Discouraged


#1

I have posted a couple of times on this board and have become quite discouraged. I have found there are quite a bit of Catholics that are very judgmental.

Someone else posted this comment on another subject, “I wish I could say that all Catholics were tolerant, open-minded and non-judgemental, but we are a church of sinners and some may feel they have a right to look down upon you, which is unfair.”

We are ALL children of God and should be welcomed with open and loving arms. None of us should be treated as an outsider. None of us should be condemned by members of our own Faith. But yet there are some on this board that feel it is okay to condemn others. This is quite disheartening.


#2

We are human beings, we are sinful, we make mistakes. Whist we have a responsibility to advise and keep one another safe in the faith, we must also do our best to live as Christ wants us to. To become disheartened because of the behaviour of others is an example of how one’s own behaviour can lead others to sin. We must try to remain joyful and hopeful and remember the promises of Christ. Carry on doing your best and perfecting yourself rather than being concerned with others’ behaviour - that’s what I try to do. Whatever others are doing - I’m probably worse in other ways!!


#3

I was listening to a recorded interview with Scott Hahn the other day. He was speaking on the benefits and neccessity of the Sacrament of Pennance.

One of the key points he was making is that we need to hold OUR own sins in higher conempt than the sins of others. We may detest the sins others have committed, but we should detest our own even more.

We also should not detest the sinner, nor should we detest ourselves. We should pray for those who ave committed sins, including ourselves, and continue to pray incessantly (Ephisians I think).

I know what my sins are. I know how great they are. I also believe that God's capacity for lov and forgiveness is so much larger than my own. I pray for the Grace that only He can provide so that I may not judge another's transgression(s).


#4

Fran65:

Thank you for your positive response.

I read quite a bit more than I post. I find there are contradicting beliefs within the same posters. I know we are only human, but this tends to be taken to extreme. So much so that some posters will condemn an individual to the point of making them feel worthless. All to try and get their belief across. It’s just not right or fair to do this at someone else’s expense.


#5

Yup, I know what you mean. I've got some very harsh and rude responses to some personal and painful issues that I've posted about.
I think some people don't understand that their comments can be very hurtful. Others probably hide behind the anonimity and say things they would never dare say to people in person. Such is the nature of internet forums I guess.


#6

Thank you all for your responses. You all seem to be very caring and understanding people. It is wonderful to know there ARE loving people out there that are not out to hurt others. :blessyou:


#7

My experience has been quite the opposite.

I've seen some really heated debates here about politics, morality, etc., but the worst anyone's said is "Your views aren't in accordance with Church teaching, and here's why..." I've never seen even remotely resembling "You're a filthy heathen" or "You're too stupid to understand."


#8

It’s hard though for us (as we are all not only sinners, but all people coming from very, very different walks of life and experiences) to be able to be, as St. Paul was, “All things to all men.”

As a woman, I just won’t relate to some things the way that most men will. Also, being a woman, it might be possible for me to ‘say’ something to another poster that they might not accept if it were from a ‘man’; and sadly, there are also occasions where a post known to be made by a woman would not be given the same weight as one given by a man. . .it all depends on the individuals in that way.

I might be at a rough point in my ‘home’ life and that might make me more inclined to hear ‘criticism’ in a post from anybody, whereas if everything were going smoothly for me in ‘real’ life the very same words/post would not seem critical at all.

While most of us (and I include myself) could stand to think a bit more before posting and to work extra hard to be charitable, we also need to be careful that we don’t go so far in considering somebody’s ‘self esteem’ to be more important than a ‘tough’ truth. They both need to be considered obviously, but it is definitely more important to be truthful than to be (in an effort to be ‘kind’) untruthful.

I would try my hardest to be gentle if, for an example, somebody was posting on the subject of abortion and said that she just couldn’t accept the church ‘butting into a woman’s personal choice’. I wouldn’t call the poster names or insinuate that she was stupid, lazy, or damned to hell. I’d give as much information from sources like the Catechism and Scripture as possible.

