We've all had experiences of non-Catholics telling us what Catholics believe. This happened to me (again) a few nights ago when an old friend from back in our race horse days called to ask what I thought of the reversal of Roe vs Wade.
She's a cradle Episcopalian and goes to an Episcopal church that just got a new pastor. My friend said, "...and he's got a husband!" I said, "Oh. So he's a sodomite." She never skipped a beat, saying, "Yes, but I'll never - never, mind you - leave my church." In the next breath she suggested I "go get a miracle from the apparition".
Me: Go get a miracle from the apparition?
Her: Yes. You do believe in miracles, don't you? Catholics believe in miracles.
Me: What are you talking about?
Her: Medjugorje. The apparition there.
Me: Oh. That.
Her: People go there to get a miracle from the apparition. You should go.
I wasn't sure if she was being facetious and having no idea where she got this information (the new sodomite pastor?) I tried to set her straight on the subject of apparitions, Medjugorje especially.
Beginning with the seers..."What's a seer?"...I tried to tell her the difference between the seers of Fatima..."What's Fatima?"...and the seers of Medjugorje. In the middle of this I thought perhaps she was mixed up with Lourdes where people actually do go to try to get a miracle of healing.
She accused me of not believing in miracles because of being more than highly suspicious of Medjugorje. She thinks I don't believe in miracles because ever since becoming Catholic 35 years ago I'm "too serious". Replying that, since converting, hopefully I'm more mature than when we were young and clueless, I stated that life is serious.
Me: Life is serious. What do you think we're here on earth for anyway?
Her: We're here to have fun.
Her: Yes. Why? What do you think we're here for?
Me: We're here to try to work our way to Heaven.
Her: (laughter, then...) I don't want to argue!
It isn't arguing when we try to explain Catholic teaching to a person who has initiated a conversation concerning things they know nothing about. They consider the truth as argumentative. I love my old friend dearly, however was relieved when the call ended.
This is a small example of what happens when prejudice meets truth. Does truth have a chance against deeply rooted prejudice? All I can do is shake my head in sorrow at my friend's ignorance, pray that something I said might reach through the thick mire of years of ingrained prejudice then leave the rest to Our Lady of Fatima.