Dealing with unbelieving relatives and friends

Neither my parents nor my sister, nor the majority of the people I know, are Catholic - or even Christians (my mother claims to be Christian, but she doesn’t believe in fundamental Christian doctrines such as the inspiration of the Bible - once she even called it “an idiocy” ).
Others are nominally Christians, and some of them even Catholics, but most of them don’t really believe in all the teachings of the Church and don’t care about living according to Catholic/Christian moral standards.
Everyday I hear God’s holy name being abused or blasphemed, and Christian values and beliefs being ridiculed or insulted. And all of this by people who reproach, mock, insult and emarginate me every time I try to say something about it.
I know that God is always with me, and that He loves me more than I could ever imagine. I also know that Mary, the saints and some people here on earth are praying for me. This partly comforts me, but it’s still an hard cross to carry.
Do you have any piece of advice?


Pray for them and ask the saints to pray for them too.

Try not to bring up God or sin up and anything religious unless you feel lead to or believe that it would be good to.

They already know what you believe. So just shine your light to them. And if you do don’t be surprised if they return your kindness with evil.

Reward their evil with kindness and continue to learn and grow in your faith.

Forgive them before unforgiveness roots grow deep.


Pray for your enemies. When the attacks are at their worst, pray for them.


Also - Learn apologetics.
Especially learn the ones on the issues you think you’ll need with your family in case they bring up an issue with your faith to you.

Remember you might be dealing with them feeling convicted by the light they see in you or hear from you.
Convicted like the people who heard St Stephen in Acts did. They could respond either the way they did or the way the others did when they heard Apostle Peter preach on the day of Pentecost in Acts.

Either with repentance or evil ect.

First thing, I don’t think you meant to use “emarginate”,

Love your parents and your sister and your friends. Turn the other cheek, let your light so shine that they want to know what gives you that glow.

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Sorry, English is not my first language

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As you know we are in a spiritual battle.
Until they get knocked off their feet like St Paul did, they will engage battle with you. It’s exhausting and frustrating and usually has no impact.

As they are using God’s name in vain, or any other anti-Christian conversation, say in your heart silently Jesus I love you, please save souls! Jesus have mercy! Jesus I bring them to you and put them into the red and white rays that flow from your Sacred Heart!

I have been in your situation. Nothing like having to celebrate Christmas with people who are anti-Christ.

Imagine a football stadium full of people cheering and you are on the field. They are the saints who have served God and gone to their reward. They are cheering for us as we have our turn on the field. We are trying to advance to the goal line, we’re taking the hits. We’re losing yardage. We are in the game and it’s our turn to shine. May God be your strength over the holidays ahead.


Did they start discussions that upset you, or is that something you are doing? I would treat them like I treat all my relatives. We don’t discuss religion or politics and we all love each other and get along really well. Whenever people ask me my secret, that is what I tell them. Works for us!


Have you ever specifically told them that while you respect their right to their beliefs, you would like the same consideration? If you have, then maybe a small reminder that you’d really appreciate them being a bit more respectful. If we don’t give people the opportunity to know what’s upsetting to us we shouldn’t be surprised when it happens.

If they have been spoken to and continue then they’re not being respectful and should be ignored or walked away from. You don’t need to be overly righteous about it. Just be calm and respectful yourself and show them how to behave!


Every time they do it, bless yourself and say out loud “Praise be his name”

That’s good news for you - extra blessings

Matthew 5:11
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you , and persecute you , and shall say all manner. …you , persecute you , and say all kinds of. evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Also, Jesus tells us that his teachings will divide families, so do not fear.

Luke 12: 51
51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

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My advice, do not argue with them. Pray for discernment. Opportunities come for evangelization, here and there.

Most people in my life are not Catholic and those who are have strayed very far and are not devout. I am working through this by focusing on myself and avoiding ridicule by maintaining privacy. I don’t argue when others criticize the church. I see that they do not understand.

Occasionally I have opportunity to talk to one person alone, as I did with my adult son today, to tell him that I find confession very helpful in my life. He respects me…my objective is not to talk him into anything. A seed is planted…he knows I go, and it helps me. In time he will see more of my faith life. If I am preachy or dogmatic, he will block me out. (Many reasons he did not develop a strong Catholic faith…for a separate discussion). Perhaps he will chose to return on his own time and terms.

Practice quietly, be devout, let others criticize but don’t engage in talking with non-Catholics about Catholicism unless you sense they have open hearts, or you are just inviting abuse.

It’s a bit like getting into politics with people who have already decided they disagree. Better than words, let them see by your example how you live and set the Lord, how you grow, and that you are happy being in a state of grace.

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This is one of the better paths. Don’t seek to change minds, seek to plant seeds. One of the common elements when people recount their conversions is that there was often an idea or statement that stuck with them. Something they couldn’t forget. Something that started changing their minds long after the conversation or the reading was over. We don’t always get to know which seeds we plant will take root, but we can plant them anyways and trust that God will make use of them.

That’s how you get yourself thrown over a cliff. lol
That’s good too. Or thrown in a dungeon with no heat in the winter in Siberia.
Teasing aside, I would rather say it silently in my heart, as a strategy. If you think long term and bringing the Gospel to your family, doing this out loud will likely mean there’s no long term.

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That’s a good secret. Thank goodness that my family never discusses religion or politics when we get together for the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) since some of us are quite far apart on those issues. As a result, we have a pleasant day and are all nice to each other when we meet and never have any problems.

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Getting thrown off a cliff for praising Jesus? Best way to go. I pray that is how I go.

And that is thinking “long term” , far beyond this temporary life.

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Nah, Christ specifically didn’t let himself be thrown off a cliff by non believing neighbors. :smiley:

I don’t mean to derail the thread, but as it seems like you, Guest1, constantly ask people if you can PM them to share the prayer sites, you might consider simply posting the prayer sites on the forum in a thread so that all can benefit from using them. Then you could simply point people to the thread and not have to always be asking if you can PM.

If they are the type of prayer sites that would be a problem to share on the forum for some reason, such as being a violation of TOS or controversial in some way, then you may not want to be sharing them in PM either.


Just don’t interact with them when possible.

No, He only let them crucify Him

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