But in the end, I couldn’t --really I couldn’t-- say something ‘tolerant’ like, “Well, we’ll just have to agree to disagree” or “Well, if this works for you”. I would have to say that the Church teaching on abortion was right, and I couldn’t say that the woman arguing was ‘right’, or that her point of view was just as ‘legitimate’. It isn’t. And provided I was still respectful of the person as a person, shouldn’t it be understood that I was only disagreeing with her understanding on the issue, and not hating her, disrespecting her, or being ‘intolerant?’ I know it’s hard and I pray a lot in situations like this because believe it or not, those of us often labeled as ‘intolerant’ and mean have feelings too, and sometimes it is very discouraging to have tried our hardest only to be judged not by how we have said something (as I mentioned, it is often done very gently and lovingly) but being judged as vicious and intolerant because we simply state the Church’s teaching as being ‘true’.


#9

Some might view your post as being rather judgmental and intolerant of judgmental Catholics. :stuck_out_tongue: :wink: :smiley: (I hope that’s enough smiley faces to let you know that I’m joking with you. :))

In all seriousness, I think you already know the answer: we’re not perfect and we’re all sinners.

I will say, though, that I think much of the hurt feelings result from simple miscommunication. For some, being extremely blunt and saying that such-and-such an act or belief is “obviously” contradictory to Church teaching is simply how they normally interact and they get confused as to why anyone takes it personally. For others, such bluntness comes across as condescending and judgmental, even if that’s not how it was intended. Many of the problems I have seen here are simply the result of miscommunication between people of vastly different styles of communication.

Of course, some people are just jerks. :wink:


#10

[quote="Tantum_ergo, post:8, topic:182027"]
It's hard though for us (as we are all not only sinners, but all people coming from very, very different walks of life and experiences) to be able to be, as St. Paul was, "All things to all men."

As a woman, I just won't relate to some things the way that most men will. Also, being a woman, it might be possible for me to 'say' something to another poster that they might not accept if it were from a 'man'; and sadly, there are also occasions where a post known to be made by a woman would not be given the same weight as one given by a man. . .it all depends on the individuals in that way.

I might be at a rough point in my 'home' life and that might make me more inclined to hear 'criticism' in a post from anybody, whereas if everything were going smoothly for me in 'real' life the very same words/post would not seem critical at all.

While most of us (and I include myself) could stand to think a bit more before posting and to work extra hard to be charitable, we also need to be careful that we don't go so far in considering somebody's 'self esteem' to be more important than a 'tough' truth. They both need to be considered obviously, but it is definitely more important to be truthful than to be (in an effort to be 'kind') untruthful.

I would try my hardest to be gentle if, for an example, somebody was posting on the subject of abortion and said that she just couldn't accept the church 'butting into a woman's personal choice'. I wouldn't call the poster names or insinuate that she was stupid, lazy, or damned to hell. I'd give as much information from sources like the Catechism and Scripture as possible.

But in the end, I couldn't --really I couldn't-- say something 'tolerant' like, "Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree" or "Well, if this works for you". I would have to say that the Church teaching on abortion was right, and I couldn't say that the woman arguing was 'right', or that her point of view was just as 'legitimate'. It isn't. And provided I was still respectful of the person as a person, shouldn't it be understood that I was only disagreeing with her understanding on the issue, and not hating her, disrespecting her, or being 'intolerant?' I know it's hard and I pray a lot in situations like this because believe it or not, those of us often labeled as 'intolerant' and mean have feelings too, and sometimes it is very discouraging to have tried our hardest only to be judged not by how we have said something (as I mentioned, it is often done very gently and lovingly) but being judged as vicious and intolerant because we simply state the Church's teaching as being 'true'.

[/quote]

That's a great response, regardless of whether you're a man or a woman. :p ;)


#11

I'm sorry you have felt discouraged.

I know that for me, I sometimes go back and read things I've posted a day or two later, and realize I came off very harsh, or very wishy washy, or just plain unclear. I think the internet is a hard place to get across exactly what you're saying, because the nuances in communication aren't there. There are usually at least two ways something can be read and understood. I never intend to come off badly to another person, and I DO try to think of what words and tone I use before I post, sometimes it just doesn't translate the way I'd like.

I think most people are like me, but there are a few who like Joe said,a re just jerks:D but they are easy enough to ignore.

Then there is the flip side, which, if I may say, might be in play here in your case, Betty, and that is that sometimes the Truth IS harsh, or seemingly so, and very hard to hear.;)


#12

In matters of Faith and Morals, the Church has spoken and those are black and white.

