But that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn anything from our Protestant friends and family members. We’re not talking about doctrine or liturgy, which are found in their fullness in the Catholic Church, but about the devotional lives of many Protestants.
Specifically, here are three things we can learn from Protestants.
1. The importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus
Let’s be honest: The personal devotion many Protestants have to Jesus really puts many Catholics to shame. Sure, we rightly critique some Protestants’ reduction of Christianity to a “just-me-and-Jesus” faith. But, the fact is, Jesus wants each of us to develop a deep personal relationship with Him. That’s something He made clear in revelations to saints such as St. Faustina and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
Our Lord yearns for us to speak to Him throughout the day, even about seemingly insignificant stuff. Yet, so many Catholics just go through the motions of their faith without really nurturing their personal relationship with Christ.
Which is sad, because we have a great gift that Protestants lack — the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist! We have no excuse.
2. A passion for Sacred Scripture
The Bible is a Catholic book. In the early centuries of the Church, the magisterium discerned which of the many competing writings were truly inspired by God. In the past hundred years, popes have been exhorting Catholics to make Sacred Scripture a bigger part of their lives.
Yet, it feels like we’re still falling far short of our Protestant friends in our enthusiasm for the Word of God. But there’s no excuse anymore, as there are so many Catholic resources out there to help even complete beginners get into Scripture.
3. A drive for evangelization
You’ve probably experienced it before: A Protestant friend, family member, or coworker asks you out of the blue if you’ve been “saved.” They may then invite you to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior to ensure your salvation.
Of course, the theology behind this is erroneous, as we don’t believe in “once saved, always saved.” But you can’t help but respect many Protestants’ enthusiastic efforts in bringing people to Jesus.
What about you? What are you doing to share the truths of Christ and His Church with those around you? This is part of our baptismal calling as Catholics. As with studying Scripture, there are so many resources available to help you learn how to convincingly share your Catholic Faith.
Let’s step up our game on this!
Maybe the suggestion that you can learn anything from Protestants is making you squirm a bit in your seat. And, again, we’re NOT saying that Catholicism itself lacks anything.
But while our Catholic faith is complete, our own personal devotion may be weak. And God may very well use a Protestant friend or family member in our lives to show us where we need to improve.
In a spirit of humility, let’s accept that challenge!
Post-Vatican II Catholics are becoming more traditional.
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