5 Simple Ways to Share Your Catholic Faith

Simple Ways to Share Your Catholic Faith from Letters from the Saints Blog with an image of a Crucifix on a Bible

We Are All Missionaries

What do you think of when you think of a missionary? You might think of someone in a foreign country toiling away day and night trying to help people meet basic needs and sharing the Gospel when possible. For years, the missionary struggles to communicate as he learns the new language. And after years of hard work and prayer, the missionary reaches a breakthrough when one bold individual decides it is time to be baptized. Praise the Lord! And, send out the great news to the donors back home that their prayers and gifts have started to yield fruit.

Yes. That is one type of missionary. But, there are other missionaries much closer to home.

The truth is, if you want to see a missionary in real life, you just need to look into the mirror. Each one of us is called to be a missionary. We are all called to share the Gospel regardless of whether we are living overseas or in our hometowns. God has called you and me to be His witnesses to the people He has placed in our lives.

It is not up to the priests and religious. No, it is up to us. We are out there in families, communities, and workplaces where priests just do not have the time to be. The same is true for religious. They cannot be all the places that the typical layperson can be.

So how can you and I be missionaries?

Let me suggest several very simple and easy ways to share our precious Catholic faith.

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1 Snail Mail Evangelization

Since this site is all about Catholic snail mail, let me start with some simple ideas you can do when you send snail mail.

Return Address Labels

Use return address labels that share the faith. It can be as basic as a small cross or crucifix next to your name and address. Or it can be a picture of Jesus, the Blessed Mother, or the Holy Family. Just include something that speaks about our Catholic faith.

Stamps: Christmas in July

Post your letters with Christmas stamps year-round. During Christmas season, stock up on the stamps that show the Blessed Mother with the Child Jesus. Then, use them "out of season". Or, if you did not stock up last Christmas, you can often order the stamps from your postal service's web site even when it is not December.

Christmas Cards

If you send Christmas cards, mail Christmas cards that are about Christmas. Do not be afraid to wish people, "Merry Christmas!" Christmas is about the celebration of the birth of Jesus. It is not about some vague, non-commital, "Happy Holidays!"

As a bonus, you can also say "Merry Christmas!" when you go to stores during December. Sales people are often told to say, "Happy Holidays". That might be fine for them, but you are getting ready to celebrate Christmas. And, it is alright to share that.

Write Checks that Pray it Forward

In a similar vein, if you still write checks, consider getting ones that share some aspect of the faith through an image, quote, or Bible verse.

Send Your Mail with a Prayer

Before you drop your bill or letter in the mail, say a prayer for the person who will receive it. Ask the Lord to be with that person or for the Blessed Mother to cover that person with her mantle of holy wisdom and protection. It only takes a moment.

You can also write S.A.G. on your snail mail envelope to intrust your bill or letter and the recipient to the prayers of St. Anthony of Padua. (Read the full St. Anthony story behind this practice.)

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2 Share Good Catholic Books

Books are a great way to share the Catholic faith. There have been many conversions from books, and reading books is a great way to enkindle and strengthen faith.

Donate Books to the Library

You can share the Catholic faith by donating good Catholic books to your local libraries. Check with your local public and school libraries to find out how to donate books. Then, give the libraries books that are in good condition (new or gently used) in order for the library to put the books into circulation. Unfortunately, many libraries have very poor selections of faithful Catholic books. This is a great opportunity to help with that.

After you added some good books, when someone goes searching at the public library to learn about the Catholic faith, that library patron will find a good Catholic book that will teach him or her the truth. There are many great books out there, but even just consider donating a copy of the Catechism or a Catholic Bible. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Even books like Catholicism for Dummies. Or, good Catholic fiction such as the Father Brown mysteries by Chesterton would make good donations.

A Little Library with the door open and books inside (Credit: Madalyn Cox)

Donate Books to Little Libraries

Another place to donate Catholic books is to a local Little Library. If you have never heard of Little Libraries, they are privately run miniature libraries where people can borrow books and leave books for others to borrow. There is no check out or check in system. In most cases, people set up a Little Library on the edge of their property next to a sidewalk to make it accessible. Then people are free to borrow or leave books to be borrowed.

For Little Libraries, I would suggest good Catholic fiction that might be appealing to people to read. Or give good biographies of saints or other prominent Catholics (Louis Pasteur, for instance). Just think of something that someone might pick up as an interesting book to read. I would steer away from Bibles or Catechisms because they might just get tossed. (I think, for instance, if I ran a Little Library and someone kept leaving copies of the Book of Morman what I would do with those.)

Help Your Parish Library

Also, do not forget your parish library or local Catholic school's library. Some parish libraries are stuck with books that are not only dated, but stray from the doctrines of the faith. You can donate some good Catholic books that are fully orthodox and help your fellow parishoners grow in their faith. (For example, donate books from authors such as Scott Hahn, Brad Pitre, or Mike Aqualina.)

