The second reading at today’s liturgy from 1 Peter reminds us that we must be ready and able to give an explanation for our hope, and, I might add, for our faith. It makes it clear we are to give the reasons for our beliefs with gentleness and patience. I read over the questions some of you submitted in our “Ask a Priest” forum and they range from the hot button issues to living faith in difficult situations.
I’m able to answer these questions, to the best of my ability, because I have a background in theology. However, you do NOT need any theological training to respond to any of these questions. What you need is the desire to search out the answers to these questions yourself, study a bit, pray and reflect. How many of you who are reading this have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church? It is readily available, it just needs to be poured over and studied.
When people ask you questions as to why you are Catholic, why the church teaches certain things so antithetical to our culture... how do you respond in a way that is reflective and articulate? One cannot respond to these inquiries if one doesn’t understand or know the teachings of our faith. A dialogue that is intelligent needs to present various sides, and that includes the teachings of the church. Agree, disagree, but try and understand where the church is coming from.
It is very easy to simply mimic what the larger culture accepts and proclaims. It’s easy to “roll one’s eyes” and say how out of touch the church is, how phobic it is or how sexist it is, but much more challenging to give a logical explanation of the teaching in question and then explain why you disagree.
In the end, am I willing to disagree with the larger culture at the expense of social standing and friendship? Agreeing... being in sync is easy, going against the current is very challenging.