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  #1  
Old Jan 25, '08, 6:08 pm
howletus howletus is offline
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Default Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

So my older brother is now divorced. He was married in the church and no annulment. He is now living with the girl he carried on an 8 month affair with while his wife was home with their 13 month old daughter and pregnant with his second daughter. He knows where I stand. He seems more concerned with me than God. He says he talked to a priest. They are living together as brother and sister for financial reasons. His girlfriend like the woman he married before her is going through the RCIA program. Not sure where this is coming from. He invited the family to dinner at their new place. I am the only one in a Catholic family of 6 that has made the effort to learn about his faith. I understand why this is wrong. I know what this living situation will lead to. I know the bad example he is setting for his daughters. I know the wedge he is putting between him and the mother of his children.
I know and I don't feel right going. Because he doesn't understand, I think if I say I can't go he would think I am crazy.
"Yeah, it's wrong to live in sin but come on". This is what he would be thinking. I know where he's coming from because I've been there. Not any more. It amazes me and sometimes scares me how acceptable all this is, even among Catholics, and how contradictory this is to the way we are called to live. We all know the 10 commandments but it's just not real when it ends at rules. Bottom line. I don't want to go.

Advice/throughts please...
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  #2  
Old Jan 25, '08, 6:16 pm
j101291 j101291 is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

Don't go if you really don't want to. But... this could be a chance for something good, maybe? If they do end up getting married will you not have any sort of relationship with him/them? You will stil be his children's Aunt, will they be there?

J
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  #3  
Old Jan 25, '08, 6:33 pm
Katie1723 Katie1723 is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

That's a tough one, I will admit. However, if it were me, I would go. Just because it's a chance to be with family.
Kathy
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  #4  
Old Jan 25, '08, 7:42 pm
Monicad Monicad is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

I would be warm and kind to your brother and his girlfriend but I would not go into their home. Do you have children? I will not let my children attend an event at a home where people are "living together" if I can help it.

I had a sister living like this. I never went to visit her because it put me in a spot. She would have wanted to show me around their apartment and I would have been cornered into making comments like "this is a nice place" or "you have a nice view" or (God forbid) "I love your bedroom". It is not so much that I wanted to outcast her, but visiting her put me in a position to have to be polite and act like I was happy she was living in sin. This is something I couldn't do. Also, I couldn't go to her home and lecture her about evil either so I stayed away.

Here is what I did. When she invited me I always smiled politely and said I was sorry I couldn't make it. This was the truth. I tried to be kind about it without lecturing. I guess if she ever had really pushed me into why I never came I would have had to fess up, but that never happened.

You have another unique circumstance and a few twists. This woman broke up a marriage with children. This is awful. On the other hand she is going thru RCIA and they claim to be living as brother and sister and I hope this is true.

You may consider what I did. Just politely smile and say you are so very, very sorry you can't make it. This is true, you are very sorry that you can't go. Or else you can make other plans and tell him you have other plans. This is perhaps a little sneaky but at least then you won't be lying/sinning by saying it. then you are off the hook without lying, feeling pressure or hurting his feelings and causing an arguement.

Hope this is useful for you. You are in my prayers.
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  #5  
Old Jan 25, '08, 8:15 pm
Lexee15 Lexee15 is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

I am going to give you my opinion from the perspective of your former sister in law as I have been in her shoes...almost to a t.

I, as the wife, have felt extremely betrayed...not only by my stbx husband but also by his family, who knowing what he did and how he treated ds, dd and me, acted like all was ok. It's a strange feeling to see people, who claimed to be your family and love you, act like you meant nothing and that all is ok with the behavior of this family member.

I don't want ds anywhere near them because I know they have no real values or morals, I do think that when you put your foot down and don't tolerate behavior like that it sends a message.

You can be loving and charitable without being part of the behavior and condoning it. I would suggest that you don't go if you feel as strongly about it (sounds like it from your post) and I admire you for not being ok with this behavior. It's hurtful and destructive, if your brother wants an explanation give it to him...tell him he was wrong in his behavior and you don't feel comfortable condoning it. I can tell you it would have gone a long way in my healing had someone stood up to my stbx husband. And although I don't know for sure...I doubt very much that they are living as brother and sister...just my two cents.
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  #6  
Old Jan 25, '08, 8:45 pm
howletus howletus is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

I don't know if they are actually living as brother and sister. I just don't see how if he was taking this relationship and his faith seriously they would allow their financial situation to put them in a living situation of CONSTANT temptation. This relationship started by her being his coworker. She was also in a struggling marriage at the time. I don't see a lot of self control here. This is why I don't believe they are living as brother and sister.
I'm also thinking, if I just say I can't make it without giving a reason, he might think I am finally accepting his situation but just can't make it. I am Godfather to his first daughter. I remember on the day of her Baptism, he hugged me and in tears credited me for bringing him back to the church. A year later he's going through a divorce for carrying on an 8 month affair with a woman in his office. I love my brother. We love being around eachother. For that reason I want to go. But for fear of sending the wrong message, I'd rather stick to my guns. I don't think he's even living like this because he's consciously going against a church teaching. I just don't think he gets it and it's a constant struggle for me to find the words to get through to him.
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  #7  
Old Jan 25, '08, 9:05 pm
Lexee15 Lexee15 is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

Stick to your guns.

