My dear friends, this question is a big controversy in the world. However, this is no point of controversy or confusion at all. Jesus has said very clearly to ‘go forth and make disciples in all Nations’. He has instructed us to preach the Gospel and tell others to repent and believe. But the point is, how do we do that. How do we help others accept the teachings of our Lord and Saviour? How does someone get to know Jesus through us? Clearly, the Church buildings and Monasteries and not going to help. It is we who are the Temple of the Holy Spirit and its instruments who can help our friends to reject the world and accept Christ so that they can be saved from eternal damnation.
If we talk about making others convert into Catholicism, it is often taken as a way to curb others’ religious sentiments and freedom of choice. I have personally never heard of anyone being forcibly converted into Catholicism in this generation, nor will it ever be.
The call to being a Catholic or accepting Jesus not only depends on the individual but it also depends on whom the Eternal Father calls to be a part of the ‘Chosen Race’. But we should always try to help others know and accept Jesus if they want to. That is exactly what Pope Francis stated a few days back. It is the responsibility of Christians to help others know Jesus.
Let’s see five ways by which we can help others know and accept Jesus.
1. Pray Unceasingly
Nothing can be compared to the power of prayer. What is Prayer? It is simply doing what Jesus has asked us to do. Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door shall be opened for you. If we know somebody who wants to accept Jesus but due to some reason is unable to do so, let’s pray for him/her. Let’s surrender that person at the feet of our Lord and beg for his mercy and grace to fall on that person. Nothing can surpass what answered prayers have done in our lives. Thus, seeking from Jesus for the conversion of someone who is struggling, is the most important and significant factor.
Regarding people who still haven’t got the taste of the life lived by a Catholic, and who does not want to accept Jesus because they are in some other faith, for them, again, let’s pray. Let’s pray that they may see the One True God. Pray silently in the corner of your room, secretly, where your Heavenly Father sees you in secret. Believe me, the Holy Spirit does wonders. Things will happen and we will never be able to comprehend the glory of the deeds of our Lord.
2. Be a Good Catholic
What most of us do not realize, is that we need to practice what we preach. If we have a speck in our own eyes, we cannot ask our friends to remove the log from their eyes. This is what Jesus says, right! Well, the life of a Catholic is a life that is spent in self-mortification, service unto others, and unceasing prayer. If your life misses any one of the three points that I just stated, then you need to pull up your socks and start doing what you are supposed to do as a Catholic. We need to realize that people believe what they see. If they see a person who happens to be a Catholic but is busy spending the weekend doing parties and gossiping about others, why on earth would they want to accept Christ? Did Christ teach these to be done? You know the answer.
However, if they find a person helping others, avoiding Gossip, praying frequently throughout the day, fasting, giving up the party life, and spending weekends doing service to the needy, and then figures out that they do that because Christ has taught them to do so, well, there is a very good opportunity for Christ Himself to use that good Catholic for the conversion of sinners. ( By sinners I mean both Catholics and Non- Catholics)
3. Lead by Example.
The best example to reflect on this point would be St Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She was not a preacher, neither did she write blogs or make Youtube videos. She silently, very silently took care of those whom people would never want to look at. She looked after them till they died on their death bed. Did she want them to convert? Did she do all that for which she received the US Presidential Medal and the Nobel Peace Prize, but most importantly became a Saint so that the people she served would convert into Catholics? No, that wasn’t her intention. All she wanted was to quench the thirst of Jesus on the cross. His thirst for souls, his thirst for sinners to convert, his thirst for people serving and loving each other, that is what she wanted to do. It is very unlikely that the so-called ‘untouchables’ of the society whom she served, converted to Catholicism, but many people who saw what she has done, questioned where she gets so much love and affection for the poorest of the poor. The answer was Jesus. Thus people came to know Jesus the way he actually is. They fell in love with him and embraced him. That is how we need to introduce Jesus to others- through examples, through deeds, through service. But all of this should be done secretly and silently, just like St. Mother Teresa.
4. To be Lead by the Holy Spirit
We must realize that we are all in the hands of our Lord. Nothing, I repeat nothing happens according to our will. Especially when it comes to helping others convert and embrace Christ. Therefore, we must surrender ourselves to the will of our Father and allow ourselves to be led by His Spirit. As a human, we can only think in ways which are limited to our perception. But the Holy Spirit has no boundaries. The Holy Spirit can and always will lead in directions and introduce us to certain people always for some reason. We must always make ourselves a ready instrument in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit guide us and show us which way to go, what words to speak and whom to meet.
5. Offer Holy Mass for the Conversion of Non-Catholics
Last but not the least, let’s not forget the importance of the Holy Eucharistic celebration. Every intention offered at the altar is fulfilled, where the Holy Spirit comes down to convert the Bread and Wine into the Living Body and Blood of Jesus. Thus the Holy Eucharist is of paramount importance. Offer your intentions, be it regarding a particular person that you know of or generally for all Non-Catholics. Offer them to the Lord and the Lord will do what seems right to Him. When we celebrate the Mass, all the Angels and Saints offer our praises and adoration to the One Blessed Trinity. Again, when we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus within us, he is so close to us that we can literally whisper all our prayers and intentions into his ears. Thus, never lose the opportunity of offering the cause of conversion in the Eucharistic Celebration.
Let’s remember that we are not supposed to force anybody to accept our Faith. Let’s follow the brilliant example of St Mother Teresa. Let’s follow the examples of the 12 disciples of Jesus who never ever forced anyone to accept the faith. People believe what they see. Once they see how our own lives are driven by the Holy Spirit, and once Christ is truly visible to them from our actions, words and gestures, truly are they going to accept him.
If you think that these points are really going to help in helping others know Christ, then do leave an Amen in the comment box.