RCIA: Sometimes they just need an invitation to “come and see.”
A recent study of conversion reveals the three most common elements that influence people to become Catholics, a world view of Christianity; a felt need for spiritual life; and, perhaps most important, a bond with someone within the Church.
Sometimes people who are searching for a meaning in life do not need arguments for the existence of God or reasons why it is good to be a churchgoer.
Our approach must be similar to that used by Jesus. His approach was always personal and direct. He accepted people as they were. He never overburdened them, but he invited them to take the next step in their spiritual journey. We must develop that sensitivity to others people's journeys by listening to their questions, sharing our faith, bringing them to God in our own prayers, and knowing when to invite them to the the next step. For some people the next step might be the one that Jesus offered Andrew, “come and see.”
You might ask: “Why should we do this? Why can't we just leave people to make up their own minds?” As baptized members of the Church, we have received the commission: “go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). It is vital that we share our Christian faith. Many who are searching for God do not have the confidence to come and knock on the Church door. We have to reach out to those who struggle to find meaning in their lives.
There are not one way streets when it comes to human interaction. At first glance, adult Christian initiation seems to focus solely on those seeking admission to t he Church, as if they had everything to learn from us and we had little to gain from them. But their initiation challenges all of us to look again at our own commitment. We must be willing to undergo a transformation ourselves, for each new member changes the existing relationship of a group. The initiation process asks us to consider seriously who we are, what we value, who we could become as the people of God.
RCIA is also good for fallen-away Catholics who want to come back to the Church and learn about the Catholic Faith. Got any good candidates or Catholics in mind? Why not ask them! More to come about when the RCIA program starts.