Back to the RCC - lost a good Protestant friend!


#1

I am sure I'm not the only one who has ever gone through this, and probably not the last. I was born/raised Catholic - and quite involved in the Catholic church, all the ways until the end of my university degree. After graduating from university, I sort of fell away from the church, spending time around the wrong people, wanting to explore other things, and really not dealing constructively with some of the issues I had around my upbringing (which I unfortunately linked to the church).

I moved to a new town three years ago, and made some friends through school (doing further university schooling now). I made a friend who I've gotten to know quite well since we met in class. She goes to a Protestant church, and I would go with her now and then, just to see if there was a "different" way to learn about God. During this time, I also researched the different religions and cultures of the world. I have mentioned to her in the past my "issues" with the RCC, which I realize now were simply due to erroneous beliefs that I got from who-knows-where, maybe just not paying enough attention in Catechism when I was younger. I'd become a more frequent visitor of her church the past few months.

However - some terrible events have happened in my life recently that have made me realize the error of my ways. I started researching the Catechism and basic beliefs of the RCC. I truly missed a lot about it - and I never felt quite comfortable in my friend's church, because I was hanging on to some Catholic beliefs. In any case, with much courage, I finally went to Confession, and after speaking with the priest about the journey I've been through, he agreed that I may return to the church after doing my penance, which I have, and have since received the Eucharist.

Basically, my friend has disappeared from my life. When I told her I was returning to the Catholic church, she asked for an explanation. She's been a great friend to me - religious beliefs aside - so I sent her an email stating my reasons for returning. She hasn't replied, and I know our friendship is over. I know that God wanted me to return to the Catholic church, but I am just having trouble grasping the fact that if we have the "same" God, why is she so upset? If she was worried about me being saved, I still believe the exact same things she knew I believed from the start.

I've never lost a friend over religion or spiritual beliefs before - I know it happens commonly, but it feels pretty terrible. I've ended friendships for other reasons (i.e. difference of morals, etc), but never due to what church a person attends.

While I respect other forms of Christianity, I believe that what the Catholic church teaches to be true, in case anyone reads this and gets the impression that I'm a wavering Catholic. Definitely not anymore!


#2

I’m sorry for the pain of (maybe) losing a friend. If it is any comfort, we make many friends over our lifetime and your path to our Lord is paramount. I will pray that you are blessed with many friends who support you! :slight_smile:


#3

The version found written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta:

         **ANYWAY**

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Be good anyway.

Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People need help but will attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.:wink:


#4

Ubcgirl----

What about making one more effort to clear things up with her?


#5

You say that you have not yet received a response. Could it be that your friend needs to think this over for a while? I have an aquaintance (we’re not close, but I really like and admire her, and she is kind to me) who holds many anti-Catholic beliefs. When I entered RCIA I let her know that I was considering Catholicism because, since we exchange letters sometimes, I didn’t want there to be anything false about the friendship. It took a while for her to respond, but this was because she wanted to say the right things in the right way, not because I had lost a friend.


#6

Your friend might feel insecure about her own faith, and be afraid that having any friends from other churches might “lead her astray” or something. It’s also possible that she could have taken your return to Catholicism as a criticism of her own church. I have no idea if either of those things are true or not, but they are possibilities. I agree with the other poster, that you should try again to clear things up; maybe she has just had a misunderstanding.


#7

I should add, that I still don’t know if we’ll continue to communicate…she is very concerned about my being a Catholic, and I have a feeling that she will continue to pray for me but possibly stop exchanging letters.
(I didn’t want to leave the impression that we are now “bestest-friends-forever” and your friend-difficulties will vanish too…:p)
Try more than ever to be kind and patient. Some people may feel that they should shun you; try to understand that they might feel hurt by what they perceive as a betrayal, or at least a misguided decision, on your part. :cool:


#8

Thank you all for the wonderful replies! I wasn’t sure anyone would respond because I wasn’t really asking a question.

I understand that there are quite significant differences between the Catholic Church and Protestant churches. However, I have some family and good friends who are not Catholic (but Christians through other churches) who are supportive of me and seem to understand that God may have a slightly different path for everyone.

