ashamed

I normally say a prayer and make the sign of the cross (forehead, heart, left, right shoulder) before each meal.

My occupation requires me to eat a lot of meals with business associates and coworkers (sales rep). Sometimes, I fail to say my prayer and make the sign of the cross when I am out with others, out of fear of ridicule.

It makes me sick. I am ashamed. I keep thinking about Peter when he denied the Lord before he was crucified. Why do I have a problem with this, asides from the fact that I am shallow and not a good Christian? Anybody else ever have this problem?

Dear friend

Everyone is afraid of how their peers will perceive them, you should not be ashamed of considering yourself in the light of your peers, that is to some extent a natural instinct, however we are called not to think of our ‘self’.

I went through this dilemma and have and still do receive some odd looks and comments about saying grace and making the Sign of the Cross at meal times when I am eating out at friends homes, family homes or restaurants, but after a period of struggle with it I decided that the fact remains and that I stick to is…

This is my faith, I do not make anyone else come to my faith, they are free to do as they wish, therefore so am I free to do as I wish and I wish to serve God in His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, that being the case, if anyone would comment or ridicule me, they are rude and ignorant, I will pray for them and not worry about any ridicule or comments I receive, it is not I that they ridicule, it is Christ Jesus and for that I am sad, but for the bearing of the ridicule I am glad, it is a blessing and should I serve the Lord until death, He will reward the calm endurance of ridicule and hatred in His Name…‘Those who acknowledge Me before men, I will acknowledge before My Father’ (paraphrased)

I can tell you, I sometimes feel small and belittled inside, but what does it matter how I feel about this? All that matters is Jesus.

Then again you may be surprised that someone may say ‘Amen’ when they think you have finished saying your grace as once happened to me.

Don’t be ashamed of yourself for this, go on forward again and do as your heart is convicted to do by the Holy Spirit. Look at St Peter, look at the great Saint he went on to be, please don’t persecute yourself with this, but turn around and do as the Holy Spirit is telling you to do…become the great Saint also! You are not shallow nor are you not a good Christian, this is the journey in faith friend and it’s a tough long hard road, Jesus is right with you, don’t be afraid.

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

You sometimes feel like you are “forcing you religion” into the group by being so visual with your faith (ie., sign of the cross instead of merely bowing your head silently and then just eating). I say, we are coroprate beings and we pray with our minds AND bodies.

I find that jumping right into conversation about something nonreligious immediately after signing myself with the Cross does two things: 1) It gives people permission to engage you in conversation without having to verbally acknowledge your “religiosity”. 2) It gives the sense that you are completely comfortable with prayer and that it is something entirely natural to you. You see no disconnect between praying and then having a friendly chat. People tend to feel excluded with religion, but they don’t have to. Your actions may actually cause them to examine why such a thing as prayer does NOT come so naturally to THEM.

On the other hand, it is surely possible to say one’s meal prayer silently and without calling attention to it when dining with people not of like mind who might be put off by it.

If you look at each encounter with a person to be an opportunity to do good to his soul, you must consider your tactics. If you are at the point in your relationship with someone that you know setting a good example by praying before a meal will benefit him, go ahead. If you don’t know the person at all or know that your prayer will annoy him, or cause him to ridicule you and God, then perhaps this is not the time to evangelize by saying grace in an obvious way.

When we serve other souls, we must first get to know them to figure out how to draw them to Christ. We need not jump right into talking about God and faith. We must lay the groundwork, develop trust and respect for each other and ask for God’s help to discern how and when to speak about Him to others. To wait to bring God into the encounter in this way is certainly not to deny Him. It is to serve Him intelligently. Of course, if we use this as an excuse for our own cowardice, that is an entirely different affair. If it is plain that now is the time to speak about God or say your meal prayer with a person and you don’t because of fear, you have indeed failed.

The whole idea is to be effective in bringing other souls to Christ. There is no single way of doing this that applies to every situation.

N.B. One of my favorite ways to find out where a person stands with respect to God and faith is to talk about weddings - theirs, if they’re on the young side, or their children’s if they’re older. You can get a lot of insight into a person’s faith life this way, without scaring them off. You’ll deal very differently with a person who speaks lovingly of his/her Nuptial Mass and with one who fondly recalls a barefoot wedding on the beach.

