One woman (from my mom’s generation) has been pursuing a friendship with me for probably 4 or 5 years. We wouldn’t be friends if she hadn’t been so diligent; we are both blonde Christian women in the same neighborhood but that is where the similarity ends. We became an even odder couple when I converted to Catholicism. (She adores the Left Behind Series and I pray to Mary…maybe that is description enough. :D)
She is very supportive of wherever my path may lie in life, but she is against the Catholic Church. Not anti-Catholic, just firmly not-Catholic. From what I understand, she does not know much about Catholicism beyond what she learned in Catholic school, and part of that is bad metaphors. It is difficult for me to talk to her because it seems like the subject she wants to bring up is too superficial, and I would need to address the foundations that her beliefs are founded on, and I can’t really go there without the conversation getting a little emotional, plus I’m not sure how to not insult her. I’m really bad at talking about religion with her because I am shy, tired, and, I think, cowed by the natural superiority of her age and experience. (Yes I just said that…yes, it sounds lame. But there it is.) I think I know better 'cause I’m right, but she thinks she knows even better than that 'cause she’s older and teaches bible studies.
Any advice on how to handle an interfaith/intergenerational friendship? How can we be honest without becoming emotional? What is, and isn’t, appropriate to say and not say?