, a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, lays out the classic Protestant position in a piece for the Gospel Coalition website: “The doctrine of the priesthood of all believers states that all believers in Christ share in his priestly status; therefore, there is no special class of people who mediate the knowledge, presence, and forgiveness of Christ to the rest of believers, and all believers have the right and authority to read, interpret, and apply the teachings of Scripture.”

… In his section on “scriptural teaching,” he makes twenty-two references to the Bible, but none regarding the apostles or the offices of bishop, presbyter, and deacon. If Christ had not intended to institute a ministry with real spiritual authority or efficacy, why would he give to Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:19)? Why would he empower the apostles to “bind and loose” (Matthew 18:18), or to forgive and retain sins (John 20;23)? Why would St. Paul describe to Timothy and Titus in great detail the qualifications for bishops, presbyters, and deacons? Why would St. James instruct believers to call for the presbyters of the Church to anoint the sick? Why would the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch, some of the earliest Christian documents we have, speak so clearly of the threefold ministry and the importance of obedience to the bishop?

Certainly, Professor Fesko does not deny the need for ministry within the Christian community. He writes that the universal priesthood “does not mean that we should do away with pastoral or ministerial authorities. While those authorities are a part of the way that God blesses his church with instruction in sound doctrine, those with churchly authority need the rest of the body just as much.”
A Catholic would not dispute this last point. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that “the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood” (1547).

The ministry of the ordained priest is not in conflict or competition with the sole mediatorship of Christ, because the priest does not claim anything of his own apart from Christ. He is Christ’s priest. The priest “depends entirely on Christ and on his unique priesthood” (CCC 1551). He acts in persona Christi. The priest does not stand in Jesus’ way, but acts as His instrument. The Church teaches that “In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth.” (CCC 1548)

Read the full article on Catholic.com

Categories
Apologetics

The Distinctly Catholic Doctrine

Joe Heschmeyer – Catholic Answers Article –

There is one doctrine in particular that you need to get right: the papacy. If Catholics are right about the papacy, everyone should be Catholic. If Catholics are wrong about the papacy, nobody should be Catholics. It’s honestly that simple.

That’s not to say that the papacy is the most important doctrine. It’s not. Distinctiveness and importance aren’t the same thing. A truck’s bed is what distinguishes it from a car, but the truck’s engine is obviously more important. Likewise, the divinity of Christ is infinitely more important than the papacy, but believing that Christ is divine doesn’t tell you whether or not to be Catholic. Even believing in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist isn’t quite enough: after all, what about the Orthodox?

So, if you want to know whether Catholicism specifically is correct, it all comes down to the papacy. Moreover, if what we believe about the teaching authority of the Church is true, and that teaching authority has clarified most (if not all) of the other doctrinal disputes between Catholics and Protestants, then answering this one question correctly ends up answering scores of other questions.

I start by looking at Luke 22, where Jesus speaks to his Twelve Apostles at the Last Supper. They were bickering over “which of them was to be regarded as the greatest,” and Jesus responds by laying out the nature of true Christian leadership: “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves” (Luke 22:24-25). Christ even explained his own authority this way, saying “I am among you as one who serves” (Luke 22:27). So, authority in the Church doesn’t primarily mean that you get to boss people around. Rather, it means that you get to serve other people, support them, and even lay down your life for them.

It’s what Jesus says after this that we tend to overlook. Immediately after explaining that leadership and authority in the Church are a call to serve others, Jesus then chooses one disciple, Simon Peter, out from among the rest. He warns him that “Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,” and the “you” here is in the plural, referring to all of the Apostles (Luke 22:31). You might think that Jesus would then say that he’s been praying for all twelve, but he doesn’t. Instead, he switches from the plural to the singular, saying “but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” That is, Jesus’ solution is to focus on one man, Simon Peter, so that he can in turn lead the other apostles by serving them and strengthening them, just as the apostles are called to serve and build up the rest of the Church.

This is the heart of what it means to be the pope: not to exercise lordship like a pagan king, but to be a “servant of the servants of God.” And that’s what Jesus has called Peter to do. The papacy, properly understood, is biblical.

Read the full article on Catholic.com

Categories
Apologetics

The Church and The Papacy

CatholicsComeHome.org is a wonderful website with resources that answers questions about Catholicism. Here’s highlights from a Q&A article from them about the Church and Papacy:

Why do Catholics believe the Catholic Church is the one true Church, founded 2000 years ago by Jesus Christ himself?
The Catholic Church is the only church today that can claim to be the one church founded by Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. Other denominations can trace their origins back to various human founders at a later date in history.
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said to Peter, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” Jesus handed the authority to guide the Church in His name to Peter and the apostles, to be passed down through the centuries.The Church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 5:23). Christ established only one Church—one body—so that there would not be multiple “bodies” with conflicting doctrines. After all, God cannot contradict Himself. Christ also wanted His Church to be visible, so all may see that the Church is indeed one, just as Christ and the Father are one (John 17:22).

Where does the Pope get his authority to lead the Church on earth? What do Catholics believe about ‘apostolic succession’?
Christ tells Peter that he is the rock on which He will build His church.When Catholics use the term apostolic succession, they are referring to the line of bishops that stretches all the way back to the apostles—to Peter—the first Pope. Apostolic tradition (the authentic teaching of the apostles) was handed from Christ to the apostles, and from them to their successors. This unbroken line of popes (the bishops of Rome) and all other bishops have guided the Church for the past 2,000 years, just as Christ intended (Matthew 28:19-20).Christ sent His apostles out into the world with authority to teach and heal (Luke 9:1-2) and to forgive sins (John 20:23). This God-given authority is exercised by the bishops within the Catholic Church to this day.

