Catholic working in a place promoting It's products using Zen (buddah)

Hi everyone,

Hoping to learn a lot here:

I have a question regarding a concern:

Question: I am a Catholic but i am working in a place that promotes its products by using Zen and Buddah on Images, sculptures etc. These images are in the company itself. I feel like I am offending God by working there. Even though I dont idolize Buddah. I know my God Is Jesus Christ my savior. I have Great bosses and the product is really great, but it bothers me a little bit only because of the usage of (Buddah). Am I sinning by working in a place that does not please God? I dont know what to do :confused: Any suggestions would be great.

iveliss101 wonders : "I am a Catholic but i am working in a place that promotes its products by using Zen and Buddha on Images, sculptures … I feel like I am offending God by working there. … . I have Great bosses and the product is really great, but it bothers me a little bit only because of the usage of (Buddah). Am I sinning by working in a place that does not please God?"

First, you decided to take a Job there at that store that sells Buddha-related products.
Obviously, this did not upset you at that time.
What have you heard recently which has caused you to think that it is (somehow) Wrong to work there?

Second, what makes you think that there is ANY problem working in such a store?
I ask you : Would you feel the same way if you worked at a Department Store (like Macys), that had a few Buddha-related items?
Or, maybe if you work at an Office Max store that has some Buddha-pictured mouse-pads.
If NOT, then you probably have the answer to your present question.

Then, a question that pre-supposes a lot : "Am I sinning by working in a place that does not please God?"
In this question, you must believe that this is a store that does NOT please God.
What makes you think that God is NOT pleased with that particular store?
I mean, is there MORE that is happening there, that you have not told us about?

But, I will give my perspective : If a person works in a Liquor Store, is that a place that God dislikes?
I doubt that God is displeased that Liquor Stores exist.
So, God would not judge a person harshly just for working there.
In the same vein, God could care less about you working in a place that has Buddha-related items.

The answer is different, however, if working at the store affects your Faith in God.
(This is a decision that only you can make for yourself. It is strictly personal to you.)
If working there DOES affect your Faith, then you are willingly attempting to destroy your Faith by working there.
In that instance, God will probably be annoyed with you trying to throw away your Faith.
But, God would (probably) by annoyed at any activity you did, which would throw away your Faith in God.

Most sects of Buddhism don’t regard Buddha as God, anyway. You’re fine.

:thumbsup:

The Buddha is usually seen as an enlightened teacher; he himself didn’t encourage any divinization.

Thank you for your response. I greatly appreciate it. It helped
I took the job to help my friends. They own this company and they have gone through so much. They market their products “Protein/vitamins” by using Buddah images to promote peace. But I didn’t really pay any mind to it until now. Since my focus was to help them. This in no way will rattle my faith as a Catholic. I actually feel like I am constantly praying more and am more in thirst of the true God Jesus Christ and to receive his body. Thank you again! May God Bless you always!

Hi iveliss,

Based off what you’ve said here, it sounds like the organization is using buddha images, but isn’t really a religious organization. Do I have that correct? If so, you’re fine.

Correct. It is not a religious organization. It is only using Buddah images. Thank you!

I would ask a priest. God bless you.

To add to what others have said, you may not be aware that the Buddha was once an official Catholic saint, see Barlaam and Josaphat:

The story is a Christianized version of one of the legends of Buddha, as even the name Josaphat would seem to show. This is said to be a corruption of the original Joasaph, which is again corrupted from the middle Persian Budasif (Budsaif=Bodhisattva).

Unfortunately he was removed along with a lot of other early (semi-)legendary saints a few years ago.

From what you say the Buddha is being used as a marketing gimmick, not as a religious object.

rossum

Having only read but never actually spoken with a Buddhist what I say may be bunk. And as we know there are many variations of faiths…

Learning about Buddhism helped me to understand that suffering is. In western culture we see suffering as bad. The idea that I got in my reading was the suffering is the result of desire, all suffer. It is just universal and kind of pointless to struggle against, because desiring a lack of suffering is in itself a desire, which in turn creates suffering. Buddhism does not however teach to embrace suffering the way Catholicism does, but it accepts it, which our culture generally does not. IMHO, there are many parallels between desiring one’s personal will, which can feel like a negative suffering, and the idea that desire causes suffering. There are also many parallels between reducing desire and lessening suffering and joyfully accepting God’s will and understanding that what may appear as suffering is actually love. So for me I went from thinking suffering was stupid (culture), to thinking suffering was generally unavoidable (semi-Buddhist philosophy) to seeing suffering as kenosis (Catholic.). St Faustina is a great saint to help with the suffering/love connection.

In any event, we are called to be in the world but not of the world. This doesn’t mean anything goes, but it does mean that we are a called to witness to those in a secular world. Possibly, if any of the suffering understanding is right (which Rossum can correct if not), it would be a great area of commonality.

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