I am going to start to blog on Fridays about a Catholic Fact…a misconception, a misunderstanding, an untruth that people out there might have about Catholicism…The following is a little background about why I’ve decided to do this – hopefully it will serve Catholics and non-Catholics alike. It will start next Friday.
For about 6 years I worked for a non-denominational Christian company here in Georgia. It was a “leadership” company founded by Dr. John C. Maxwell. At the time I was a Mary Kay consultant and very into leadership, going to conferences, listening to all sorts of leadership training on CD and tape. Dr. John Maxwell was a huge influence on my life and my business. It was a dream come true to actually work for the man. I absolutely loved my job, my co-workers, and what the company stood for. I was blessed in every way by my time there. While there, this Catholic girl learned many things…how to pray out loud, not by heart memorized prayers, I already had that down! But, real from the heart impromptu prayer, I learned about the gift of tongues (absolutely freaked me out the first time I heard it), the laying on of hands for healing and the phrase, “praise the Lord” rolled out of my mouth many times a day. Not being a native Southerner, I was not used to people being so vocal about their faith and talking about Jesus. I wasn’t really exposed to other faiths other than Catholicism or Judaism in my youth. Moving to the South was definitely an eye opener for me. At this job, I was surrounded by a group of amazing Christians, men and women alike. The special women who, to this day are my “Ya-Ya’s “ taught me the most. And, I also think I may have taught some of my colleagues some things too. I believe that the passion I feel about defending the Catholic Church was born out of my experiences at this company.
99.9% of the people who worked there were Protestants and my clients were practically 100% Protestant. I tried very hard to sell our conferences and simulcasts to Catholic Churches; it was kind of a mission for me as I believed that what we had to offer would tremendously help the Catholic Church. I was pretty much the “token” Catholic of the company for the first few years of my employment. It became a friendly joke around the office. There were times when a sweet girl I worked with would ask me to “pray in Catholic.” Through the years some others were hired and at one time there were maybe 4 or 5 of us. There were however, many Ex-Catholics that worked there and for one reason or another had left the church. That was very disturbing to me. It hurt me to my core.
Many times people would ask me questions like, “Are Catholics Christians?” “Why do you worship Mary?” “Why do Catholics….” You get the picture. I found that there were so many misconceptions are out there about Catholicism that I never knew of. There was a time when our employees would have the chance to give their “testimony” in front of everyone in our Monday morning meetings. Time and time again I heard negative things about Catholics and Catholicism. It broke my heart. I’d hear “I was on a mission trip in such and such country and we were trying to save Catholics.” Or “I used to be Catholic and then I finally got saved.” Gut wrenching statements that affected me very deeply. Knowing that people were out there targeting Catholics and wanting to rip them from the church was just unreal to me. So, it kind of became my mission to spread the truth about Catholicism from that point on.
My theory is this: People believe what they hear from their teachers. They do what they are taught. Whether it is the TRUTH or “truth” according to someone they believe, follow and admire, most people believe what they are taught and told. Why would Protestant pastors lie to their congregations? Why would parents raise their kids to believe untruths? Why do women cut the ham before putting it in the roasting pan? …Because my mom always did it that way. Well, why did your mom always cut the ham before putting it in the roasting pan? Well, because her mom always did it that way. Well, why did grandma always cut the ham before putting it in the roasting pan? Grandma??? “Because my pan was too small!” People believe and do things based on what they are taught. It’s quite simply lack of knowledge.
So, that said, maybe this little “Go Fish Friday” article can blast some misconceptions out there, open people’s hearts and educate all of us on the truth about Catholicism. We are all God’s people. He loves us ALL. You should know the truth. I hope this article will make you stop cutting the ham just “because mom always did it that way.”