Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Happy feast day of St. Dominic!

In honor of Holy Preaching, here is a delightful article by a Catholic layman.

How Do Catholics Hear the Gospel? (Gary Michuta)

I was a Catholic once, said the lady a few yards from me in the parking lot. Now I'm a Christian and you can be one as well. She proceeded to hand a tract to a gentleman standing next to the opened trunk of his car. I couldn't help it.

Excuse me, I said to the lady but could I, too have a tract? The lady's face beamed. Are you saved?, she asked. Of course I am; I'm a believing Catholic, I retorted. She looked at me as if I had bad breath or something.

She continued: I was just telling this gentleman that I too was a Catholic - a Catholic for thirty-some years in fact. Now I've found Christ and I'm trying to tell everyone I know about salvation through Christ.

Wow, that's really something! May I ask why you left the Church? I could tell that, by asking this question, my new acquaintance was getting excited. After all, she had probably been snubbed by dozens of people and now she has someone that she can "witness" to Christ. I didn't mind much either, but I tried not to show it.

You see, she said, I was born Catholic. I attended Mass every week, received the Sacraments and graduated from a Catholic school. Not once did I ever hear the gospel proclaimed. Not once! It was after the birth of my first child that a good friend of mine shared the gospel with me and I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior and became a Christian. Now I belong to a Bible-believing church and I'm sharing the gospel with whomever will listen.

This shocked me. You mean you belonged to the Catholic Church for over forty years and you never heard the gospel?, I said. She was getting more excited. Yes, I never once heard the gospel of salvation preached or taught or even mentioned in the Church. If you don't preach the gospel, excuse my bluntness, but you're simply not Christian. I scratched my head and said, that's strange. I've been a Catholic all my life and I bet I hear the gospel ever week at Church. Her smile quickly faded into a look of curiosity. Maybe, I'm missing something, I continued. Tell me what you mean by the gospel?

The lady reached back into her purse to pull out a little tract and said, This tracts explains the simple gospel of salvation. It can be broken down into four easy steps.

First, we acknowledge that we are all sinners in need of God's forgiveness.

Secondly, we recognize that only God can save us.

The third step is that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins and to bring us to God.

And the fourth and final step is that each individual accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior to be saved.

I thought for a couple of seconds and said, If I could demonstrate to you that Catholics hear the gospel every Sunday, would you agree to take a closer look at the Catholic Church? Now, she knew she had me over a barrel. Prove it, she said. I excused myself for a second and ran to my car to grab a Missal.

(follow the link to read the rest!)

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