A girlfriend and I lounged around the pool watching our kids play one afternoon. I don't know her all that well, but I know her to be a devout Catholic. Although I attend a local Reformed church these days, we're sisters in Christ. I didn't think she wouldn't mind if I asked her a question or two. What better way to learn about a Christian tradition we don't know much about than to befriend a believer who practices their faith in that tradition? Time and again, I've discovered the beauty of understanding the purpose of certain spiritual practices. Often, they are things I know very little about, but a person who experiences these things in her everyday faith life helps me understand the significance. Maybe it's something I can incorporate in my own faith walk. At the very least, it helps me respect the work the Holy Spirit does in her own life through these disciplines.
That day, right there at the pool, before we ordered pizza and sodas for an early dinner, we talked church. She explained to me why Catholics attend Confession. I attempted to explain why Protestants don’t (she's better at apologetics than I am). It wasn't about being right or wrong. We both wanted to learn about a different branch on God's family tree. We discussed what the rhythm of the church calendar offers a believer. She suggested these various spiritual practices help her remember. Ongoing reminders of the God we serve, and all Christ has done for us. Things like Praying the Rosary, receiving Eucharist at Mass each week, and attending Confession renew her focus not on things of this world, but on godly things. They draw her into sacred moments that strengthen her faith.
She had my attention.
I believe the way you practice your faith can help someone else along in their own. Learning new ways to worship Jesus can grow our faith. Sometimes, we just need a little help getting the conversation started. That's why I created a handout, "50 Questions To Ask Other Christians Without Offending Them." If you need a little push to share your faith, and learn about someone else's, this resource will help! I've made it available for my email subscribers. When you sign up to receive my emails, you get this handout and other FREE resources. Three or four times each month, I'll also email you exclusive content about things like parenting and community and church.