Recently I spoke with a friend I have not seen in a few years. She’s a lovely woman and from a very strong Catholic family – some of her sisters are nuns and some of her brothers are priests. And I know that for her, religious faith has always been very important and a central part of both her life and her identity. And so I was absolutely dumbstruck when she told me, almost casually, that she had left the Catholic Church and become ‘born again’This was about the last thing I would have expected to hear from her. Because of the situation we were in at that moment, it was not possible to take the conversation – such as it was – any further; all I could do was listen, without really having anything helpful or substantial to offer. And that is what left my heart troubled afterwards, as it remains now.

I’ve thought about it a lot in the few days since then and it has been in my prayers a great deal – partly because this is what I would generally do when something troubles me; but also because I can see nothing else that I am able to do at this point in time. I feel completely powerless. Perhaps in some ways, that is very true – I have no power or ability to change this situation and apart from this, I really have no right to do so. She has free will and it is a decision she has voluntarily made. And I respect this. But still, I will pray about it – perhaps not necessarily for change, but certainly to turn it over to the Lord and leave it all to Him.

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