Converts to the Catholic faith come in many different forms. I, in particular, would be considered a convert of the over-zealous variety. My conversion story (available in a bookstore near you, late 2015) (hopefully) is one of an evangelical protestant who initially set out to settle the debate and disprove Catholicism once and for all. God had a different outcome in mind… In any sense, I was the protestant that most cradle Catholics would never hope to encounter. I was hard-headed and faithful to the teachings of the evangelical tradition. Disdain for the Catholic faith was a part of my Christian upbringing.
Since joining the Church, I will often encounter various forms of my former self. I am not the most learned Convert but I am becoming somewhat of a burgeoning bibliophile in terms of Catholic literature. I hate to read… so this is a big deal. Periodically, I’ll find myself lodged in a debate over theology or social teaching and about half of the time I’ll come out victorious by social media debate standards. The other half results when I either get blindsided, consequently directing my independent reading in a new direction to safeguard against that in the future or I’ll be in a no-win situation. This is when the person I am debating has taken serious issue with the Catholic Church altogether. Part of the time this will result in a blatant refusal of truth on their behalf or my arguments could not stand up against their concerns. In the later of these situations, the best remedy is just to be there.
As a Catholic and an apologist-in-training I will never have all the answers and sometimes the answers will never be enough. There may come a time when you will find yourself with your back up against the wall and the only way forward is to make peace, accept it as a moment to grow in humility and offer up kindness. Whatever ends up happening, we must never stop praying for our brothers and sisters of different faiths (or no faith at all).