Bloomington, IN. Father Ignatius strikes again! Here is the latest from our fatherly Franciscan friend. In this story, he references the “Holy Rivals Club,” through which some members of SPSE have informally committed themselves to reach out to at least one new person per day (or each day on which their daily responsibilities have required them to go out of the house where such people can be found). The club is meant to provide members with accountability, and a bit of friendly competition. Here’s Fr. Ignatius:
“I’ve made the commitment to enter into the Holy Rivalry, so I will not make a trip out of the friary without approaching at least one soul.
CVS in Bloomington, IN. I pull in, get out of the car and start heading to the entrance. Before I get to the automatic doors leading in, I ask an elderly woman coming through the parking lot if she would like a free Miraculous Medal. “No thank you.” Okay. I move on into the store to get my things.
I’m finished and leaving the store, and although I’ve already fulfilled my Holy Rivalry quota, having already approached someone on the way in, I start to get another Miraculous Medal ready because I’ve somewhat personally committed myself to approaching at least two people every time I leave the friary because I secretly want to actually win this Holy Rivalry thing. We’ll find out in eternity who has evangelized the most.
The medal is ready and the first person walks by, “Excuse me Ma’am, would you like a free Miraculous Medal?”
She pleasantly responds, “Sure.”
“Do you know what the Miraculous Medal is?”
Hesitantly she says, “No.”
“Well, in 1830…”
Smiling she says, “Well thank you!”
“Do you go to church around here?”
Hesitantly again she says, “No”, while gently shaking her head. “I go at home. I’m not from here.”
“Are you Catholic?”
“No” she says kindly.
“Did you ever think about becoming Catholic?”
“Did you know that Jesus founded the Catholic Church?”
“Yes, I did.”
Smiling, I say, “Then why would you not become Catholic?!”
She says rather light-heartedly, “Well, I’ve just never gotten around to it or thought about it too much.”
“It’s the will of Jesus that everyone belong to His Church. At the last supper, He prayed that we all may be one, as He is one with the Father, so that the world may see and believe. Have you heard of Martin Luther?”
“Well he was actually a Catholic priest, etc., etc….today there are over 30,000 denominations all teaching a different brand of Christianity. That’s not the will of Jesus.”
She smiles and nods in agreement. “Alright, I’ll give it some thought…”
“And what about the Eucharist?” I add. “Jesus said, ‘This is My Body. This is My Blood. He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life. Whoever does not eat My Flesh and drink My Blood has no life in him.”
By smiling and nodding again she indicates that she is familiar with what I am saying and, per se, has no real objections.
I get the sense that I’ve done what Our Lady has wanted me to do and I kindly finish by encouraging her one more time to pray about this and consider becoming Catholic. Finally, I give her my name and contact info and tell her she will be in my prayers.
If anyone is encountering more than two people every time they go out, please let me know.”
Thanks, Father Ignatius! … As for you – consider joining us; join or start a team, and perhaps even start your own local chapter of the Holy Rivals Club!