She is a close school friend, and we just so happen to nearing the end of our semester so I will not be seeing her again until next Wednesday. My aunt, who left the Catholic church for a Protestant church, told me to just give my friend time. I think the reason I’m thinking its a done deal, is because she is the type of friend to always respond to emails and texts messages promptly - she herself believes its rude not to reply. I also know that her grandmother raised her with very strict Protestant beliefs and that all other forms of Christianity are “wrong” (Catholicism included). We can’t talk about this stuff at school, for obvious reasons - most of our peers are atheists.

I went to the adoration chapel at my church this evening, and feel much more at peace about this. I trust that God will provide loving and supportive people for me, hopefully more Catholic friends, as it is so much easier when I don’t have to explain why I believe what I believe.

I am so glad I have found this message board though - I plan on making an appointment with my priest for guidance after Easter, but I understand that this is a very busy time to be a priest!


#9

I think we are probably in the same boat, except I do consider this girl a good friend! It is her strong Christian beliefs that have made her into this amazing friend. I do hope that I’m wrong though - that my friend comes around and accepts my decision, because it truly will, and already has, started working wonders in my life and drawn me closer to God. I hope the same is for you as well - that your friend sees the difference in you and can be supportive of your decision.


#10

I've similarly lost friends who are Protestants in the past... it's a tough spot to be in but many of us have been there.


#11

I was protestant most of my life and now a new joyful convert to Catholicism.

I understand more than you realize. Don’t stress over this. God is in control. Most protestants simply don’t understand Catholicism. They don’t. It takes “time” and the Holy Spirit to help. Be patient and pray. That’s all you can do at this point. Always and in all times show love and it will not return “void”. It never fails. But each person has their own free will and as God respects this, so do we. Prayer is the best release of His Holy Angels to move and shake the situations and minds of those we pray for but utimately it is their will to decide. By His grace, God lead me after a 3 or more year search for “Truth” to find the Catholic faith:) So, give time and prayer to your dear friend. I know you want to do more, but that is more than you think:) Prayer is awesome. And, as you have so very much found (Thank the Lord!), His presence at Adoration is so very, very powerful! (I am so amazed that so few Catholics in my parish understand this!!!..I’m like, "Doesn’t everyone know HE’S HERE!!! If some famous person you knew would be here, wouldn’t you want to come??? And be close to them, yet JESUS himself is present to speak in ways no one on earth could, who has more power than ANYTHING, ANYONE EVER is present to help you, yet you don’t go!!! It is only the work of the evil one to deceive, to cloud over the Truth. Oh how sad to see. Anyhow, this is truely a blessing for you. Trust Him, keep praying and don’t worry.

My love in Christ always,
mlz


#12

In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. :signofcross:

Sir Thomas More, great martyr and lover of truth and law
and who till the day of this death proclaimed his loyalty to god’s ‘holy catholic church’
may we in the trials and tribulations of our lives imitate you, that we may find….
humor in tragedy
courage in fear
happiness in calamity
blessings in failure
and love in the face and shadow of our enemies.
Pray that we may become ”men of all seasons’
and pray that we may live as ‘the king’s good servant, but God’s first.’

In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. :signofcross:

Amen.


#13

Thank you!

When I was doing my first degree, one of my university friends asked me, when I told her I was Catholic, if I was a Christian. It seemed so obvious to me that I was, and I didn’t even know how to answer it. It makes me wonder what some Protestant churches teach. But as for this friend, I know that she will be praying for my return, and hoping that I will find God again - when I am probably closer to God now than I ever have been (being Catholic as an adult is so much more rewarding and enriching than when I was a child). But yes, those are sound words, and I will continue to go to the Adoration Chapel to seek God’s counsel.


#14

I love this! I’m actually an RN student, so I would love to have a plaque of this for those long days when I get home without any thanks from anyone (and often, yelled at by families and staff).


