Most Catholics know 'what' the faith teaches, but unfortunately all too often Catholics don't know the 'why.' The why we do what we do and why we believe what we believe. When you know the 'why,' you are better able to explain and defend the 'what.' This is the heart of what Catholic Apologetics is all about. It echoes the words of St Peter himself who said ...
'Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;' 1 Peter 3:15-16
In other words, explaining and defending the faith is not done with a puffed up sense of pride and finger waging, that we are on the winning team and you're not. Rather it is to be done in love and Christian charity and .. "with gentleness and reverence."
The Catholic faith contains the full deposit of the Christian Faith. She is the bride of Christ. When you insult or smear the bride, you also insult and smear the groom … our Lord Jesus Christ.
But being charged with the full deposit of faith shouldn't make us smug or condescending. It is a mission and a responsibility that we have assumed through Baptism. A mission and responsibility we have towards our Protestant, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Atheist, and yes, our 'lukewarm Cafeteria Catholic' … brothers and sisters.
Why should we Catholics be content in the knowledge that we have the gift and grace of the seven sacraments, and our Protestant bothers and sister have only some. Why should we Catholics be content in the knowledge that we have the gift of the seven sacraments and our Muslim, Hindu and Bhuddist, brothers and sisters have none.
Some people might think that Apologetics is something only for theologians and scholars and not for your average folks. Well, think of it this way … Would you let anyone spit at your biological mother and not do anything about it? Would you let someone slap your biological mother and not do anything about it? Would you let someone insult your biological mother and not doin anything about it? Then why do we Catholics allow people to spit at, slap and insult our spiritual mother, the Catholic Church, and we don't do anything about it. Apologetics does indeed give you the tools, knowledge and understanding to be able to know, explain and defend the faith … to defend our mother the Catholic Church … the Bride of Christ … AMEN!
A thank you and recognition below to all the 'Warriors in Christ' who have helped me immensely on my journey of faith. From being a 'lukewarm Catholic,' to being a worker in the vineyard of the Lord.
Bishop Fulton Sheen Scott Hahn
Steve Ray Deacon Alex Jones
Tim Staples Michael Cumbie
Father Robert Barron Michael Voris