I can hardly believe it. But honestly, I've been so busy the last few days (since Sunday morning), that I've scarcely even checked here (I figured, I have comment notification, if anyone says anything, well, I can check in..it is not as if I have a high traffic volume, or anything, lol ;-) ).
What have I been doing? Catholic apologetics. For those who don't know, apologetics is *not* apologizing for what we believe, lol. Basically, it is explaining the Faith, what the Church teaches, and why, and where we get the scriptural basis for what we teach and believe. There are MASSIVE numbers of people who simply have no clue that what they *know* about the Church...that what they've been told about the Church by people that they respect, is absolutely wrong, and has been set up by people who either simply don't know any better themselves, or are deliberately mis-representing the Church and Her teachings.
I will admit, I am not the strongest apologist out there. But, having been raised a Sola Scripturist, I can definitely discuss scripture (anyone else out there participate in Bible Bowl? Yeah, raise your hand...yep...I did, too!). Some Catholics have a problem with *just* using Sacred Scripture to back up Catholic belief, because the Church teaches from Tradition, as well as Scripture...but the problem with that tack, is that Sola Scripturists, by the very meaning of the term, do not recognize Tradition as a reliable source. So, being at least a bit versed in Scripture, I discuss the Church from that perspective, as much as possible.
As I've pointed out to some folks before, "If I were going to France (or, discussing the Faith with Sola Scripturists), I wouldn't take lessons in Swahili (or, defend the Church from Tradition), and expect everyone to understand me...no, I'd speak FRENCH". I discuss the points from what we hold in common, so that there is a agreed upon, shared basis for understanding.
Now, keep in mind, I am not dismissing the faith that those who are not Catholic, hold, for Our Lord and Savior. Their faith is very real--after all, I did, for more than half my life, count myself among them. However, having taken the time to truly investigate what the Catholic Church teaches, why, and where She has the scriptural, and historical, evidence for doing so, well, I feel compelled to explain to them that they are missing a good bit of the story. Not to mention that, as a Catholic, I am bound by that very Faith, to "instruct the ignorant" (in this case, those who are ignorant of what the Church teaches and why).
There are so many people, who hate the Catholic Church, not for what She truly teaches and believes, but for what they *think* She teaches and believes. Common misperceptions range from the understandably misconstrued, to the ludicrous and incredulous...unfortunately, 'urban legend', wikipedia, and the History Channel, all seem to hold the same level of proof, as centuries of extent historical record--not to mention scripture--to the contrary.
I have had people tell me Catholics worship idols (no, we don't. The Church specifically forbids it, as does Sacred Scripture)....that Catholicism is pagan in origin (related to Mithras, Ba'al, and the Sol Invictus cult of ancient Rome--also completely false)...that the early Church did not have the Traditions that we have (ditto)...honestly, I have had people quote me, near verbatim, a greatly discredited (by scholars on both Protestant and Catholic sides of the issue) illustrator who has spread his lies for decades via cartoons (if you have seen them, you know very well who I mean. If not, I am not going to put his name out there for further publicity). Unfortunately, many people read his lies, do not bother to verify on their own, and swallow it hook, line, and sinker. And by that, I mean, actually checking to see what the Church teaches from a Catholic source---not a former Catholic, not a protestant, not an atheist--no, they should go to the source, not get it filtered through the lens of someone else's experience/bias...
The problem is, is that even appealing to Scripture, does not, in fact, seem to matter. Even when you expose big gapping holes in their premise, when you ask repeatedly for them to explain why, and how, they are not obeying, observing, John, chapter 6...when you ask them for actual, historical PROOF of their claims (and they cannot make them), when you point out that the earliest records, of the early Church, written by the spiritual sons, and grandsons of the eleven remaining disciples, all support the Catholic stance, from the earliest days of the Church...they do not want to listen. When you ask where the historical proof is for what *they* believe, from between the years of 33AD, and oh, let's say, 1500AD...and there is none...and then you have to ask them, why Our Lord would say that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Bride, the Church...and yet apparently the moment He ascended into Heaven, the Church immediately fell into error, became pagan, and it wasn't until around 1450ish years later, that He decided He ought to come to the rescue, since the gates of Hell had prevailed for 1450 +/- years...
It can be very frustrating. It can be heartbreaking, to have some one tell you you worship some pagan deity that bears no resemblance to anything whatsoever in the Catholic Church, and they will not listen to any evidence to the contrary. But as Catholics, we are bound, by the very Faith we claim, to counter these fallacies when and where we find them being spoken of, when we find the Church being slammed as pagan, and false, and an arm of Satan (oh, yes, I've heard it all)...we are to refute them.
I don't ask for much. Common courtesy is all, really. I simply would like a moment of intellectual honesty, and for the folks espousing these falsehoods, to simply listen. To actually spend a few minutes, listening. And maybe, just maybe, investigating, on their own, what it is that they believe to be true about the Church. Instead of believing a man who is a known spreader of lies and falsehood...lies that anyone with an ounce of logical reasoning ability, would discount if they gave it a moment's thought. It is quite simple to sit and listen. If there is a rebuttal, or more questions, wait, and ask them when I am done. Don't shout over me, don't try and tell me I don't know what I'm talking about...if I did the same thing, I'd be considered a rude boor, and that "Catholics don't have any manners and don't want to hear the 'truth'." But what they don't realize is that their shouting and yelling and unwillingness to listen to the other side, does nothing for them and what they are saying (even if it was true)...I am not asking them to immediately believe what I say, and convert and apologize, etc. That's unrealistic. But I am asking for simple, common, courtesy. Good conversations involve give and take. Not pointing fingers, shouting, extreme accusations, and a complete and total lack of listening skills....
So folks, that is what I have spent my time doing, since Sunday morning. I have answered, refuted, and disproven their claims. I have repeatedly asked them, to PROVE what they say is true. I have repeatedly asked for their explanation of their disobedience of John, Chapter 6 (among others). And yet...no answer.
I realize, that not all of you reading this are Catholic. I understand that, I respect your right to hold your beliefs, and even though I disagree with you, I am not writing this to make you feel as if I hate you, etc. Or that I lump "every" person who isn't Catholic into a big ball of "irrational screaming protestant". That'd be nonsense (considering I'm the only Catholic in my family of origin, it'd be kind of hard for me to hate everyone in my own family, lol). Some people out there hold the view that if you don't agree with them, you are mean, and hateful, and are 'unChristian'...I know, I know...but you and I both know folks like that.
It has been a long, and tiring few days. I missed "De-lurker Day" yesterday. Don't think I have any lurkers here (do I? Hmmmmmm....lol--if I do, would you please say hi? No further comment necessary, but it'd be a nice boost to know that more than the 9 people in my followers list actually read this, lol)...we started back to school, too, and I'm trying to gear up to take down the Christmas decorations, haul the children an hour away so that we can do our speech therapy (#2 and 3 are already doing therapy, #4 &5 are being evaluated this week)...etc, etc. And we had company Monday evening. We're expecting to get slammed with some Arctic winds later today, and that will last for a few days (for those in the Great White North, bear with me. Highs of 15, with windchills under 0, is cold). The well pump is wanting to freeze up, I'm hauling 5 gallon buckets of warmed water for the animals, on top of the usual day-to-day "keeping chaos at bay, one moment at a time" type stuff..
I do hope you are all doing well. If you blog, and I have you on my blog roll, I'll be over there shortly to read what you've written in the past few days (you *have* written in the past few days, haven't you? ;-) ). If you don't blog, wrap up. Stay warm (unless you are Therese, in which case, prop your feet up, get a big glass of iced RRL tea, and sit back under a ceiling fan!).