I met a very nice lady yesterday, the cashier in a little museum gift shop. In the course of our conversation we got to talking about people in nursing homes and I mentioned that I'm a Catholic and take Communion on Sundays to the residents of a home in my town. She volunteered that she was raised Catholic but left. She apparently had a bad experience with a priest and committed spiritual Hari Kari. I sensed some hostility, she talked about the "myths" of the Catholic Church. I gently remonstrated with her about the Eucharist. She insisted that all churches were the same and we all believed in the same God. I said I didn't think that was true and that Islam believed in a God who demanded killing the infidel. She responded with the statement that there was a time when Catholics believed in killing people who disagreed with their tenants. I said, "No, that's not true." She said, "Yes it is."Talk about a mythology that has confused so many people about the Church. We could have gone back and forth but I decided that wasn't going anywhere.
The conversation then turned to the two great commandments, love God and love neighbor. Interestingly, she talked about her belief that we all know in our hearts what's right and wrong. She didn't use the term "natural law" but that's what she was talking about. Another belief she articulated was that Christ never founded a Church. I quoted Jesus' statement to Peter about the keys of the kingdom. At any rate, the conversation ended with my acknowledging her as a sister in Christ. I wanted to pray for her by name but was afraid saying that would get her back up. So I introduced myself and she volunteered her name back.
I'm always sad when I meet fallen away Catholics. What a tragedy to walk away from the Bread of Life who is Christ Himself. So please pray for my sister Laurel that she will return to the faith of her childhood. I have no doubt she is a sincere, faith-filled lady -- all the more reason that she needs the Holy Sacraments of the Church to make that fire of faith burst into a blast furnace.
Pray for Laurel and for all fallen-away Catholics that they will be inspired by the grace of the Holy Spirit to come home to Rome.