2014.07.26 Grapevine

IMG_0087Saturday, 26 July, 2014, Grapevine, TX.  The Fort Worth team was present at the local farmers’ market on Main St. from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.  This was a great venue due to the number of people in the area.  We had a number of very positive engagements throughout the day.

A number of Christians took Rosaries.  Surprisingly, they all seemed pretty interested in Rosary as we explained it to them.  We had conversations of varying depth with each of them, but they can all be generalized as following this pattern.  We would ask if they were Catholic, to which they would respond “no;” they were Christians from various denominations.  When asked if they had ever thought about becoming Catholic, they all said, “no, they were pretty happy where they were at.”  These responses were characterized by impression they left of “it has never crossed my mind.” After praising them for their faith in and love of Christ, we would offer to them that wherever they were in their relationship with Jesus, they could be closer to Him in the Catholic Church because of the Sacraments and Grace available to us in the Catholic Church and the truth of the Church’s teaching.  We stressed that this wasn’t true because Catholics were better, but because of the action and grace of God.  Here, the conversations would take different paths as we discussed various aspects of what we had said.  We had a long conversation with a non-denominational Christian.  We spent a good bit of time discussing “private interpretation” and the teaching authority of the Church in response to her claim that what we had said might be personal opinion.  It was a very engaging conversation.  All three of us enjoyed our conversation and sharing.  I invited all of them to consider the Catholic Church.

We had a very interesting encounter with a “Christian Atheist.”  It began as I was discussing John 6 with the non-denominational Christian lady discussed above.  He entered the conversation claiming that Jesus didn’t say those things.  Katie engaged him while I finished the conversation with non-denomincation Christian lady.  He was claiming that Jesus was made into God by the Church.  In order to understand better where he was coming from, I asked him if he was Christian.  He said he was “Christian Atheist.”  He explained this as believing there was a man named Jesus but not really knowing much beyond that.  He said Jesus might be God, who knows.  Very interesting.  It seems he based most of this comments on the writings of scholars.  He noted the Gospels stress the divinity of Jesus differently and claimed the idea of Jesus as God evolved. For example, the Gospel of John was written last and stresses the divinity of Christ the most.  He held that Council of Nicea was were Jesus became God definitively.  I pointed out the very short period of time in which the Gospels were written compared to other historical documents believed to be true.  I also pointed out the Gospels were written during the period of living memory, meaning people were still alive who had witnessed those events when the Gospels were written.  I further pointed out that all the Apostles believed Jesus was God.  Interestingly, the admitted all and and said that the idea of Jesus as God was definitely the mainstream tradition of the Church.  He seemed to be totally leaning on the scholars because he would say his opinion really didn’t matter, the scholars knew these things.  I invited him to the virtue of Faith.

Of course, we met a number of Catholics, some local and some who were visiting the area.  As usual, those encounters ranged from people walking by as they told us they already had Rosaries to those that stopped and talked for varying lengths of time to those that were surprised to see Catholics on the street and encouraged us in the apostolate.  We helped some visiting Catholics find a local Church to go to Mass.  We met a  lady who was engaged in the Faith but didn’t pray the Rosary.  She said she had friends who encouraged her to pray the rosary, but it seemed she wasn’t very interested or didn’t see the point.  She asked us why she should say the Rosary.  We explained what the Rosary is and how it can help us to grow closer to God and how it can help us to grow closer to Our Blessed Mother, who always leads us to God.  She told us she would start to pray the Rosary.  We met a Greek Orthodox mother and daughter.  They took a Rosary too and encouraged us and thanked us for sharing the faith.  We met a Knight of Columbus as well.  I generally invite the Catholics to consider joining the apostolate.

We met a young lady who was very interested in the faith.  We asked her if she was interested in becoming Catholic.  She said she was.  We asked if she had any questions, she said “many.”  Unfortunately, she was pressed for time and couldn’t stay.  We gave her our contact information if she had any questions.  Her desire and hunger for the truth was obvious. Please pray for her.

It was a great afternoon.  We had many very positive interactions.  We handed out many Rosaries.  We shared the Faith, invited many to it, and encouraged others in it.  Thanks be God.  Please pray for us and for the people we spoke to, that the Lord will bless us all and lead us all closer to Him.  Please pray He will help us to be good and humble servants of Him and His Church.  We invite you to join the team.