Betsy

Don’t be ashamed, Anonymoususer! It if perfectly all right to say your prayers mentally, and you can even make the sign of the cross mentally. Try it! There may come a time when you feel comfortable doing it openly, but until then pray silently and don’t sweat it.

anonymoususer]I normally say a prayer and make the sign of the cross (forehead, heart, left, right shoulder) before each meal.

…good, it should be comfortable and natural…

My occupation requires me to eat a lot of meals with business associates and coworkers (sales rep). Sometimes, I fail to say my prayer and make the sign of the cross when I am out with others, out of fear of ridicule.

…that’s ok, you should feel comfortable, and your not causing others to feel uncomfortable as well… God know what’s in your heart, he knows you thinking of him, and after all it’s what’s in your heart that counts… what if you had no arms? Would your thoughts an prayers be any less meaningful to God…?

It makes me sick. I am ashamed.

…i think your being too hard on yourself…IMHO.

I keep thinking about Peter when he denied the Lord before he was crucified.

…well, your not denying the Lord, no one has asked you if you believe or know the Lord…

Why do I have a problem with this, asides from the fact that I am shallow and not a good Christian? Anybody else ever have this problem

…again, you are being too hard on yourself… shallow? i think not!! Not a good Christian?? Huh, show me one that doesn’t question themselves from time to time… or sins from time to time.
Your not alone my friend… you are in very good company… stick close to us… we can use your help and prayers too… heck, it’s good to know and hear that there are other imperfect people out there besides me…

http://jeannero.free.fr/dessins-animes-2/SpaceGhost.gif

[quote=space ghost]…good, it should be comfortable and natural…

…that’s ok, you should feel comfortable, and your not causing others to feel uncomfortable as well… God know what’s in your heart, he knows you thinking of him, and after all it’s what’s in your heart that counts… what if you had no arms? Would your thoughts an prayers be any less meaningful to God…?

…i think your being too hard on yourself…IMHO.

…well, your not denying the Lord, no one has asked you if you believe or know the Lord…

…again, you are being too hard on yourself… shallow? i think not!! Not a good Christian?? Huh, show me one that doesn’t question themselves from time to time… or sins from time to time.
Your not alone my friend… you are in very good company… stick close to us… we can use your help and prayers too… heck, it’s good to know and hear that there are other imperfect people out there besides me…

http://jeannero.free.fr/dessins-animes-2/SpaceGhost.gif
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Dear Mr Spaceghost

:clapping: Very well put!

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

Another point to consider is that if you are at a business lunch meeting, you may not be allowed by your employer, or possibly by law to pray openly at this time for fear of offending clients or business associates.

Dear friends

I cannot believe what I am reading ‘for fear of offending people’…well this country in the UK is a free country and so is the USA last time I looked, there is no restriction in any place for any person to say a prayer whether they are Christian, Muslim, or any other faith. Muslims lay down their mats 5 times a day wherever they are and pray facing towards Mecca, we as Christians are entitled to be free to pray wherever we are. If an employer descriminates against the freedom to pray that is against Human and Civil Rights…there are laws that protect the freedom of humanity to practice their religion in your country as well as my own.

It would not be proper of you to make a big show of saying grace, it would be unfair for you to ask everyone around you to join you in prayer if you don’t know that they too are Catholic ans say grace, but it is not improper to bow your head silently say your grace and make the Sign of the Cross. If a person chooses to be offended by that, that frankly is their problem and not yours.

Are we now to ask people ‘If it doesn’t offend you may I say the prayers of my faith?’

Being afraid of offending someone with Christ Jesus?..Oh I don’t think so!!!

Who do we love first, God or man?

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

Unfortunately, springbreeze, here in the USA the rights of people to be free of undesired religious influences now outweigh the rights of people to exercise their religious beliefs! So, for example, a public school teacher who made the sign of the cross in the presence of pupils, would need to be concerned about a lawsuit, which would probably be successful…

[quote=urquhart]Unfortunately, springbreeze, here in the USA the rights of people to be free of undesired religious influences now outweigh the rights of people to exercise their religious beliefs! So, for example, a public school teacher who made the sign of the cross in the presence of pupils, would need to be concerned about a lawsuit, which would probably be successful…
[/quote]

Dear friend

I see what you are saying but the absurdity of it doesn’t bypass me nor does the injustice of it, still there are human rights to practice faith. Can you site me any such cases for my interest?

