Being a pagean, and dating a catholic -?


#1

I have been dating a guy for four months now and am head over heels. The root of all our problems, and why he sometimes wonders why he is with me, all starts at the fact that he is such a strong Catholic (though tends to sin often). I was never really brought up with any type of religion, though am very open-minded. In my own opinon, there are a few things about the religion that I am learning that I really disagree with. Though there are others that interest me, and the fact to know that there might be a reason why things happen, and someone or something to lean against when you need … Do I just say forget it, or do I keep up with the questions, and him going back and forth from wanting to be a good Catholic, to sinning a lot? Please help! (Thank you.)


#2

You say the root of the problems between you and your boyfriend stems from the fact that he wants to be a Catholic and you don’t have any religion.

What does that tell you? I would say for you anything goes and he has a moral conscience that you don’t like. What will this lead to as time goes on? Do you think you will win and make a Pagan out of him? I doubt it.

I think you are like a person walking throught the “Supermarket” of religions. You glance at all the “stuff” but you do not really know any of them. You need some very basic training or Catechisis. The main one costs about $9.00 at Walmart, the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is official.


#3

Tiredwings: You are not a pagan. You don’t appear to have any religion BUT you are asking about religion. Your boyfriend is Catholic but “he sins”. Big SHOCK! Big smiles!!! Let you in on the secret - WE ALL DO! Big smiles again!!!

We believe that we are redeemed ( saved from the stain of original sin) but our salvation we are working out with fear and trembling). Please go someplace where you can be alone so that you can really “listen”. In the still, small place of your heart you can talk to God. Really. I’m not joking with you. Talk to God as if you were talking to your best friend. Go back to the still, small place of your heart and “listen” to what God has to say to you. God is calling you dear.


#4

C’mon! Jump on the barque of Peter! (That is, join the Catholic Church). You will love it! :slight_smile:

Scott


#5

You do not seem very pagan…meaning that you say that you have no religion…Whether you are Catholic or not…a relationship can still work. Everybody does sin yes and that is why we ask for forgiveness. You must be at least interested in what the Catholic religion is all about otherwise you would not be here. If you start to understand some simple christian things that is probably the best idea… start with Jesus.


#6

Heck. Practically everybody on these forums started out disagreeing with the Catholic Church in a big way. Sometimes it takes decades to get past that. I think you’re pretty neat for even looking at the Church.

But explore the faith for your own sake. You’ll find the effort worth it.

WARNING: be sure that whatever sources you use are, in fact, aligned with the actual teaching of the Church. You would do well to begin with *The Catechism of the Catholic Church. *It’s cheap and it’s available almost everywhere (Barnes & Noble, Borders – in addition to Catholic book stores and on line: scborromeo.org/ccc.htm
If there are specific bugaboos you have with the Church, why not ask on the appropriate forum here at Catholic Answers? Small piece of advice: frame your question as a question rather than a challenge. You’ll be less likely to arouse the hornets (this is the Internet, after all, and there are no admissions criteria here: sometimes people can be hasty).


#7

Actually, I’d recommend The Essential Catholic Catechism by Dr. Alan Schreck. It’s easy to read and very informative, a much better primer than a copy of the Catechism. I have a hard time with the CCC and I have been a Catholic my whole life.


#8

Tiredwings: don’t worry about your boyfriend’s sins, but if you’re worried that you are somehow causing him to sin, you should bring that concern to him and since he is the Catholic, it’s his prerogative on what to do. If he continues to sin that isn’t your fault.

A basic sidenote on “sin”: Sin is simply failing to do what is good (which, if you believe in God, means that which God intends for you to do). What is good? Good is that which, in the end, brings about more pleasure than pain. “Sin” *ultimately *brings pain and thus interferes with happiness. And of course, happiness is the goal of life. Just thought I’d add that because many non-christians have attached very confused connotations to the word.

You shouldn’t tackle those doctrines which are specific to catholic Christianity right off the bat, especially if you have no religious background and “there are already a few things about the religion” which you “really disagree with.” Start with the big ones, then work your way through. There are basically 4 main questions on Truths of pure Faith, things that you can’t prove solely from Reason or Observation (arguably the first two can be proven from Reason):

1. Does God exist?

2. What kind of God(s)?

3. Which Religion is True?

4. Which Church/Sect/Denomination best expresses it?

For example, a catholic Christian would answer the above four questions thusly: Yes; Triune; Christianity; Catholic

A Muslim may answer: Yes; Monotheistic; Islam; Shiite

A Wiccan could say: *Yes: Polytheistic; Wicca; Dragon *

Or a Buddhist: Yes: Pantheistic; Buddhism; Theravada

Finally, an Atheist would simply say: No to all spiritual reality entirely.