As Catholics, do we have to accept everything the Church teaches?
It is important to realize that if you want to call yourself Catholic, but you want to pick and choose for yourself which of the Church’s teachings to accept and which to reject, you give everyone else who calls themselves Catholic the right to do the same thing… When you choose to throw out certain teachings you don’t like, you undermine the authority that Christ gave to the Catholic Church, and you start to follow the “catechism of your own church” rather than the teachings of Christ’s Catholic Church. If we don’t believe in all of it, if we each appoint ourselves Pope and throw out a doctrine here or a doctrine there, then our faith is no longer Catholic. Yes, it can sometimes be a challenge to follow all of the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church that carries on His teachings, but we should see those seemingly difficult teachings as traffic lights that help guide us on our journey and keep us from getting into accidents that can damage us and prevent us from living lives of happiness and grace.

How come I don’t feel like I was being fed in the Catholic Church?
Sadly, some former Catholics today have expressed a sense of emptiness in their spiritual lives. They may have gone to Mass on Sundays and found themselves just “going through the motions”. They may not have felt close to the Lord, or welcomed in their home parish. They may have thought the music wasn’t as good as it could be, or discovered that the people around them weren’t as friendly as they hoped they would be. All in all, those feelings may have led to some sensing like they were just not being fed in the Catholic Church.Sometimes, these feelings cause people to decide to drift away from the Church. Maybe they choose to just stop practicing their faith altogether, or they go to a local non-Catholic church that seems more exciting and upbeat.But the solution to the problem of not being fed actually lies in the Catholic Church. Whether or not the music or preaching or programs are the way we may wish them to be, it is in the Catholic Church that we find the one and only place where we can be truly fed with the Bread from Heaven: Jesus Christ, in the Holy Eucharist. Our closest encounter Jesus is when He gives Himself to us, at each and every Mass in the Eucharist. It doesn’t get any more exciting than that.
Once we realize that our deepest yearning can only be fulfilled in the Eucharist, we will begin to see that it is in the Eucharist that we find the true life and liveliness of our faith. Only the Catholic Church can feed us with this food that fully satisfies, and only with this food—the Eucharist—will your yearning be fulfilled, and your restlessness ended.

CatholicsComeHome.org The Church and The Papacy

Check out their website for more categories of questions about the Eucharist and Mass, the sacraments, and Mary and the Saints.

Categories
Apologetics

Homily of the Year

Bishop Barron’s insightful and inspirational homily from this past Sunday might be the best homily of the year, especially to inspire apologetics. Here’s a summary and please watch the homily in full:

Since it’s beginning, Christianity has been interested in the question of doctrinal truth. There’s some religions that focus more on orthopraxy (practicing correct behavior) than orthodoxy (practicing right belief in doctrine). Our culture today conforms to kind of looking around at everyone with a belief that “most of us will disagree with each other’s beliefs, but who cares as long as we are good people”. Christianity is very interested in orthopraxy but it doesn’t reduce orthodoxy to orthopraxy. The Nicene Creed came out of the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 and the Church has recited it as a part of its liturgy ever since. The Apostles Creed is an even earlier text, and both creeds very clearly state the beliefs of the early Church and its baptismal promises.

When Paul and Barnabas traveled to a town and a miracle occurred, the people there thought they were Greek Gods, but they would correct them to say that wasn’t true and it wasn’t their mystic way of doing things. However, Paul also went to Athen’s capital city of the Greek philosophical culture to engage in philosophical dialogue with the Epicureans and the Stoics. These two examples show how the Church said “no to mythos” and “yes to lagos/reason”. Doctrine matters and it is very important!

Bishop Barron doesn’t blame the Second Vatican Council, and points out that it was produced by some of the smartest people of the 20th century. But he has consistently said that the period following the council, there was a sort of dumbing down of the faith, and there was a tendency to present it as a very emotional experience while underplaying the rationale and theological side of the faith.

Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.

(1 Peter. 3:15-16).

Peter’s text is the the beginning of apologetics, and it would be very helpful today for Catholics to live by these great words. Bishop Barron looks at the statistics of the so-called “Nones”, the non-affiliated, who are especially young people who leave the Church, and the number one reason is not the sex abuse scandal, it is that “they don’t believe the doctrines”. The heartbreaking reality shows that for a couple of generations people have not been willing and able to give a reason for the hope that was in them. St. Peter says “Always be ready”, not sometimes, and so if we are always ready then we can benefit those around us who have questions about the Church and we can engage in proper conversations. Everybody; bishops, priests, theologians, catechists, the laity, we all have to always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, we need to step our game.

Once we develop our arguments and reasons for truth, we can’t forget that when we are defending the faith, we must do it with “gentleness and reverence”. The Church does not impose, it only proposes.

“Let’s develop the art and science of making a religious argument. It’s a good thing for the life of the Church. Do you know who you will join when you do this? You’ll join Irenaeus, Origen, Chrysostom, Augustine of Hippo, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, Robert Bellarmine, John Henry Newman, G. K. Chesterton, John Paul II, and Joseph Ratzinger. You’ll join this great company of witnesses, all of whom were arguers on behalf of religion.” -Bishop Robert Barron