The past few years I have been blessed with a unique opportunity to grow in my faith – by explaining it to someone else.
My boyfriend is not Catholic. The topics of what Catholics believe, what the Catholic faith means to me, what it would mean to us as we discerned marriage and in our possible future marriage and family, have been discussed often, even before we went on our first official date. Among the doubts, intense discussions, and frustrating misunderstandings, the moments of clarity, peace and grace shine brighter.
It may sound like I am doing all the teaching and he is doing all the learning, but often it is the opposite. When I explain the faith to him, I see things I have always taken for granted in a new light. When he asks a question I have never thought of before, I have to delve deeper into what I believe. When he repeats things we have discussed to others or holds me accountable to my values, I am humbled and desire to live my faith more authentically. When he kneels beside me at Mass, not yet out of belief, but out of respect and love for me, my heart burns for him to know a love greater than that which he shows me.
Faith is a gift. I cannot give my boyfriend the gift of faith, but I can, with God’s grace, answer his questions, remind him how much God loves him, support him as he walks down his journey to the Truth, pray for him and with him, and thank God for all the times this man ‘without faith’ shows me what I believe.
- Jean, Indiana