Suggested resources for a former Vatician priest who left the Church

daily_evangelism
(TB) #1

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and that Christ is helping you all grow with each and every day.

I am writing because I need help and guidance on what to do about a particular situation that I have. There is a particular individual that I work with, and we have talked about the topic of life and God a few times. This person was a priest in the Vatican for 40 years and after ministering about God for that long, they decided to stop and move out of the Vatican and immigrate to Canada (which is where I reside and met them at work - the work is in the public sector, so nothing related to priesthood; I am also about 30 years younger than they are). They said that they believe that there is a God out there, but whether it is the Muslim god, or the Christian God or any other god, they are not sure. I have tried to talk more to them but they seem closed off and said that they are currently not searching for any answers to questions about life. Their biggest struggle with Christianity is that the people that are supposed to be holy and representatives of the Church in the Vatican are not really as holy as they should be according to their experience, and they no longer want to tell people what to do as they have been doing for a long time. They now believe that it is better to be good to others at home (not being part of the Church) than to not do what’s right and be a representative of a denomination. I believe this weekend may be the last time I work with them (I will no longer be working at the particular location with them after this weekend) and I wanted to ask you all if there are any resources that you would recommend that I should get them (a book perhaps) that they can keep and later on when they are ready, they can open it and read it? I realize that this is late but I simply don’t know what to do in this case, and I feel that I should do something or give them something. I do not want to start a discussion here about which denomination is right and what are the issues with particular denominations because this would miss the point; I simply want to give them some kind of resource so that they can take a second look at Christ and build their relationship with Him in their heart.

May God bless you all and I look forward to reading your replies!

TB

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(Billie Corbett) #2

Give him a copy of…or tell him about this book…

He Leadeth Me, by Walter Ciszek. (I bought a Kindle copy on Amazon.ca)

It is a powerful autobiography of a priest…It’s the story of his “calling” , his faith…and his encounter with the Living God in ways he never expected or imagined.
I have read the book 3-4 times…because it’s testimony has been so significant to me.

(SeanO) #3

@biblestudytb I would think that a biography or a personal story may be more likely to interest them than an apologetic work. Some of Malcolm Muggeridge’s books may appeal to them, depending on their taste in books.

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(ThomasHeld) #4

Hi TB,

If the man was a priest for 40 years and doesn’t know who Jesus is - then he needs to take a first look at Jesus not a second look. Your friend has theological knowledge of Christ but he surely does not know Him.

He told you he doesn’t know who God is - but he’s rejecting God because of the actions of men (there’s probably much more to his story than he’s telling you.)

Since your time with him is very short, can you plant a seed with your own testimony or share how God moved in the life of someone you love?

Don’t be concerned that he is much older than you. Just get prayed-up, and speak with him with the same conviction that you wrote your question, you’ll be fine.

[ Take Heed to Your Ministry ] Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Tim. 1:12

I suggest you speak to him with love but also with authority. Ask him if he ever invited Jesus into his heart. If he has a soft or broken heart he will listen to you, if he’s already hardened his heart to the point of stone - he probably won’t listen or read what you give him (that’s not to say don’t give him something if you find something appropriate.)

Remind him that Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?” Luke 9:20. Not, “Who does that denomination say I am.”

Plant a seed, pray a brother or sister waters it, and pray the Holy Spirit opens his heart. God bless.

(Nathan Griffin) #5

Hi TB

Maybe this man has just entered into a season of doubt. What would it look like to meet him in the doubt and pain? Maybe he hasn’t seen Christ in a Christian in a long time or ever? What might his life look like in the future if you lay down your life and serve him somehow? No words need be spoken. No need for books and fancy words. Just love him like Jesus would. Extravagantly!! God will do the rest my friend. That’s His job. He is the Great Resource.

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(TB) #6

Hello all!

Thank you to each one of you for your thoughtful replies and suggestions. I appreciate all the words of wisdom and all of the book recommendations you gave me. Thank you also for the scripture references as they always help to put things in perspective.

I truly appreciate all the advice you all gave me and I think it really helped me this weekend as I talked to my friend. We ended up conversing briefly before parting ways and I gave him a book I had on hand called Has Christianity Failed You? At first I was afraid he might reject it but he ended up accepting it and mentioning that he loves to read. Although he also expressed that he was unsure if anything would happen after reading it (to his faith), I hope that things will change for him and that we might cross paths again in order to continue this conversation. If you have the time please pray for him that he may find God and accept Him in his heart.

There’s a chance he might be back next week (staffing is currently being shuffled around), I’ll take this time to order some of the resources mentioned as I was very much short on time this weekend and messaged you all rather late on Connect.

God bless you all and thank you once again for your time and your replies!

TB

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(SeanO) #7

@biblestudytb May the Lord Jesus bless you with wisdom as you share His love with this man. Christ be with you.

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(Billie Corbett) #8

Biblestudytb

Let me commend you for your love and care for this man in Christ. No doubt, love and care is exactly what he needs after spending so many years of his life within a rigid, lifeless filled religious system.
I would also remind you, this man is grieving. He may not express it, but, given his circumstances…(in my mind, it has to be a given. 40 years of your life is a long time to give to something you eventually reject.)
Definitely, we need to be praying for him and for you as you seek to minister to him.
May I suggest, as well…that you ask him if he would like a friend (yourself). My guess is he needs genuine friends. (I doubt he has any left from his past. It would take a pretty genuine heart to follow up friendship with someone who has abandoned involvement with the Vatican.) He needs a willing friend who will be there to support him through his grief and life change.
Blessings…

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(TB) #9

Thank you @SeanO and @Billie for your kind words and advice. Sorry for my late reply. His stay was extended for a little while longer and we got to talk a few more times, but I think this finished off on a good note!

TB

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(SeanO) #10

@biblestudytb Glad to hear! May the seeds that have been planted grow and produce much fruit!

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(Billie Corbett) #11

Praise God you were given more time and as you said, “it finished on a good note”.
I am sure you will continue to pray faithfully for this man … out of genunine love and care for his soul…God will give the increase…

I just want to encourage and commend you for walking in the Spirit …
by humbly seeking the good and salvation of this sad man.

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