I have a Protestant friend who is considering becoming Catholic. I’ve taken him to Mass a few times and we’ve had a few conversations about our beliefs. But, usually when I ask him about converting, he just says, “I’m still thinking about it.” Is there anything more I can do?
Well, patience is key. If it was up to us, we would have everyone convert this very instant. We would have them knocked down and blinded like Paul was (cf. Acts 22:6-11). But, for whatever reason, God usually doesn’t work that way. Conversion has to be the heartfelt, earnest decision of each individual or it will not be a true and lasting conversion. This usually takes time to nurture and to develop. So, patience is important, but there are other things you can do too.
For one, I think it would be good to plug your friend into a group of good, Catholic young adults. Give him a chance to have fun and socialize with Catholics. Go out to eat, or to a movie, or to a concert. Show him that Catholicism is more than the observance of rules and the upholding of certain beliefs. Show him that it’s actually fun to be Catholic. It’s cool to be Catholic. It’s good to be Catholic. Catholicism is a way of life, and it’s a life worth living.
Secondly, you need to bone up on your theology and your apologetics. Dust off your Bible and your Catechism and start reading them. You never know when your friend is going to ask you a question about why Catholics believe and do certain things. You need to “always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet 3:15). If you can take advantage of these teaching moments, then you will be able to share your faith and bring him closer to Christ.
Thirdly, put some good Catholic resources in his hands. Give him books that provide solid introductions to our faith. In the “Catholic Q&A #11, I listed several such books that you could use. You can also direct him to websites like Catholic Answers and EWTN where he can learn more.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you should pray. Pray that the Lord will grant him wisdom and courage. Pray that God will soften his heart and remove all obstacles to conversion. Pray that God will grant you patience and that His Spirit will give you the right words when you don’t know what to say (cf. Exo 4:10-12; Lk 12:11-12). Pray that not only your knowledge but also your LOVE of the Church will shine through in everything that you say and do. Pray that the Lord’s Will be done. Have your friends and family pray for him too
Peace of Christ to you,
Nicholas Hardesty, WIMM Board Member
Director of Religious Education, Blessed Mother Catholic Church
Feel free to email your questions to email@example.com