Walking the Fine Line: Defending the Faith in Love

Lately, I have had a lot of internal battles about what to write on here. Things usually ‘come to me’ and the words fly on to the paper quickly. Normally, it is something I am passionate about, or have thought about for a long time and it is almost therapeutic for me to put my thoughts on paper. It is pretty clear that the posts everyone seems most interested in are my posts surrounding Catholicism and/or my Protestant background.Fascinating, right? My hypothesis its that this is due to the fact that maybe people really do want to talk about/understand their faith in a larger context (complete conjecture). Without a shadow of a doubt, I have grown an even deeper passion for biblical apologetics. I have you all to thank for that! I have always found the subject matter fascinating, particularly when I was first learning about the Church (I was an avid studier when first coming into the Church). However,

it is responses and messages from you all that have ignited a fire that I don’t think I can put out.

I have always felt like I had a good grasp on apologetics, but I have become acutely aware that that is not enough for me. I have quickly learned that there is a huge need to understand our faith (particularly from a global, historical perspective and in context with other modern religions) as well as follow it. I so desperately want to fill that need. I don’t think I truly understood the deficit until having had countless conversations with SO many of you. While I have felt relatively equipped to answer some of your questions, there are some that have stumped me (I will always admit if I don’t have the answer). Every answer I haven’t had has added another log to my fire (nice metaphor, right? 😉 ). I don’t want to know just enough to be sufficient. I want to know the ins and outs of every nuance. I can’t read enough. I can’t listen to enough podcasts. I can’t take enough notes. I can’t do enough research. Primary and secondary historical documents from the first centuries, empirically supported articles, biographies, apologetic manuals, lectures, you name it- I want to absorb it. Just this past weekend, my husband and I were at the pool and I literally brought print outs of some theological position papers to read while at the pool. He looked at me and chuckled and said, “Nothing like some light pool time Catechetical readings.”

Why not post about it?

It may seem like the logical conclusion is that I should blog about the subject but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I have started countless biblical apologetic posts, and I just can’t bring myself to finish them, nonetheless post them. Why? Something doesn’t feel right. I can’t tell you exactly what it is, but I feel like there is always this VERY thin line you have to walk, particularly with what you post online that has led to three major roadblocks for me. First, I don’t necessarily have a lot of credibility (I don’t have a degree in theology and don’t work in any way/or speak for the Church – I’ll own that.). Everything I have learned has either been through RCIA or just my own studies/research. Second, true story, I have no close Catholic friends outside of my husband and his family (this is NOT a complaint, just giving context 🙂 ). All my close friends are either not religious or come from a Protestant denomination (who I all love very much). Most are very loving and accepting of my decision to convert to Catholicism.  However, I am under no delusion that if I go too far down the road of apologetics, I run the risk of opening doors that I may not necessarily want to open with them. Third, like any ‘argument’ posted on the internet, I honestly don’t know how effective apologetics would be on a blog post. I don’t believe opinion posts online ever change anyone’s mind- all they do is further confirm those who already agree/disagree with you. I am always willing to defend my faith when needed, but do I openly subject myself to it? It is a fine line to walk isn’t it?

So what’s the point?

Honestly, that is a good question. LOL. My point is, I don’t know where I stand yet. I know where my heart lies personally, but I don’t know what it means for this particular forum. I am ALWAYS open and willing to answer questions on a one-on-one basis, never hesitate to reach out. I appreciate being challenged and I appreciate honest questions- there is no such thing as a silly question. Ultimately, I want to be a resource for those who need it, an encouragement for those in doubt, a defender of the faith, all while at the same never forgetting to love others first and foremost. Is that possible to accomplish on this forum? I don’t know yet.

“I am thinking of what St. Ignatius told us… He pointed out two criteria on love. The first: love is expressed more clearly in actions than in words. The second: there is greater love in giving than in receiving.” – Pope Francis