Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Anonymous Letter

 My groom came home with a cat-that-ate-the canary look last night.
Something really interesting happened to me at work to day.  I got an anonymous letter.

My heart sank, as anonymous letters rarely bode well, until I realized he was still grinning.  So what’s up?

It was a copy from a blog—all the reasons Catholics are wrong and in need of salvation.

I couldn’t believe the next words out of my mouth:  That’s terrific!

Isn’t it though?

And terrific it is.  Someone—a patient or a family member—found my husband’s Catholicism both visible enough and serious enough to try to rescue him from it.  That means that at least to someone, my groom is visibly walking the walk—and probably talking the talk as well.

His staff are aware of his faith, of course—they see his office, which has a couple of statues of St. Peregrine, an icon of St. Luke, two or three rosaries scattered around, and a holy water font amid the rubble of charts and correspondence.  And they see him (and sometimes me with him) disappear into the consulting room on Monday mornings to pray a litany of healing for his patients. 

But for his patients, it must be something different, for they rarely enter his office.  Perhaps it’s the big lapel pin of Christos Pantokrator he wears on his white coat.  Or the pin of St. Peregrine that is on the right cuff of that same white coat, right above the hand he extends in greeting to his new patients and their kin.  Maybe it’s the way he comfortably and casually talks not just about  Jesus but about “my priest,” mass, or the sayings of the saints as though that were the most normal thing in the world.  He's even been known to toss around the odd scriptural reference in ordinary conversation.  Whatever it is, it was enough to move some dear and committed soul who is convinced of the error of the Catholic Church to try to persuade my husband out of it.

Talking about religion isn’t all that unusual around these parts.  Religion is a part of the every day fabric of life.  It’s not unusual for patients to ask doctors to pray for them (come to think of it, that might be another hand-tipper—my husband’s making  the sign of the cross before and after prayer).  But Catholics are a distinct, often quiet minority.   

One of these days, I’ll tackle the letter itself—it portrays itself as written by a “formerly committed” Catholic priest and contains all the usual objections—but for now, I think I’ll just take delight in the fact that someone in my groom’s orbit cared enough about his Catholic soul to try to save it—and knew it was Catholic in the first place.

It’s just too bad that he felt the need to remain anonymous.  Steve bears no ill will to the sender—in fact, I think he’d like the chance to talk, because if we don’t talk openly about these things, how do we ever learn?  And we both know the letter was sent from sincere love--a desire to share the saving love of Christ with someone else.  That's what we Christians are supposed to be about, above all things, right?

If Catholics aren’t visible and vibrant in their faith, how will others ever be attracted away from the half-truths of anti-Catholic blogs to the fullness and richness of the Truth in the Church?  How will they ever, ever come to know Jesus in the ways we are so blessed to know Him? Receiving Him in the Blessed Sacrament, hearing His voice in Confession, encountering Him in matrimony and holy orders and receiving His healing touch in anointing, and in the very Body which is the Church herself....

How will they know... if there is none to preach....(Rom 10:4)?  For my part, I am delighted to know that the sermon of my groom's very life is reaching someone!


  1. Bittersweet, sweet that your husband is doing his vocation and bitter that there is an Acer laptop in the picture.

  2. I understand, Barb, and I would be as excited as you. It's great to be noticed. Unfortunately, most of the notes I got telling me I was doing something wrong were signed, by the boss. Yes, the ex-boss, but still ....