Showing ‘nones’ the love of Christ, his Church

Re: “Reaching the ‘nones,’” (Catholic Journal, July 9-15).

About 30 years ago our parish got a new priest assigned to our church. I can remember a conversation with him about his concerns on atheists, agnostics and such. He was worried less about them than those who had no interest or knowledge of religion or faith, and our little group wondered how that could ever be. Catholics are deeply rooted in their faith, and many do not fathom or concern themselves with nonbelievers and find evangelism difficult.

Our clergy are holy and contrite emissaries of Our Lord, the Trinity and Catholic doctrine, believing deeply that we are the one, true religion, but somehow we cannot find an antidote for the nonbelief of the “nones.” After all, what is so difficult in believing there is a God who loves us and wishes us a glorious, happy, eternal life?

So how do you reach someone who doesn’t want what you’re trying to give them? Tell them stories like Jesus did: parables, faith-based stories with good endings that arouse a curiosity in how to have a better life. Trying to sell a “none” on a catechism of 10,000 rules will cause an exodus of rapid retreat. Teach them about love and about love’s author — and make it desirable. Even “nones” need love! Don’t drop a Church on them; trust in Jesus!

Les Johnson, Akron, Ohio

Responding to ‘nones’

Re: “Reaching the ‘nones’” (Catholic Journal, July 9-15).

Re: Robert Lockwood’s article was right on. I can only add this: What I have noticed that is really missing in this environment is saying “thank you.”

People have gotten so busy that they brush off something people need — the young especially. When a young man in a parking lot stops to help me put my groceries in my car, I not only thank him but I ask his first name and then tell him, “You’ll be at the top of the list when I say my Rosary today,” and then I say “Joe, my name is Winnie, I’ll pray for you and you pray for me.” Evangelization can start with a “thank you” and an “I’ll pray for you; you pray for me.” Watch what happens.

Winifred Young, Port Monmouth, New Jersey

Medjugorje

Re: “Apparitions at Medjugorje continue to divide” (News Analysis, July 16-22).

I’ve never experienced at home the peace that I felt in Medjugorje. It was truly an amazing experience — people with so much faith, especially children. Seeing them walking to church and praying the Rosary, it gives you hope — or at least it did me. Things happen there that there is no explanation except to say it’s divine. I say if in doubt, go experience it for yourself.

Joyce Botelho, via online comment

Democracy

Re: “The Church and democracy” (In Focus, July 2-8).

Thanks to Russell Shaw for doing the research on the Church and democracy. My great concern was the little mention given to how our hierarchy could improve these relations.

For 50 years or more, we have been told abortion is “intrinsically evil.” This in itself seems to indicate that no other sin can be as serious. Why do we need to pay much attention to all the other commandments?

Perhaps this is why I find dozens of elected Catholic officials who proclaim their opposition to abortion while on the issues of peace and social justice they routinely vote 180 degrees in opposition to Catholic teaching. Could this be why it seems so many Catholics today feel “saved” if they just march in anti-abortion protests, go home to gobble up birth-control pills and Viagra before going to Mass and Communion, after which they curse the immigrants?

Whatever happened to the values we were taught in our Catholic schools 70 to 80 years ago?

Raymond J. Schmitz, Seneca, Kansas

Correction

Re: “Christ as our moral compass” (In Focus, July 16-22).

The image of the Ten Commandments used in the article depicted a version that did not conform to the traditional Catholic order of the commandments. We regret the confusion.

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