Friday, June 17, 2005

"Go Out into the World..."

The command of Jesus to spread his truth echoes in each of our hearts. As the blogs here so far have shown, there is a serious attempt by the members here of reaching out to the "lost sheep." For Jericho, it is the Jews; for me, it is my Protestant co-worker and my non-practicing catholic friends.
At UMD (University of Maryland for those who are behind) I work in the Master Control room of the business School. One of the guys there in charge of me is a Non-denominational Christian. On my first real day of work, Wednesday, I got to sit down and talk to him about one of my expertise: my school. So we were discussing my school, and I talked about the things we had to read in literature and mentioned how Freshman year lead up to the Divine Comedy. I then described the different parts of the poem, including Purgatory, which I then got into the Catholic teachings on Purgatory. My metaphor was that the soul is a pane of glass, sin is dirt. When we go to confession, we wipe off the dirt; however, there is still a smear. Purgatory gets rid of the smear, making us clean for heaven. He had never heard them before. We got into the teachings on the Trinity and the Incarnation, which he knew and believed. I talked a little about the sacraments, explaining Confession (which he seemed to like, since he said that exposing what you did bad was a good character of a man) and the Eucharist (which he himself supported in Scripture). In fact, the only things that we talked about that he differed on was the saints/Mary and Sola Scriptura. He said there was no scriptural evidence of praying through saints. I explained the praying as using a telephone: while you can just go straight to a person living near you to talk to them, it is easier to call them on the telephone. It acts as an intercessorary device. Such are the saints and Mary. They show us to Christ, who shows us to God. The other thing, of course, was trying to convince him that you need more than Scripture. It was hard, since I ran out of time. I haven't gotten to sit and talk with him since. I work again on Wed. Maybe something will happen then too.


  1. Way to go Matt! Absolutely amazing. Here's hoping you get more chances to talk with him. I'll be praying for you both.
    Oh, and I'm sure that you've heard this before, but for Sola Scriptura, ask him where that is found in the Bible.

  2. I'm not so sure about the metaphor though. It is definitely possible to get all the smear off of glass the first time. Perhaps a better example would have been the stain in the garment, which was the one I always heard used. Getting the last traces out of a garment is more accurate in terms of practicality and difficulty. But it's a small point.

    Also, on the issue of praying to Mary, don't forget to remind this guy that the folks at the Canaa wedding didn't approach Jesus directly, although they could have.

  3. Oh come on, even if you're using Windex you can't get the window clean right away. Ibid, I think that was great! I'm really proud of you.

  4. John 21: 25 is a good bible verse to deal with the Sola Scriptura fallacy.

    Good job and good luck Matt! I hope you can bring that hell-bound heritick into the Church! (Only Kidding, about the hell-bound part)

    You make me feal like I am waisting my time. A full five weeks and still no inter-religious discussion. I guess that's what comes from haveing exclusively Catholic friends. I don't mean to hang out only with other Catholics, its just who I happen to meet.

    Good Luck and God Bless!

  5. Aha! Then you must have never field-dayed a BEQ room! :)

    Seriously though, be wary. It almost makes it sound like confession is pointless since all it does is take away the first little bit of dirt.

  6. You seem to have quite the makings of an apologist, Ibid. I hate to drag out old skeletons but,


    -The ghost of Fr. Mastroeni forever speaks to his students...

  7. Wow! I've gotten advice, suggetions, warnings, ghostly threats, praise, and other wonderful things all from One blog.
    Don't worry, I will keep you posted on updates when they are warrented.