Anyway, my point is that you should approach Faith slowly, one step at time, and lay a firm belief at each one so that you can feel confident that the Truth is not eluding you.

Also, always keep an open-mind! No one who possesses Truth should fear questions, rather, we welcome them.

Good luck!


#9

Greetings Tiredwings and welcome to the forum!

In answer to what you said, I would encourage you to keep exploring. Research and talking to committed Catholics can really help you to see things in a new light. Even if in the end, you decide not to become Catholic, learning won’t hurt!

I’m a convert to Catholicism from having no religion (I was kind of a skeptic/cynic). It took me several years and a lot of study and prayer to even believe in God. It took a few more years to believe that Jesus was divine and that the Catholic Church is what it says it is. I had a lot of problems with the Catholic Church, but the more I studied her, the more my problems were answered and I came to believe she is really what she says she is. It can take a lot of time, effort, and prayers, but it’s well worth it. The journey itself can also be of great help, teaching you more about who you are and what the world, universe, and maybe even God is:).

In regards to sin, I think it depends on what kind of sin you are talking about. For example, I have a bad temper and easy lose it. It has taken me years to learn to control it. It takes prayer and a sincere desire to stop. We aren’t perfect and we have to keep on fighting, but we can overcome, with God’s grace, in the end:). So just keep trying and do your best to help your boyfriend overcome his sins.

But the big thing, if it’s not against your conscience is to pray, please ask God to guide you. It really does help!

Here is a site that may help:
peterkreeft.com/home.htm

That site is the home page of Peter Kreeft. Though he can be a bit rough sometimes, is a very good writer I think and can be very helpful. He is a knack for saying very complex things in a simple way and that’s good if you are low on time.

Take care and feel free to come back and we will do our best to help! If you can tell us more about yourself and your boyfriend, so that we can know you better, that would be great and we could be more helpful that way!
peace in Christ,
Frank


#10

[quote=fellicia]You do not seem very pagan…meaning that you say that you have no religion…Whether you are Catholic or not…a relationship can still work. Everybody does sin yes and that is why we ask for forgiveness. You must be at least interested in what the Catholic religion is all about otherwise you would not be here. If you start to understand some simple christian things that is probably the best idea… start with Jesus.
[/quote]

But I want to still be my own person. The last thing that I want to do is lose myself in a man. That, to me, is not worth it. Do you know of any other people in this situation? The sins are what kills us. He thinks it’s a sin, I think it’s just life.
"I’d much rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints."
Thanks in advance.


#11

[quote=tiredwings]But I want to still be my own person. The last thing that I want to do is lose myself in a man. That, to me, is not worth it. Do you know of any other people in this situation? The sins are what kills us. He thinks it’s a sin, I think it’s just life.
"I’d much rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints."
Thanks in advance.
[/quote]

If you want to be your own person then you should not date anyone. In marriage, you should loose yourself in your spouse, “and the two shall become one.”

Nice use of the Billy Joel lyrics…


#12

[quote=dhgray]If you want to be your own person then you should not date anyone. In marriage, you should loose yourself in your spouse, “and the two shall become one.”

Nice use of the Billy Joel lyrics…
[/quote]

That is horrific. I’m sorry - but two people must be their own to love one another. If you are becoming your spouse, who are they to love? What is the purpose of marriage if you both become one person? Two people should learn from one another’s lives, mistakes, and loves. I see what you are saying, though I sincerely think you need to mow this over a bit more. How do we seperate our beliefs?


#13

[quote=tiredwings]But I want to still be my own person. The last thing that I want to do is lose myself in a man. That, to me, is not worth it. Do you know of any other people in this situation? The sins are what kills us. He thinks it’s a sin, I think it’s just life.
"I’d much rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints."
Thanks in advance.
[/quote]

I like Billy’s music, but he’s short sighted.

My wife and I have been married 15 years and we have a great marriage. Being one to us doesn’t mean that we lose our identities, but that we place one another’s interests above our own (that is, we try). Your boyfriend’s spiritual health should be a high priority if you truly love him.

If your reference to his tendancy “to sin often” is simply a reference to his condition as a human being, then fine, we all have to struggle against that while we live. If, however, you are attributing this to your influence over him or your relationship, and you are aware that this is the cause, then your being “head over heals” may only be a shallow and selfish feeling on your part that won’t lead to true love - sorry, don’t mean to sound harsh :o .

