I love the Catholic Church. I believe it is the Church Jesus Christ founded. I believe it contains the fullness of truth and is the best path to heaven. I love the Mass. I love that when I walk into any Catholic church, I can feel the presence of our Lord. I love the smells and bells. I love the beauty of a column of priests and servers processing in and bowing in unison in reverence to Jesus. I love the incense and the devotions and the saints.
Many Catholics who love the Church have family members who don’t and who have left the Church to become Protestant, often of the non-denominational type. I don’t understand. The Church has it all. Why not be a part of it? Living as a Christian is hard. The “-isms” (relativism, hedonism, materialism) are taking over. The Church has a powerful toolbox to help combat this in the Sacraments, Mary, and the saints. I’ll take every tool I can get.
How do I explain this to my non-Catholic family members whom I love? I want them to know and feel what I know and feel. I want them to be able to sit quietly in front of Jesus when it’s been a challenging day. I want them to know the relief of absolution. I want them to receive the Sacraments. But I don’t know what to say.
First I pray. Moses was uncertain that he would have the right words when he had to talk to Pharaoh but God gave him what he needed. He will do the same for me.
Second, I educate myself. The Evangelical Catholic by Troy L. Guy taught me much. Troy is a convert who is passionate about the Catholic church. His short book is packed full of goodness. His arguments are based on wide ranging research: not only does he quote the Bible and the Catechism, but numerous saints and theologians.
Each chapter begins with a paragraph entitled What I Discovered and is followed by meticulous evidence to support that teaching. In eleven short chapters, he covers it all from the Nicene Creed to the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist to Mary and more. Because he is a convert from Protestantism, he doesn’t tread lightly.
Through the book, in addition to his unwavering devotion to the Catholic Church, is knit his very Catholic belief in unity of Christians. He writes of the four marks of the Church, the first of which is that it is One. He reminds us that we all want the same thing: to get to heaven, and he unapologetically proves that the Catholic Church is the best highway for that journey.
I’m not sure I would ask my Protestant family members to read this book in preparation for a family discussion, but it gave me confidence and some good facts to share. We joke that Catholics don’t read the Bible and it’s partly true making us ineffective in these conversations. The Protestants do read it and can quote it. Troy Guy’s book gives us a great base with quotes that we can refer to and passages we can go to for further edification.
If, like me, you engage in Catholic vs. Protestant conversations with people you love, you would do well to read this short book. Mr. Guy’s passion and knowledge is evident throughout.
Visit our Book Notes archive.
Copyright 2018 Merridith Frediani