Read the original question here.
Thank you for asking this question! I know I’ve found myself asking the same question at times.
Before I share what has helped me, I want to add a disclaimer: we are not required to address every attack on the Catholic Church. Obviously, we should when we are able, but when it comes to social media, it is impractical both due to the sheer quantity of attacks and the communication mode. Sometimes, it is better to recognize that responding is like talking to a brick wall, or continuing to respond is just adding fuel towards their hatred. In these situations, it is better to stay silent on social media and pray for them, or if you know them in real life, ask if they’d like to meet up in person to discuss it over coffee or beer.
As for having confidence, I have found three things that have helped me.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you.
This is the most important advice I can give. One of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to give us the wisdom to share our faith. By asking the Holy Spirit to work through me when I am responding to critics, it takes the pressure off my shoulders and rightly places the burden in God’s hands. We are only tools, and allowing God to work through us results in better responses because it is God’s answer rather than our own. Prayer also has the added benefit of helping us calm down.
allowing God to work through us results in better responses because it is God’s answer rather than our own.
Beef up your apologetics knowledge.
While ultimately our defenses should come from God, building up my apologetics knowledge has helped me a lot. There are an abundance of resources out there that help us better understand our faith and know how to properly articulate the teachings of the Church. I don’t want to take up too much space by listing resources here, but please feel free to reach out to me for recommendations.
Rejoice in the persecution.
Jesus warned us that we would receive unpleasant attacks for sharing the truth, but chances are, we are doing the right thing (unless we’re being Grade A jerks and are getting attacked for our attitudes rather than our words). Luke 6: 22 tells us “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.” Though we know that it is coming, that doesn’t make it less challenging. We just remind ourselves that we will be blessed for it. I’ve been working my way through reading the Bible, and a verse that stood out to me was Acts 5:41. “So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.”How blessed are we to be able to defend Christ?
we are not alone as we defend the truth. The entire Church is with us, fighting the same battle.
I know can be hard to defend the faith. I have gotten called some horrible names and accused of some terrible things, but we are not alone as we defend the truth. The entire Church is with us, fighting the same battle. Though we may feel that we are losing, Christ will triumph and we will be rewarded for the difficulties we faced on earth in His name.
Kate Hendrick is a cradle Catholic, but she really started taking her faith seriously about two years ago. She blogs at stumblingtowardsainthood.com where she writes about the struggles of being a faithful Catholic as a young adult in American culture. You can also find here on Facebook and Instagram. Kate’s husband Ben is a Catholic convert and she enjoys growing in the faith with him.