However, the fact that you are on this forum and seeking input suggests that you are concerned, so I’ll stop here and pray for both of you.

Blessings


#14

[quote=JimO]I like Billy’s music, but he’s short sighted.

My wife and I have been married 15 years and we have a great marriage. Being one to us doesn’t mean that we lose our identities, but that we place one another’s interests above our own (that is, we try). Your boyfriend’s spiritual health should be a high priority if you truly love him.

If your reference to his tendancy “to sin often” is simply a reference to his condition as a human being, then fine, we all have to struggle against that while we live. If, however, you are attributing this to your influence over him or your relationship, and you are aware that this is the cause, then your being “head over heals” may only be a shallow and selfish feeling on your part that won’t lead to true love - sorry, don’t mean to sound harsh :o .

However, the fact that you are on this forum and seeking input suggests that you are concerned, so I’ll stop here and pray for both of you.

Blessings
[/quote]

Thank you for the prayers-
But I AM concerned for him. I deeply want to him help, though I don’t understand how to do this. I know the simple answer is, “Just don’t have sex.” Well, I think even Catholics have a hard time doing that, as well as everyone else in the world. It is an instinct. And isn’t the Bible telling everyone in the religious world that your sexual health is not important - it is only for your husband or wife? - it is only to make babies? There are only a few species in the entire world that have sex for pleasure. One of them is humans. And if “God gave me two ears to listen”, why did he also give me a clitoris - the only part in a man or woman’s body solely for (sexual) pleasure?


#15

[quote=tiredwings]Thank you for the prayers-
But I AM concerned for him. I deeply want to him help, though I don’t understand how to do this. I know the simple answer is, “Just don’t have sex.” Well, I think even Catholics have a hard time doing that, as well as everyone else in the world. It is an instinct. And isn’t the Bible telling everyone in the religious world that your sexual health is not important - it is only for your husband or wife? - it is only to make babies? There are only a few species in the entire world that have sex for pleasure. One of them is humans. And if “God gave me two ears to listen”, why did he also give me a clitoris - the only part in a man or woman’s body solely for (sexual) pleasure?
[/quote]

He infused your body with a soul and with conscience so you could discern, and elevate yourself above the carnal instincts of sex-for-orgams pleasure.

The pleasure a married Catholic couple (or woman since you mentioned clitoris) has during sex isn’t supposed to come just from a physiological reaction- but an elevation of the soul, of two people commited to each other, their children and God. That is true pleasure!

An orgasm is just a fringe benefit.


#16

[quote=Shiann] The pleasure a married Catholic couple (or woman since you mentioned clitoris) has during sex isn’t supposed to come just from a physiological reaction- but an elevation of the soul, of two people commited to each other, their children and God. That is true pleasure!
[/quote]

Aint THAT the truth!


#17

[quote=tiredwings]Thank you for the prayers-
But I AM concerned for him. I deeply want to him help, though I don’t understand how to do this. I know the simple answer is, “Just don’t have sex.”
[/quote]

That answer might seem simple, but I agree that it’s much more complex in a serious relationship. I don’t know your life experiences and don’t want to be presumptuous, but can only share from my own experiences.

Although having children is a central purpose to sex, there is no doubt that the pleasure given to us in giving ourselves entirely over to one another creates a bond that goes well beyond a physical union. But, that bond has a much more profound meaning when we are committed to one another in marriage and open to having children. The reason is that we are united with God in the act of creation - we allow God to create a new immortal soul. Without our cooperation, God cannot even create people because He has chosen to only create through the cooperation of people.

When I look at our four sons, I am still amazed that they were brought into being because of our love for one another. I believe that is the meaning of “the two will become one flesh.”

Outside God’s perfect plan for sexual pleasure and intimacy, there are problems - unfaithfulness, unwanted pregnancies, single mothers, abortion, abused children, etc. When one puts their own pleasure ahead of uniting together with God to cooperate in creation, what happens? People feel used and unloved. People are abandoned. Children die.

As a man, I can say that, generally speaking, men are more guilty of this selfish side to sex. It’s evident all around us. Men often don’t want to commit to marriage. Men are often the ones who cheat. Men often leave their wives for younger women. Men often lack intimacy. These are all symptoms of using sex for pleasure alone and having it available without the commitments and responsibilities that come along with the power to participation in creation. It is also a sign that many men have neglected their responsibility to take the lead in following God’s will for their lives.

