A couple of weeks ago, a memorial Mass for Michael was held here in Birmingham at the Cathedral. The bishop presided and offered a very nice, even charming homily in which he first focused on the Scripture readings of the day, and then turned to Michael, whom he remembered, among other things, as one who […]
Yes, I spoke last night at a chapter meeting/dinner of Legatus – the Ann Arbor chapter. Very nice event, good people.
About a week ago, I spoke with a Legatus person, who said, "And you’ll be speaking on "Prove It" stuff, right?"
Uh…right. That’s it. Good thing he mentioned it, or I’d had have gone up, ready to do the DVC battle. As usual.
It turned out well, though. There were several teens and young adults present, and in the middle of the talk, a really important point came to me, one that ties together the Prove It kind of stuff with the Here Now kind of stuff, a point that I was able to end my talk with, even if I didn’t develop it fully because, well, I’d just thought of it. But it intrigues me, and I’m grateful for that little flash. I’m going to try to write it up. Soon.
The dinner was preceded by a Mass, celebrated by an Italian priest who works with mentally disabled children and youth at a home a few miles west of Ann Arbor. There was another religious present – a brother – and on the way home I asked my host/driver who that was, and he told me of the "chain" of homes for "problem" youth from seriously troubled backgrounds that he runs, serving about 3,000 youth at any one time. The same host/driver’s wife is working very hard to build up one of the Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Ann Arbor and making it more accessible/attractive to the college population who might need its services.
And I thought…the good that is being done all around us, so quietly, that never makes the papers, that we probably drive by all the time and never notice.
Well, okay, since it seems to fit this point, I’ll tell you my little flash of cunning rhetoric that came to me.
My talk was all about answering questions…questions we’re asked by non-believers (How can you believe in God? Are you stupid/blind or something) and non-Catholics (How can you claim that your non-Bible only Church is a Christian church at all? And you actually think you’re saved?). I gave some general pointers.
But…you know what? As important as it is to meet this questions intelligently and confidently when we’re asked, the greater responsibility of the disciple goes far deeper and beyond these issues of apologetics, as we call them.
We’re called to be holy. To love God with our whole beings and to love our neighbors. To serve. To pour ourselves out, as Sts. Peter and Paul did. Our goal is to be asked questions…but perhaps another kind of question should be our hope.
For what happens when we encounter a person whom we know is holy?
Yes, we ask a question.
But it’s a different sort of question.
Faced with a person of obvious holiness, we don’t even ask, for a second, to ask them to "prove" what they believe is true, or try to convince them that what they profess is false or wrong-headed.
We ask a different sort of question.
We ask, "Where does your joy come from? Who gave it to you? Can I meet that person, too?"
Yes, we want questions. All the time. Preferably, the second kind, of course.
…Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope…(1 Peter 3:15, thanks to Fr. Wilson)