Written by Sherry
Wednesday, 05 December 2007 07:49
And this related story from Iraq - one of many such that I have heard, one of the few that has made it into the media(Catholic News Agency)
"As Fr. Bautista continued speaking with us, he described the fascinating story of a young Muslim woman who was entering the Church under his guidance through the RCIA process. Her story was moving. While working with Americans, this woman, who must remain anonymous, was touched deeply when she realized that the U.S. medical personnel not only treated wounded Americans and Iraqi civilians, but also treated wounded enemy combatants, including one who was known for having killed U.S. Marines. As she put it, “This cannot happen with us.”
This dramatic extension of mercy even to enemy soldiers caused her to take the next cautious step. She asked Father Bautista to “tell me more about Jesus.” As Father described Jesus and his life in the Gospels, one thing stood out among the rest for the Muslim woman he called “Fatima” (not her real name) and that was how kindly Jesus had related to, as she put it, “the two Mary’s.” Fatima was moved to see how Jesus deeply loved Mary, his mother, who was sinless, but also how Jesus deeply loved Mary Magdalene, who was “a great sinner.” As these discussions continued, Fatima reached a point where she said to Father Bautista, “I want to become a Christian.”
Since Father Bautista sees himself as a chaplain for all troops, not just Catholics, he decided to introduce Fatima to other chaplains from Protestant and Orthodox backgrounds. After some time had passed, Fatima returned to Father Bautista and said, “I want to become a Catholic like you.” When Father asked her the reason for her decision, she said, “You were the only one who told me about the other Christians, so you left me free to decide for myself. That’s how I knew this was the right decision.”
As their catechetical lessons developed over time, Fatima’s family discovered her plan and was warned sternly by her father that if she continued on this path, she would be disowned by the entire family and would never have contact with them again. At this point, Father Bautista became concerned for Fatima’s well-being and cautioned her to look carefully at the consequences of her decision and to think seriously before continuing her path into the Church.
Fatima paused for a moment and then looking intently at Father Bautista asked, “Do you give up so easily on Jesus?” The question took Father aback for a moment, but then he thought, “This is incredible; this Muslim woman is already bearing witness to me about how important my own faith is!”
As he related it, this woman’s question had caused him to give greater thanks for his faith and for the great privilege of sharing Christ with others. Fatima is currently continuing the RCIA process with great courage and joy."
It depends a good deal upon her family (although the fact that she could initiate the conversation at all and show up every week for RCIA says a great deal about her relative freedom of movement) but Fatima's life could easily be endangered because of her desire to be baptized.
Please pray for "Fatima" and all who journey toward Christ this Advent.