How many women do you know who have had multiple partners over the years that really feel good about it?

Sorry to drift, but there are two points to this. First, your relationship is handicapped because it is out of God’s perfect order. If your boyfriend feels “guilty” and associates this “guilt” with your relationship, there will always be a barrier between you. Second, your boyfriend has as much responsibility as you, if not more, in keeping your relationship in God’s order. It’s very, very difficult to go backwards sexually, but the alternative may be pain and resentment in the end. If you want to help him and draw near to God yourself, you may want to consider a counselor who is Catholic so that you can get specific guidance and accountability.

I’m not normally this direct with anyone, particularly a stranger, but something inside tells me that you both are at a critical cross roads, and too much is at stake to walk on eggshells.

We will pray for you both.

Blessings


#18

[quote=JimO]That answer might seem simple, but I agree that it’s much more complex in a serious relationship. I don’t know your life experiences and don’t want to be presumptuous, but can only share from my own experiences.

Although having children is a central purpose to sex, there is no doubt that the pleasure given to us in giving ourselves entirely over to one another creates a bond that goes well beyond a physical union. But, that bond has a much more profound meaning when we are committed to one another in marriage and open to having children. The reason is that we are united with God in the act of creation - we allow God to create a new immortal soul. Without our cooperation, God cannot even create people because He has chosen to only create through the cooperation of people.

When I look at our four sons, I am still amazed that they were brought into being because of our love for one another. I believe that is the meaning of “the two will become one flesh.”

Outside God’s perfect plan for sexual pleasure and intimacy, there are problems - unfaithfulness, unwanted pregnancies, single mothers, abortion, abused children, etc. When one puts their own pleasure ahead of uniting together with God to cooperate in creation, what happens? People feel used and unloved. People are abandoned. Children die.

As a man, I can say that, generally speaking, men are more guilty of this selfish side to sex. It’s evident all around us. Men often don’t want to commit to marriage. Men are often the ones who cheat. Men often leave their wives for younger women. Men often lack intimacy. These are all symptoms of using sex for pleasure alone and having it available without the commitments and responsibilities that come along with the power to participation in creation. It is also a sign that many men have neglected their responsibility to take the lead in following God’s will for their lives.

How many women do you know who have had multiple partners over the years that really feel good about it?

Sorry to drift, but there are two points to this. First, your relationship is handicapped because it is out of God’s perfect order. If your boyfriend feels “guilty” and associates this “guilt” with your relationship, there will always be a barrier between you. Second, your boyfriend has as much responsibility as you, if not more, in keeping your relationship in God’s order. It’s very, very difficult to go backwards sexually, but the alternative may be pain and resentment in the end. If you want to help him and draw near to God yourself, you may want to consider a counselor who is Catholic so that you can get specific guidance and accountability.

I’m not normally this direct with anyone, particularly a stranger, but something inside tells me that you both are at a critical cross roads, and too much is at stake to walk on eggshells.

We will pray for you both.

Blessings
[/quote]

I thank you again, although you never gave a real response to the sexual pleasure. I strongly believe and am amazed at the human body - that sex should only be for making babies. Though what I do not understand is why one must not feel such love previous to their spouse. I have been in love, and have made love to this person, and I wish I could carry that feeling around with me all day everyday. As I’m sure you know, being on an emotional and physical level, so strongly, is beyond words.
His and mine relationship is beautiful besides this fact. I try to help him as much as possible, though he is usually the one that begins the act.
What goes through a Catholic man’s mind when he is having sex before marriage? Does he try to clear it of everything but the task at hand?
A lot is at stake in our relationship, though why must Catholics say they believe so strongly in one thing, (not having sex before marriage, lying, etc.) and do the complete opposite, then go to confession and believe everything will be ok?
Why must they pray to God for help, (for example, the tsunami) but not send their own money? --Just an example.


#19

[quote=tiredwings]I thank you again, although you never gave a real response to the sexual pleasure.

What goes through a Catholic man’s mind when he is having sex before marriage?

A lot is at stake in our relationship, though why must Catholics say they believe so strongly in one thing, (not having sex before marriage, lying, etc.) and do the complete opposite, then go to confession and believe everything will be ok?
[/quote]

God created sex and all the associated pleasure. It is a good thing in its proper place. The Church teaches this. God’s not trying to spoil our fun by designing sex for marriage alone, but trying to protect us - for all the reasons I listed in my previous post.