My only sister, whom I love very much, has considered getting back together with her son's father. He is divorced from a wife of twelve years, my sister got pregnant with my nephew while he was only separated from his wife. They are Christian, married in a protestant church...so the marriage is presumed valid.

She knows exactly where I stand if she decided to get back together with him. I told her our relationship would change and I would only see her and my nephew alone, away from where ever they lived and NEVER with him. She got her feelings hurt because she thought I was rejecting her son. I told her it would hurt me wayyyy more than her because I wouldn't get to see him as often and he is my Godson and I love him to pieces.

I told her that getting together with her son's father would be committing adultery and I would NOT condone that, my loyalty was to God first and if meant not having a relationship with her well then things would have to be that way.

It's hard, very hard to say that and to go through with it, but she knows where I stand and it would be her choice, but she knows the consequences, as painful as it is.

Stay strong, your loyalty should be to God first and his commandments, continue to pray for strength.
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  #8  
Old Jan 25, '08, 9:13 pm
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newbetx newbetx is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

Jesus ate with sinners.

Jesus said to forgive your brother 70 times 7(?) times.

Voting with your (dusted off) feet is an option once all the other options are exhausted.
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  #9  
Old Jan 26, '08, 12:03 am
howletus howletus is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

I think you're missing the point here. It's not that I don't forgive him. I love him. I can love the sinner and hate the sin. However, doesn't forgiveness come from repenting of your sins.
He didn't fall and pick himself up. He is living in sin.
He has made sin a way of life. I don't want to condone this by just accepting it. I may be the only one in his life to make him think about this.
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  #10  
Old Jan 26, '08, 2:31 am
goofyjim goofyjim is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

Personal decision that noone can really answer for you. I would eat with my brother anyhow regardless of what anyone thinks.
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  #11  
Old Jan 26, '08, 8:17 am
Monicad Monicad is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by howletus View Post
...I'm also thinking, if I just say I can't make it without giving a reason, he might think I am finally accepting his situation but just can't make it...
I think you should pray about what is your true objective. Is your objective simply to not attend the event? Or is your objective to tell your brother you disapprove?

I am 100% in support of you telling your brother what you think...however in my opinion you should use prudence in finding the right time when, perhaps, his heart may be open to hearing it.

I beleive over the course of time, that your brother will get the "hint" that you do not approve as you continually are unable to visit with him. I think my sister got the hint over time. Actually this worked to an advantage because I think she had a great respect for what I did. Instead of blasting her for being immoral I quietly and politely stayed away, and she respected me for that. Granted, she was unaware of my religious objection immediately, instead she was exposed to it over time.

This may not work for you. I am just re-stating what I did as I beleive in no way that by saying you can't make it, somehow you are condoning it! Confrontation is not always the answer. In addition, I would call your sister in law frequently and give her your love and support. I can see her viewing this as a betrayal, how sad.

Prayers for your family, hope this helps.
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  #12  
Old Jan 26, '08, 8:28 am
leonie leonie is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

I have two thoughts. One kind of contradicts the other.

The first is my policy on co habitating relatives is that I will go to their homes, but I won't take my kids. For my brothers and sister, I verbally have rebuked them (with love and gentleness) about their choices--just one time. I've never had any positive response from this action, but I take the seriously admonition:

Quote:
Eczekial 3:1819 If I say to the wicked, you shall surely die, and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will required at your hand. But if you warn the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you will have saved your life.
The second is that I had a recent epiphany that we should take these dilemmas first to Jesus in Adoration before (or even instead of) seeking others' opinions. So, take this problem to
Adoration first! Jesus will be a far better advisor than we can be.
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  #13  
Old Jan 26, '08, 8:52 am
Em_in_FL Em_in_FL is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newbetx View Post
Jesus ate with sinners.
This was going to be my exact answer...

How can you teach/share/evangelize by example if you don't actively show an example?
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  #14  
Old Jan 26, '08, 9:27 am
Melissa2007 Melissa2007 is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

I would go.
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  #15  
Old Jan 26, '08, 12:03 pm
SilenceISgolden SilenceISgolden is offline
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Default Re: Brother living in sin invites you to dinner. Do you go?

leonie said:

The first is my policy on co habitating relatives is that I will go to their homes, but I won't take my kids.



I AGREE!!!! I'm dealing with the same thing. I personally don't go at all because my sister openly flaunts it (like a 3 year old saying nee-ner nee-ner nee-ner) , she is not repentant and she is bringing her 3 kids into the mix and damaging them in the process. She will allow me access to her kids whenever I want so I deal with them seperately. Other people I deal with by not exposing my kids to it.

PP said Jesus ate with sinners.......VERY TRUE. But while he ate with them, he showed love and compassion and POINTED OUT THE ERROR of their ways. If you can do that, go!
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