Helping Others Fall in Love with God | Jim Graves | CWR
Terry Barber talks about evangelization, the purpose of life, and why many Catholics live as if God doesn't exist.
Terry Barber, 56, grew up in the Los Angeles area, and enjoyed a successful career in real estate. In fact, by age 25, he’d acquired enough property to comfortably retire. So, he decided he’d focus on a new career: working with other Catholic apologists to win souls for Christ.
He founded a variety of Catholic evangelization apostolates, including St. Joseph Communications and the Catholic Resource Center, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Lighthouse Media. He is also the co-host of The Jesse & Terry Show, a Catholic apologetics radio program he does with Jesse Romero and which airs on 300 radio stations nationwide.
Barber's “one and only” book on Catholic evangelization, How to Share Your Faith with Anyone: A Practical Manual of Catholic Evangelization, has just been published by Ignatius Press. Drawing heavily on personal stories from his lifetime of Catholic evangelism, Barber offers tips to the average layman on how he might help win souls for Christ.
Barber recently spoke with CWR.
CWR: What prompted you to write this book?
Barber: (Laughing) Father Joseph Fessio [founder and editor of Ignatius Press] and his staff twisted my arm until I agreed to write it. They loved hearing my stories of evangelizing people I meet in everyday life, in the grocery store and on the soccer field. I’m not a theologian or philosopher; I’m an ordinary man trying to be a good husband and father and provide for my family. I share stories of living and sharing my Catholic faith in that context.
One story, for example, involves a woman who came up to speak to me at a Catholic conference. I was there selling our Catholic books and CDs. She asked if I remembered her, and I admitted I didn’t. She said that 28 years before, I had taught her in a CCD class at St. Christopher Parish in West Covina. She had gotten pregnant out-of-wedlock, and had stopped going to the class because she was embarrassed. She remembered I had said, “If you have a problem, come before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and ask his help.”
So, she went to church. Coincidentally, she saw me going in to make a Holy Hour. Without my even realizing it, she watched me pray. Her boyfriend, the father of her child, wanted her to have an abortion. Sitting there with me in that church, she realized she couldn’t do it. She had her baby.
Twenty-eight years later, at that conference, she said, “Let me introduce you to my daughter.” She brought over a young woman of about 27, and she said, “Elizabeth, this is the man who helped me make the decision to keep you.” Her daughter then gave me a big hug
The moral of this story is that people are watching you, even when you don’t know it.
Another story I share is of my late father, when he was in the intensive care unit of the hospital. I was allowed five minutes every hour to go in and see him. A nurse told me I could go in. I went in, held his hand and spoke to him about the value of redemptive suffering. I asked him to squeeze my hand if he could understand me. He did.
I left, only to discover that I had been in the wrong room. The man was pale white and covered with a sheet, and I mistook him for my own father. He apparently benefitted from my words, nonetheless. It demonstrates that God will use you, if you give yourself to God.
CWR: One of the questions you discuss in your book is, “Why don’t Catholics evangelize?” What is your answer?Continue reading at www.CatholicWorldReport.com.