#15

[quote="ubcgirl, post:14, topic:278882"]
I love this! I'm actually an RN student, so I would love to have a plaque of this for those long days when I get home without any thanks from anyone (and often, yelled at by families and staff).

[/quote]

I have one on my wall when I first walk in the house :) My mother also has one, as that was the first time I read it.


#16

[quote="ubcgirl, post:13, topic:278882"]
Thank you!

When I was doing my first degree, one of my university friends asked me, when I told her I was Catholic, if I was a Christian. It seemed so obvious to me that I was, and I didn't even know how to answer it. It makes me wonder what some Protestant churches teach. But as for this friend, I know that she will be praying for my return, and hoping that I will find God again - when I am probably closer to God now than I ever have been (being Catholic as an adult is so much more rewarding and enriching than when I was a child). But yes, those are sound words, and I will continue to go to the Adoration Chapel to seek God's counsel.

[/quote]

Pray for your friend as she doesn't understand,always,always forgive and love without expecting to be loved in return. I am so glad in your spiritual growth. Prayers for you! Stay true to Him always!

Mlz


#17

[quote="ubcgirl, post:1, topic:278882"]
I am sure I'm not the only one who has ever gone through this, and probably not the last. I was born/raised Catholic - and quite involved in the Catholic church, all the ways until the end of my university degree. After graduating from university, I sort of fell away from the church, spending time around the wrong people, wanting to explore other things, and really not dealing constructively with some of the issues I had around my upbringing (which I unfortunately linked to the church).

I moved to a new town three years ago, and made some friends through school (doing further university schooling now). I made a friend who I've gotten to know quite well since we met in class. She goes to a Protestant church, and I would go with her now and then, just to see if there was a "different" way to learn about God. During this time, I also researched the different religions and cultures of the world. I have mentioned to her in the past my "issues" with the RCC, which I realize now were simply due to erroneous beliefs that I got from who-knows-where, maybe just not paying enough attention in Catechism when I was younger. I'd become a more frequent visitor of her church the past few months.

However - some terrible events have happened in my life recently that have made me realize the error of my ways. I started researching the Catechism and basic beliefs of the RCC. I truly missed a lot about it - and I never felt quite comfortable in my friend's church, because I was hanging on to some Catholic beliefs. In any case, with much courage, I finally went to Confession, and after speaking with the priest about the journey I've been through, he agreed that I may return to the church after doing my penance, which I have, and have since received the Eucharist.

Basically, my friend has disappeared from my life. When I told her I was returning to the Catholic church, she asked for an explanation. She's been a great friend to me - religious beliefs aside - so I sent her an email stating my reasons for returning. She hasn't replied, and I know our friendship is over. I know that God wanted me to return to the Catholic church, but I am just having trouble grasping the fact that if we have the "same" God, why is she so upset? If she was worried about me being saved, I still believe the exact same things she knew I believed from the start.

I've never lost a friend over religion or spiritual beliefs before - I know it happens commonly, but it feels pretty terrible. I've ended friendships for other reasons (i.e. difference of morals, etc), but never due to what church a person attends.

While I respect other forms of Christianity, I believe that what the Catholic church teaches to be true, in case anyone reads this and gets the impression that I'm a wavering Catholic. Definitely not anymore!

[/quote]

Who should be concerned about whom? Scott Hahn makes the point that we have such a great message to deliver and why don't we do it. Why not believe that you have lost nothing and understand that you should see what you are seeing in reverse. If you believe she sees you as lost and that is the end of the friendship then realize that you should see her as lost and go find her.


#18

Give your friend time. She probably feels like she lost a commonality with you now that you aren’t going to church with her. Your reversion to Catholicism might have changed te dynamic of your friendship and she might just need some time to adjust.

Try and make a little time to reach out to her in a religiously neutral place so that you can still hang out without a lot of pressure.

Make an effort to invite her into your life but don’t make yourself look needy. There’s no reason you should feel like you have to beg for a friend. You are a good friend with a good heart.

Keep praying and keep working towards a close relationship with God. Given time, you will see that everything that happens is going to work out for the best.


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