After I posted last night on Jordan Peterson, and the positive attitude many serious Catholics have towards his spiritual journey, I thought for a moment, okay, how does this connect at all to the Ordinariates and Anglican patrimony?
Well, it connects to something that must be the preoccupation of all of us and that is how we evangelize and how we encourage people we meet to go deeper in their faith, especially if the truths we profess–done with a lack of sensitivity and proper timing– might be too much like throwing someone into the deep end of the pool when they don’t know how to swim.
A friend of mine, a faithful evangelical Christian, was interested in exploring the Catholic faith. There was a lecture about Mary at a nearby Catholic parish and we met there. I became a little concerned about how my friend would react when it turned out the lecture was focused heavily on Marian consecration, and the priest tended to use that shorthand rather than saying consecration to Jesus through Mary.
The lecture, I feared, would drive my friend away from the Catholic Church as it might inflame the concerns Protestants have about our overdoing our devotion to the Blessed Mother.
Thankfully, she took it all in good stride and even asked some good questions during the Q&A afterwards.
“You really jumped into the deep end of Catholicism at this lecture,” I said to her afterwards. “Would you like to another other deep end?”
Then I led her to the Adoration chapel.
Much of my sympathy and patience for seekers stems from the fact I was one for such a long time, and my faith had to grow little by little as God shed more of His Light on my path when I was ready for it.
I could not be pushed, and people insisting I had to believe one way and not another, or that I would not be saved if I did not become part of the Catholic Church, served to push me in the opposite direction.
How can we both preserve and promote our beautiful Anglican and English Catholic patrimony and at the same time draw people into deeper conversion, invite them to encounter Christ, first of all in us, and in our fellowship and welcoming communities. How do we encourage that ever deeper conversion, that experience of Jesus Christ, in sharing the truths of Scripture, and introducing people to the beauty of our worship?