Thursday, July 2, 2009


The past couple years (i.e. at Franciscan) I've really been trying/struggling to find a balance between becoming a better person interiorly and making sure to manifest my faith exteriorly. I've always felt guilty about not truly evangelizing. In a way I guess I feel guilty about not sharing the great truths of our faith. Since I've rediscovered my faith I have tried to lead by example but I don't think that's good enough any more. A while back I was thinking that most of my good friends back home probably don't know that I'm a devout Catholic. That was like a slap in the face to me. I want people to know that I'm Catholic and that I love it!
What I mean by "finding a balance" between personal growth and evangelization is that when I would feel that desire or call to bring others to Christ and witness to His love, I never felt like I had the right tools, so I would insead just focus on my own conversion. It was like a tug-of-war between these two different, but very important, things. On the one hand I really wanted to talk to people about my faith but at the same time I felt totally ill-prepared to do so. But then as I would work to become more knowledgable or courageous I would start to feel guilty because I knew I wasn't doing much to advance God's kingdom. Then just the other day it suddenly all made sense. There was nothing wrong with me focusing on myself because that's what I had to do. I felt ill-prepared because I was! And there isn't anything wrong with that. God was making sure that I was ready. I don't mean to say that I have every answer or even that I have total confidence, but I do believe that I have been given sufficient tools.
Well the reason I started this post is because I have one friend in particular who I feel especially called to evangelize too. The problem isn't so much that I'm afraid to make a move but rather what move to make. I want to be prudent about how I approach this. Recently I've decided that the best thing to do would be to introduce him to my faith via a book. Which leads to you. Can anyone recommend a good book for this sort of situation. This person has little to no knowledge of Catholicism or probably of Christianity in general. He's a "typical" fun-loving, no consequences kind of person. I don't think he is anti-religious but rather lives a "ignorance is bliss" type of life. My first thought for a book was Orthodoxy but I'm not sure. I want something that will keep his attention all the way through.


Sara said...

Marcus, Great question you are asking about yourself...and for your friend. For your friend, Peter Kreeft has a book titled, Because God is Real: Sixteen Questions, One Answer. Each chapter is a question (Why do I exist? Why is faith reasonable? Why be moral? Why are there virtues and vices?Why is there evil? Why must we die?) Each chapter has several question/answer segments. Good straightforward Catholic answers. But then maybe your friend would be more likely to read a collection of Catholic science fiction...I'll have to search Brodie's room for the title if you want it. We all get drawn in by a different style of writing.

Marcus Toft said...

Thanks Sara! Kreeft's book sounds great so I'll definitely check it out. If you think of any good Catholic/Christian science fiction or fantasy let me know, because that would probably be the best way to go. I know my friend reads that genre anyways so it would be a good transition. Preferably something that is more blatantly Christian (i.e. not Lord of the Rings)

Sara said...

Marcus: Infinite Space, Infinite God is a collection of SF short stories. Here is their synopsis:

"Is that religion in my science fiction or science fiction in my religion? The writers of the Catholic SF anthology Infinite Space, Infinite God have seamlessly combined the two. The fifteen stories of the Catholic Church meeting challenges from genetic engineering to time travel both entertain and make you think.

* Meet genetically engineered chimeras and aliens who wonder what a human religion holds for them.

* Share the doubts, trials and triumphs of humans who find their journeys in time and space are also journeys in faith.

* Experience spine-tingling adventure.

* Marvel at technological miracles--and miracles that transcend technology.

* Meet the writers who made a leap of faith and dared to incorporate familiar religion with fantastic universes."

The authors have a second volume 'Leaps of Faith'. Their website is:

Last I checked I can get these at the bookstore. Do you know the author Robert Hugh Benson? If not, check him out...he's fascinating. From England and wrote in the early 1900's (your generation!!)His book 'Lord of the World' is an end-times, anti-Christ novel that is the longest continuous in-print book on record. It's a great read.