From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For July 8, 2018

Recently, in one afternoon, I spoke with one friend about his mother’s impending funeral. Almost immediately after that conversation, I talked with another friend who was seeking advice about starting a Bible study/men’s group. Again, almost immediately after that conversation, I fell into talking with a complete stranger about his ongoing conversion.

None of this is very surprising. When you wear a uniform, people will respond to you accordingly, and I wear my clerical garb almost everywhere. Plus, after a while, these sorts of conversations become . . . routine isn’t the word, but they definitely become much easier, more natural.

From your own experience, such conversations might not seem easy or natural. Many people have told me about their difficulty with conversations of faith, particularly with those conversations that involve some sort of contentious issue. None of the conversations mentioned above were contentious by any means, but a couple did involve sensitive issues (an impending death and an ongoing conversion).

One of the ways to become more comfortable with these sorts of conversations is to simply begin having them. We all know people who are of the same faith and who we more or less get along with. Just look around you at Mass. There are a bunch of people, many of whom you know, who you could have a conversation with about. Would you ever talk with them about faith, spirituality, and other such issues?

If that is too much, you could also begin with the people closest to you, your family and friends, those you trust. It could also begin with topics that do not have a great deal of emotional impact. It could be about something you read, or heard on the radio, or what Father said in the homily. It doesn’t have to be about something personal or emotionally charged; it could somewhat intellectual and disconnected. It is a start.

These become the first steps that allow us to talk with others about what really matters. This is true whether the situation is contentious or not, whether the issues on the table are emotionally charged or not. As with so much else in our lives, the more we do it, the more we are able to do it.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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