I realized that doing Apologetics is really a hard job. Not because you must learn your faith as much as you can, but because you are catering souls that do not understand what the faith really is. I am very grateful to hear from Sir Edgardo "Chief" de Vera, the founding director of Defensores Fidei Foundation, that when you do Apologetics, you must have empathy towards the other person you dialogue with about faith, and you must know the beginning of him/her why and how he/she arrived at such a decision or conclusion like say, for example, that he/she has an argument that the Catholicism is a false religion. In Sir Chief's brilliant words, an insight came to me while meditating on what he said. I thought about the first chapter of the Holy Gospel of St. John where he started by the words, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God..." It became crystal clear to me that what Sir Chief said makes sense for even God wants Himself to be clear in us so that we might understand who and what God really is from the beginning in order to go through His mysterious person as God; same as we must do when we do Apologetics with our "straying" brethren.
It is very fitting that the concluding ceremony we had for today happened on the time of Advent. Why I say so? For it is very fitting on this season that we meditate upon the reality that we exist because we must arrive and share and proclaim our faith to others. We must not too focus on the Advent or the arrival of the Lord but on the Lord who will arrive to us and for us and on this Advent season, we are called to have our Advents on the people around us, we must arrive at them for we have the Lord in us by the burning hope and love we have for God.
Apologetics is also part of the beginning of Christianity not just what I first thought that only exorcisms of the ancient times gave excitement to those pagans to be baptized when they saw how powerful the God of Christians is when the name of God was invoked to cast out those demons that the pagans thought and worshiped as gods. Apologetics rooted on the person who knew God and about God and defends God when He and about Him are questioned in the open. Apologetics is not just an emphasis on defending what you believe for you defense is already an offense. It is not a gesture of cowardice but a bold gesture of bravery for you do mighty deed for the greater glory of God.
Last but not the least; Apologetics must be done in charity or love and out of love. Not that false love that you compromise what you want to say on defending what you hope for where you let your neighbor live in error for both of you cannot arrive on the Truth which is the conclusion of all, but the love that sees what your straying neighbor wants, an understanding and compassion that he/she needs to enjoy the gift of the Kingdom of heaven here on this earth. Apologetics must be done out of love in order to purify also yourself from doing Apologetics where you believe that your straying neighbor just needs a solid knocking on his/her head, and on doing so you are in a false fire of devotion to the faith. We must be always on guard against impure intentions of ours when doing this great ministry of Apologetics. Again, it must be done in love and out of love for our neighbor whom we must love just as we love ourselves.
To my colleagues in this ministry of Apologetics, may God let Himself be our garment for action in working for Him for His glory and for His Kingdom.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
Mary H. Distributist