I am excited to announce my guest post for this month’s installment of Bold, Brave, Catholic. I have long admired Amy from Catholic Pilgrim, who describes herself as a convert to Catholicism, “…having grown up believing that Catholicism was some small, crazy cult and that Catholics were bad people. Mind you, I never looked into the matter, I just believed what others had told me. Then I went and fell in love with a cradle Catholic and in his patient, calm, rational way, he showed me the truth of Catholicism. I’m a very passionate person and once I discovered the treasure of Catholicism, I dove in all the way. There was a time in my life that I barely lived my Christian Faith, but that was wrong. Lukewarm living is no way to live. So, now, I battle the culture through my writings. For anyone that’s a Catholic blogger, you know this can draw the ire of plenty of groups of people. I try to boldly live my faith by speaking truth–unpopular truth–and living my life in a such a way that leaves no doubt that I am a follower of Christ.” Read more below on how she defines a Bold, Brave, Catholic and as she imparts some wisdom regarding this particular topic!
What does being bold and being brave look like to you?
I think there is a tendency to think of being brave or bold as cocky. I used to think so, too. I’ve learned, though, that when someone is cocky they tend to be insecure and desire attention to make themselves feel good. It’s a pseudo-bravery. To truly be brave and bold, one needs to possess a quiet strength and humbly acknowledge that to be either one of those things requires God’s grace and guidance.
Is there a time in which you were hesitant to embrace your Catholic Faith?
Well, I haven’t always been Catholic. For me, though, once I knew Catholicism was where it’s at, I blazed down that trail. I’ve always been that way. When I set my mind to something, I go for it, no holding back. Now, there were things within Catholicism that I didn’t fully get when I became Catholic (praying to saints, the honor we give Mary) but I just gave myself time to understand. I’m still learning and understanding many things.
For sure, I was supremely hesitant to embrace Catholicism at all when I was first being introduced to it by my husband. Once he broke down all my lame arguments and corrected all my misconceptions, I knew I had to become Catholic.
What stops you from being bold or being brave in your expression of your Catholic Faith?
One of the gifts I think I have from God is boldness for wading into battles. What I mean by that is that I’m not afraid to go head-to-head with someone in a debate. Now, when I was very young this was presented in a hot-head fashion. I wouldn’t just debate, I’d get in a big argument and seek to destroy (figuratively speaking) the other person. In college, I often times was the only person in my classes defending “traditional values” or “moral truths.” However, I had no finesse.
Once I became Catholic, I learned that screaming and fighting is not the way to effectively evangelize. I’ve been listening to Catholic Answers for years on the radio and what I’ve learned through the apologists on there is how to debate with clarity, firmness, and charity. I’ve, also, learned that most often the best way to express the Catholic Faith is to just live it fully and live it well. I most definitely mess up but, at the end of the day, I want there to be no doubt that I am a devoted Catholic. I’m still learning how to debate and defend the faith well, but I’m definitely willing to learn.
As a Catholic blogger, I often times write about controversial topics and I get nervous about the backlash I’m going to receive. Usually when this happens, I pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit. I ask the Holy Spirit to help me make my writing fruitful, truthful, and charitable. Then I pray for the strength to withstand any backlash I might receive. If I do those two things, I’m not easily stopped in expressing my Catholic Faith.
“I’ve learned through the apologists [on Catholic Answers] how to debate with clarity, firmness, and charity.” – Amy Thomas, Catholic Pilgrim
Tell me about a time in which you were bold and brave in your expression of your Catholic Faith.
Well, probably pretty much everyday when I post on social media. Lol!
No, in all seriousness, there was a time when my middle daughter had just been offered a spot on a competitive volleyball team. I was at the parent meeting and the coach was going through the handbook and discussing the schedule. At one point he said, “Now, are you all good with practice on Sunday mornings?” Every other parent, without hesitation, said that they were fine with it. I raised my hand and said, “I’m sorry, that doesn’t work for us, we have church in the morning.” I could see in the coach’s and the other parents’ eyes that they thought I was some religious nut. We know as Catholics that there are usually many Masses on Sunday and even the Saturday Vigil Mass that we can attend, but I was bothered that the coach would just assume that church was a non-issue. I wanted people to see that there are still people who consider church the highest priority on Sunday. In the end, the coach picked a different day. I guess I wasn’t directly expressing Catholicism, but I was declaring that I was a Christian.
What encouragement would you give to others to be bold and brave?
There are some places around the world where they aren’t allowed to practice the faith and they have to risk their lives to do so. They are truly courageous people. In our country, we don’t have that same level of bodily danger, but we have another crisis—a crisis of spiritually dead souls.
We know that death is not the worst thing; a soul that dies in mortal sin is the worst thing. There are so many souls walking around in this country that are lost, searching, darkened with sin, and hurting. It is our duty as Catholics to live our faith boldly and bravely so that people come in contact with the Truth. Christianity in our society today is so milquetoast and watered-down that many don’t see it as necessary or important. Many even see it as a joke.
We know that death is not the worst thing; a soul that dies in mortal sin is the worst thing… Know that when you live your faith in boldness, it inspires people…” – Amy Thomas, Catholic Pilgrim
Know that when you live your faith with boldness, it inspires people. It might not right away and they may even buck against you, but we are missionary people. We can’t hide in our homes and make our faith a “private” matter. There is too much at stake. We don’t need to be weird about our faith or goobery, but confident, bold, and brave. The saints inspire us because they are/were just that. We are all called to be saints, as well.
**To read more from Amy, and to explore more of her thoughts, inspiration, and the manner with which she lives boldly and bravely, don’t forget to follow her on Facebook and Instagram, and read more from her over at her website, Catholic Pilgrim.**