I'm reading the Confessions for the third or fourth time to get warmed up for the directed reading course I'm doing in St. Augustine and St. Hilary this semester. I notice new things and am grateful for the book in new ways. This morning I arrived at a new favorite quote: in the midst of his proximate struggle to accept the Catholic faith, Augustine writes:
non docet catholica fides, quod putabamus et vani accusabamus.
"The Catholic faith does not teach that which we supposed or that which we vainly accused it [of teaching.]"
As it was true then, so it is now. False ideas about Catholic doctrine are a great hindrance to evangelization. One even sometimes hears such errors from otherwise educated people, or sees them in otherwise responsible newspapers.
Some of the most common: that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are physically changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, that Mary is to be worshiped, that the Pope is infallible in a general way, that divorce is a sin, etc.
Because of such misrepresentations of Catholic doctrine, we all need to speak and preach our teaching clearly and coherently if we hope to demonstrate well the beauty of its reasonableness.