Responses to Missionary Objections

Objection (O): They’re all about numbers

Response (R): It is true that numbers are certainly not telling in mission work. Depth is necessary for salvation and sainthood–THAT should indeed be the goal. Further, this evangelization should be organic and not mechanic or forced into a hybrid business model. But, assuming we are counting truly formed and geuinely zealous apostles, do we not want as many as possible?  Does Christ not want everyone to be saved? Of course we want as many souls as possible to live this life more and more deeply with the Blessed Trinity. SOCA is predicated on the belief that this comes as a fruit of focus on the apostle’s own interior life and the interior of those souls’ whom he influences. Rather than merely negating a “numbers attitude”, SOCA’s approach is to all-the-more emphasize the interior life.

Objection (O): Trying to evangelize is using people

It is clearly uncharitable (at the least) to see someone as a means to achieving an end of a checklist-pyramid scheme. Now, this is not the only way to see evangelization. I would say that it is can be a tempation for anyone in apsotolic work to see someone merely as a means. But I use the word temptation. 

Another consideration is the general outlook an apostle has toward evangelization. If his theology is questionable, so will his work be. The Protestant theology of grace is a great example of this: with the notions of “once saved, always saved” and “faith alone”, the practical conclusion is that the apostle’s goal is simply to have as many people as possible “once and for all” proclaim Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Then these people can be checked off and nothing further is necessary. Those who merely take Protestant practices but claim to reject their theology must be weary of the subconcious assumptions that go in to them. Indeed, a Catholic apostle’s “practical theology” can become tainted if one is not aware of these theological roots in such practices and actively resists acting in such a way that it is true. Rather, Catholic theology understands the role of original sin, the capacity of mortal sin’s destructive ability toward the life of grace in the soul, the need for constant growth in virtue, the reality of lesser and greater merit in Heaven, and, overall, the transformative nature of grace within the depths of one’s soul that cooperates with nature in acts of virtue (“infused”) leading to salvation. In practice, this means there is not only necessity to continue striving after becoming a Catholic, but urgency to always be striving to advance, and greater value in such advance–and the dire need to avoid even the near occasion of mortal sin. Therefore, a Catholic apostle will insist not only on the “checklist” of someone “becoming a disciple”, but their formation and solid foundation of piety and virtue (before considering them “good to go” and “saved once and for all”).

A realistic consideration in this is hurt feelings among

 

They are exclusive

It is just a matter of making Catholicism cool

It is just an exact model that is too fixed

They just want people to come to Bible Study

They are too rigid

They are not communal enough in going to activities with everyone else

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