3 Wear Out Your Faith: Catholic Paraphanelia

Today, there all kinds of ways to share the Catholic faith with things we use and wear. Many of us are ready to wear a shirt or hat that shows our support for a college, professional sports team, or clothing brand. Are we willing to wear or use something that shares the Good News?

Here are some ideas:

- Use a Catholic mug at work for your coffee or tea.
- Wear clothes that share the faith: t-shirts, hats, socks, scarves, sweatshirts, aprons, etc.
- Put up a prayer card or two in your cubicle, office, or locker at your work place.
- Put Catholic stickers on the lid of your laptop. (This is not just for millenials.)
- Add bumper stickers to your car
- Print out a copy of a beautiful piece of artwork that shares the Catholic faith and display that at your workplace. (The Catholic Church has the corner on the market for beautiful artwork. There are centuries of great art.)

Will this do any good?

Most of these ideas are very simple ones. And, that might have you thinking, can I really share the faith with a postage stamp or a mug? Will that really make a difference in some person's life? And, the answer is a resounding, "Yes". These things might be small, but God can take our very simple efforts and use them for His purposes.

It is a bit like having the child-like faith that Jesus said we needed to have to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Like little children, we offer our efforts, no matter how small they might seem, and let Jesus do the rest. He will take our offering and help it to bear fruit.

Do you remember the feeding of the five thousand? Jesus took the young boy's five loaves and two fish and multiplied them to feed thousands of people.

Hungry for the Truth

Also, keep in mind, we are living in a world that is starving for the Truth. God made each of us for Himself Who is the Truth. Yet, sadly, so many of us get caught up in all kinds of things that take us away from our Creator and Savior. Even a small thing can get people thinking about God. It might not even be conscious, but those holy images and ideas can enter into the subconscious where God helps use that to bring people to Himself.

And, think about our own lives. We pour all kinds of things into our minds on a daily basis. Some of them are good. Some are not so good. And some of these ideas we put into our minds are simply a waste of time. By sharing your faith, you are trying to add to the good things that people can consume. We use holy reminders, as Mother Angelica of EWTN called them, in our own lives. These are simply opportunities to share these holy reminders with others.

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4 The Most Import Ingredient

In every recipe there is generally an important ingredient that needs to be there or the whole thing is a complete disaster. Well, in the case of sharing the Catholic faith, the most important ingredient is one I am sure you can guess. And, that is prayer. We need to be leading lives of prayer to be good missionaries.

Prayer opens us up to be changed by the Lord. Prayer allows us to be open to what God wants us to do. Prayer helps us be creative and bold in sharing our Catholic faith. And, prayer allows us to be faithful witnesses by the way we live. There is no point in professing that we are Catholics if we are not striving to be faithful to the Lord and His Church.

Actions Speak Louder than Words

It does not mean that we need to be perfect, but it does mean we need to be trying to exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit. If you are rude to the cashier at the store then wish the person a "Merry Christmas" before hopping in your car with your Catholic bumper stickers, you might not have given much of a good witness of the faith.

Or, if you leave a measly tip at the restaurant, but write "God Bless!" after signing your name to pay the check, no one is going to be impressed by your Christian charity or kindness. To be people of integrity, that is living the whole faith, our words, actions, thoughts, and efforts to share the faith need to line up with the Gospel. The Golden Rule can be a guide. We should simply treat people the way that we would want to be treated.

So, first, let's continue to grow in our prayer lives in order to be faithful to the Lord and to be better missionaries.

A Little Prayer goes a Long Way

Next, say prayers for the people for whom you are trying to share the faith. Pray for relatives. Pray for co-workers. Pray for the person to whom you are about to send an email. Pray for the person standing in front of you in line.

The prayer does not need to be anything in particular unless you know something about that person. You can just pray, "Jesus, I pray for that person's deeper conversion and salvation. Amen." Or, you can pray, "Jesus, be with that person today." And, you can simply try to be open to how the Holy Spirit guides you to pray.

The Lord can use your prayer no matter what you say. God knows what that person needs. You are making a little sacrifice of your time and effort for that person's salvation, but realistically, it does not take much effort.

5 Learn how to be a Missionary from the Saints

Finally, consider the lives of the saints. Some were missionaries who shared the Gospel boldly in person like the St. Paul and St. Francis Xavier. And, then, there St. Therese of Lisieux who lived most of her adult life in a Carmelite convent. Yet, the Church has named her a patron of missionaries because her heart and prayers were on fire for spreading the Gospel around the world. She teaches us another important way that we can be missionaries--in the little things and in our hearts which burn with the desire to help the Lord save souls.

In their lives, the saints knew that we are called to be missionaries. And, through their obedience to God's will, they strove to share the Gospel where the Lord planted them.

We can learn from their examples to help us be better Christians and the salt and light that the Lord called us to be.

And an easy way to learn about the saints is through stories about the saints. To receive free weekly saints stories, just sign up below to a receive a new saint story in your inbox every week.

Sign up below to receive free weekly stories about the saints. Let these stories inspire you to live and share your Catholic faith.

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