Last night, someone posted this on Twitter.
Naturally, Catholic Twitter jumped on it. a lot of the replies were charitable and one even led to a DM conversation about the scandals. But some of the responses committed one of the most common sins well-meaning Catholics commit in evangelization.
The wrong way to approach something like this tweet is to start dropping Catholic buzzwords. I saw several tweets along the lines of “Catholicism leads to a fuller way of life and to actualized happiness of the whole human person.”
To a Catholic, that sounds like you kinda understand Catholic moral philosophy.
To a non-Catholic, that sounds like you’re in a cult.
Dropping Catholic buzzwords may sound like a good way to show people how intellectually rich our tradition is. More often, it makes them feel more isolated from the Church or just confused. It’s always better to speak on the terms of the other person. If you say “happiness” they may think of something different. When they say “fun,” they may mean something different.
Wouldn’t it be better if you asked “What do you mean by fun?” and they said “as much pleasure as possible.” You would be able to say “Oh, that’s not the Catholic position at all. We disagree on what fun is.”
But of course, it’s tough to do that on Twitter. We like to stick to the snarky one-liners.
It’s really silly to dog on this girl for not thinking Catholics have fun. This tweet doesn’t make her an enemy of the Church. It probably just means her only interactions with the church come from the scandals or mean nuns on TV. These things turn Catholics into exotic creatures in the eye of the public, so we should be patient with people who don’t realize Catholics are normal people.
When I was in high school, I saw several people convert or experience a renewal of their faith. Not because of our fancy arguments for how we have more fun than the heathens, but because we invited them into that fun.
The extremely simple solution to this tweet: hang out with non-Catholics. If you only hang out with Catholics when you do fun things, that could be a reason why non-Catholics around you don’t think you’re fun. You don’t even have to have an attack plan ready for when you want to bring up Jesus. Just let him into your daily life and work from there.