It has often been noted that Catholics are the largest religious group in the United States, but that self-described ex-Catholics are the second largest group. That’s the big number. But the small number is the one that hurts. The small number might be your one or two adult children who no longer practice the faith —even though their salvation is what you care about more than anything else in life. Or the small number might be your four or five grandchildren who don’t know how to make the Sign of the Cross. Or your former college roommate who thinks a long-ago divorce means she can’t be Catholic anymore. Or a friend who lacks direction and has no idea what a blessing it would be to go to Confession and Communion. Or the co-worker who just seems lost. We feel an ache in our hearts; as we watch these good people, raised Catholic, make the tragic decision to forego the graces the Lord wants to give them in the sacraments.
So what can we do about it?
Pray - Prayer forms the foundation for all our evangelization efforts because the Holy Spirit is the principal agent of evangelization. We are being called to commit to pray for non-practicing Catholics.
Witness - Our greatest witness comes primarily through the way we live and secondarily through our words. We must always be prepared to share the Good News with others.
Invite - Inviting others back to the Church is a vital step in the evangelization process. Often times, it begins with inviting them to your home, a sports game or somewhere else.
Accompany - We need to walk with people as much as possible through every step of their faith journeys. In order to do this most effectively, we may need to rethink how involved we are in our loved ones’ lives.
(Called by Name, Diocese of Lansing)