So who do we love first…God or man?

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

[quote=springbreeze]Dear friend

I see what you are saying but the absurdity of it doesn’t bypass me nor does the injustice of it, still there are human rights to practice faith. Can you site me any such cases for my interest?

So who do we love first…God or man?

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa
[/quote]

Hi Teresa,

It is a fine line between the rights.

Freedom to practice on one side, and right to abstain on the other.

Those who wish to abstain, have been successful in preventing others from praying outwardly in some public places. I think it is mostly in a place of public occupation, as a teacher, or even a business luncheon, as I mentioned.

I’m not sure exactly how I feel. If someone really does not believe, I really don’t want to force the issue at a business luncheon. There is also customer relations to be considered.

School is a different situation to me—this is a Christian country, and we should pray —we sure need it!!!

Not always correct LOL.:smiley: A couple of weeks ago the fire alarm system where I work would not allow us to lock up for the night. So I asked the mgr if she minded if I said a couple of prayers. Well we it worked. System reset we went home.:smiley: :wink: :dancing:

I remember how visible the sign of the cross was when I was a kid. It said “here is someone who follows Christ.” WEhen we all get back to outward signs of faith on a regular and daily basis, the faith will revive.

‘Do not hide your light under a bushel, but set it on the lampstand so that it may give light to all of the room’

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

It is not a matter of hiding the Faith, it is about imposing your beliefs on others, which may be against the law, depending on the situation.

Remember we are obliged to obey lawful authority.

[quote=Mysty101]It is not a matter of hiding the Faith, it is about imposing your beliefs on others, which may be against the law, depending on the situation.

Remember we are obliged to obey lawful authority.
[/quote]

Dear friend

If it is against the state law for a me to make the Sign of the Cross whilst silently saying Grace wherever I am, then let them arrest me.

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

[quote=Mysty101]It is not a matter of hiding the Faith, it is about imposing your beliefs on others, which may be against the law, depending on the situation.

Remember we are obliged to obey lawful authority.
[/quote]

this is not Saudi Arabia, we are allowed to practice and profess our faith publicly and there is private or government entity that has the authority, under the bill of rights, to abrogate that right.

I pray before meals, in public and private, because I can, people died to give me that freedom so I practice it, like the right to vote and all my other freedoms.

[quote=puzzleannie]this is not Saudi Arabia, we are allowed to practice and profess our faith publicly and there is private or government entity that has the authority, under the bill of rights, to abrogate that right.

I pray before meals, in public and private, because I can, people died to give me that freedom so I practice it, like the right to vote and all my other freedoms.
[/quote]

Exactly. I think Catholics are being stripped of the facets and outward symbols of their faith because of all this ridiculous political correctness. Politically correct to who, man or God? Political correctness is an untruth, it is a lie! We know who is the father of lies. We as Catholics need only obey the state law as long as that law does not contravene Church law.

We should make the Sign of the Cross whenever we pray, wherever we are and whenever we pass a Church where our Lord truly resides in The Real Presence of His Blessed Sacrament. As I said before we don’t go about making a big show of it, we humbly pray and make the Sign of the Cross.

Thank God we are free to worship God as we do. The gift of freedom that has not always been present in my country, the UK, and so it should not be wasted. In the past Catholics have been martyred for practising the faith in the UK. We now, both in the Uk and the USA are graced with freedom to practice our faith and we should do so without fear, anxiety, apology or shame.

God Bless you Puzzleannie and much love and peace to you

Teresa

You know at times like that when it come to my mind to make these profewssions of faith I am always thrown into doubt.

At times satan blinds me into thinking that the demonstration is a sign of showing that I have aspirations to being ‘holier than thou’ instead of showing an act of love.

I always have the desire but seldom the courage. I know in my heart it is an act of love, but at times am awarer that others may think it is a way of showing off.

You know I had this very thought only last week when I heard one of the readings at Mass.

I immediately posted to my blog and what I wrote I will present here. It may be worthless but it is at least timely.

Cont…

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