Have you ever heard of the YouTube channel LizziesAnswers? Neither have I. But she happens to be quite a celebrity on YouTube, and she just announced that she's becoming Catholic. The video (which I placed at the end of this post) was really inspiring and surprising to me. First because of the context of her announcement, but also, and most substantially, because of the content of her video.
Let's start with the context
Her YouTube channel is about relationship advice and life stories, but she talks about God sometimes, too. She's got around 188,000 subscribers. That's serious! So she's definitely a popular figure in YouTube terms, which makes this announcement pretty counter-cultural.
Given her popularity on YouTube, and who I suspect composes her fan base there (modern younglings), it's shocking to me that her fans have not excoriated her over this news. I mean she's 22 years old and draws an understandably young crowd. That's exactly the demographic that believes the Catholic Church executed Galileo, engineered the Black Plague in our secret super-sciencey underground laboratories at the Vatican, killed a gazzilion Jewish Spaniards during the Spanish Inquisition, and made a secret pact with the Illuminati to play a co-supportive role in global domination. The young crowd is usually not fans of Holy Mother Church, they're usually hyper-sensitive and offended by everything, and they can be really aggressive toward people they disagree with. But despite all that I haven't observed any widespread backlash as a result of Lizzie's announcement. Her fans seem pretty supportive. But that wasn't even what surprised me the most.
"...I've seen this sort of thing before."
Here's what really surprised me. I wasn't expecting to be impressed by this announcement video. I've seen this sort of thing before. In my experience it usually plays out like this (and to be clear, I'm not talking about Lizzie here): Some modern young lady finds God because she read two lines in the psalms (likely in an internet meme on Instagram), and those two lines were profound enough to make her realize she needs something more in her life, like God. Which isn't in and of itself a bad thing, but follow me here. So, the young lady in question posts a YouTube video, announcing to the world that she's becoming a Catholic. With the kind of excitement born of intrigue, I play the video and I find that this new convert to Catholicism has no idea what she's getting into. It may start out okay, as she talks about things like the Eucharist and the saints and stuff. But as it progresses I discover that her understanding of the Church, the faith, and the life of a Catholic is off the wall, and her personal theology is a secular philosophy that's godless in its substance, and deist in its sentiment. She—God forgive me—is basically an airhead, she probably has a really good heart and good intentions, but the girl is absolutely not going to become a Catholic. If she does, it won't be for very long...depending on which hippie parish she does or doesn't land at. Seriously, I've seen this before. More than once. Very sad.
But Lizzie's video wasn't like that at all!
And Now the Content!
That girl is high energy and bursting with excitement about the faith. Not only that, but she really understands what she's getting into. It was really refreshing because she starts out sounding like a typical modern twenty-something, so I was expecting to be disappointed. But this girl was on fire and had a really good grasp of the faith. She shows courage and conviction and a hunger for truth. Can somebody point me to magical cabbage patch that brought forth this kid? Are there more like her out there? And I believe so!
Things are happening in the Church. In all my years in Catholic apologetics and evangelization I've seen all kinds of Catholics from all kinds of backgrounds in all sorts of contexts. But I have never seen converts and reverts to the faith talking the way they talk today. It's becoming less and less the exception that young Catholics, or inbound converts, or reverts talk with mastery, skill, fire, and a passion that you'd expect from one of the saints. Believe me when I tell you that things are happening in the Church. The Holy Virgin is on the move. Be ready, because you may be the next little ember that she stokes into a blazing fire for God and the Holy Church. Are you excited yet? You should be 😉
Check out Lizzie's announcement video below, and head over to her channel to show her some support in her video's comments area.