What can I say, men can compartmentalize. When I’ve done things I knew were wrong, I’ve repressed it, but deep down I knew it wasn’t right. But a Catholic man is like other men, we fall to temptation. It’s good and appropriate to go to confession afterward; however, what your boyfriend might not realize is that if he doesn’t really intend to avoid a confessed sin in the future, it isn’t all going to be okay because if he isn’t truly sorry, he hasn’t truly repented. With repentance comes a resolve to do something (like send money to tsunami victims) and to change one’s behavior.

True repentance comes with a deep sense of having been wrong and having sinned against both God, and in your case, sinned against you. It also comes with a conviction to do everything in one’s power to avoid the sin in the future. It worries me that he initiates things, because it sounds like he hasn’t truly repented and doesn’t intend to change his behavior.

If he really loves you, then he might think twice if he knew that as a man, he has a responsibility to you and that by initiating a sinful sexual act, he is not only sinning against God, but against you. He is endangering your soul and preventing you from growing closer to God. What is more important? The fleeting pleasures of this life or the eternal pleasures of the next? All pleasure in its proper place is a bare shadow of the pleasures to come and yet so many forfeit one in a wrongful search for the other.

BTW, out of respect, first, for my wife and others on this forum, I’m deliberately being discrete in my choice of words, but I do understand the deep emotions you feel and have felt them and still feel them myself.

Blessings


#20

[quote=tiredwings]I thank you again, although you never gave a real response to the sexual pleasure. I strongly believe and am amazed at the human body - that sex should only be for making babies.
[/quote]

Animals have sex just to make babies. We are not animals.

Though what I do not understand is why one must not feel such love previous to their spouse.

Catholics are called to love our neighbor (everyone else) as we love ourselves.

You are not talking just about love, but also about intimacy. Catholics restrict the intimacy of sexual relations to one person - the person we are married to.

A married couple becomes an instrument of God. They are to become closer through intimacy so that the jobs they do for God have a bond that is extremely hard to break. I’m sure you realize that not every union between people results in children, so God must not have meant for the act to be only procreative.

There is pleasure in married intimacy- in fact the most complete physical pleasure possible because it unites both heart (the love you have for your spouse), body (the physical pleasures you have) and soul (the fact that you know your union is elevated and holy, and pleasing to God).

I have been in love, and have made love to this person, and I wish I could carry that feeling around with me all day everyday. As I’m sure you know, being on an emotional and physical level, so strongly, is beyond words.

Which is why it makes it selfish to wish to experience it with just anyone- for your own gratification. The selfish part of this is what makes it wrong. The act has been boiled down to just a physiological feeling (albeit a strong one) that you wish to experience- it really doesn’t matter with whom. Now you might have high standards about the person you may choose. You might have to have chemistry with him. You might have to feel connected with him. You might want to make sure you both are dating only eachother at the time. All of these standards are SUBstandard to a marriage where these decisions have already been made.

The ultimate gift is to offer this to only one person to whom you are married- until you die.

His and mine relationship is beautiful besides this fact. I try to help him as much as possible, though he is usually the one that begins the act.

We are often weak and subject ourselves to immediate gratification. This is how most sins are commited.

What goes through a Catholic man’s mind when he is having sex before marriage? Does he try to clear it of everything but the task at hand?

I’m not a man, I hope one responds to this for you…

A lot is at stake in our relationship,

There is more at stake than just your relationship.

… though why must Catholics say they believe so strongly in one thing, (not having sex before marriage, lying, etc.) and do the complete opposite, then go to confession and believe everything will be ok?

This is a shame. There are a lot of Catholics that say they believe one thing, then live another. There are a lot of Protestants who do the same. There are a lot of people who deny being racist, but their actions tell a different story. Hon, the world is full of people who tell us one thing, and do another.

Just because a few Catholics you know say they believe those things, and then proceed to do the complete oposite, doesn’t mean the Catholic Church or those teachings are wrong. It just means those people are weak in areas, and need God’s help.

God gave us the Sacrament of Confession so that when we truly realized the error of our sins, and desired and vowed to never commit the sin again- we could be forgiven, and still attain the glories of Heaven.

Why must they pray to God for help, (for example, the tsunami) but not send their own money? --Just an example.

That is ridiculous. The Catholic Church doesn’t make their people pray for situations like this, then not allow them to send their own money or volunteer. In fact there are many active Catholic charities in the area, assisting those in need right now.

I pray that the Holy Spirit calms your heart and opens your mind to the truth of the Catholic Church.


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