In all other matters, it is good to have different opinions and ideas.


#13

I'm sorry if some of those posts were mine. I can sound like that sometimes.


#14

[quote="shannyk, post:11, topic:182027"]
I'm sorry you have felt discouraged.

IThen there is the flip side, which, if I may say, might be in play here in your case, Betty, and that is that sometimes the Truth IS harsh, or seemingly so, and very hard to hear.;)

[/quote]

I completely agree but it is not necessary to be rude. And some posters are. There is a difference between debating the official church teaching (I'm always for being direct and saying it how it is) and being nasty to someone when it comes to personal issues.


#15

Truth should always be spoken in love and we should meet people where they are in their walk with Christ. That being said when I hear "tolerant, open-minded and non-judgmental" I interpret that as implying we should accept things that go against church teaching. This is Catholic Answers and posters should expect answers that are Catholic. Posters who want acceptance for things like having sex before marriage, using artificial birth control, artificial insemination, homosexual relationships etc often accuse members of being intolerant, closed-minded and judgmental. In these areas all one has to do is pick up a Catechism and see the church teaching is clear.

Now responding to an area of discussion like ones I mentioned by saying "You're going to burn in hell" is not speaking the truth in love. But neither is it truthful nor loving to be accepting of such things. As Catholics we need to speak the truth gently and explain to the best of our ability (or list a source that can) why the church teaches what it does.


#16

Hello you raise a very good reason why it is so important for us all to be aware
of how our 'behaviour' can affect others.Most importantly how we represent
The Catholic Church. When people come to CAF and read some harsh tones,judgemental attitudes and other offensive behaviours by Catholic posters it gives the entire wrong impression of the Catholic Church.
I am very sorry you have felt discouraged.You are not alone many many people here have felt as you do.Go to Spirituality Forum 'Do we have to be rude?' thread started by JR Education
and there was a thread called Snarkiness and Catholicism but it appears to have been removed.
Love is what we should be showing others and it is what God commanded us to do.We should be encouraging others towards Catholicism not putting them off.
My prayers for you.God bless

Blessed are You, loving Father, for all Your gifts to us. Blessed are You for giving us family and friends to be with us in times of joy and sorrow, to help us in days of need, and to rejoice with us in moments of celebration... Father, we praise You for Your Son Jesus, Who knew the happiness of family and friends, and in the love of Your Holy Spirit. Blessed are You for ever and ever. Amen.


#17

Yes, it is disappointing that some posters who identify themselves as "Catholic" are rude in their comments here. It's one thing to write in response to someone "I disagree" or "You're wrong" or even "What you've described is sinful" (hopefully followed by an explanation of why). But it's quite another thing to write with an insulting or belittling tone. (As the saying goes, even a dog knows the difference between being tripped over and being kicked. ;))

Brother JR has posted some very eloquent observations on this topic in his thread "Must we be rude?" that TB mentioned above.

Try not to be discouraged. There are some very good, caring Catholics here whom it's a pleasure to speak with and learn from.

.


#18

[quote="Joe_5859, post:9, topic:182027"]

I will say, though, that I think much of the hurt feelings result from simple miscommunication.

Many of the problems I have seen here are simply the result of miscommunication between people of vastly different styles of communication.

[/quote]

I think this hits the nail on the head for the most part.

I have refrained from posting; was getting all upset and emotional about lots of things I experienced and saw here....... so I have been limiting my time and just observing for the most part.

Actually, since doing that I have realized that my expectations of what the forum would provide for me and what I could provide the forum were not in accordance with the reality of the forum. Also, that I took personal those things meant to be educational. (doesn't help when one doesn't like to be corrected :blush:).

Always there are people who need to "prove" themselves as pseudo-experts or have power issues..... but, I think the majority of people mean well here. At least I think that now that I have stepped away, read more, and post less.

Blessings!


#19

Reading threads like this make me feel very ashamed of myself :(

I know I have posted some unkind posts in the past. I usually tend to avoid posting in the first place because I don't have much to offer anyway. But still, there is absolutely no need to be rude.

I just want to say sorry. Didn't think about how my ridiculous behavior could affect others. I will keep that in mind from now on. :blush:


#20

Truly if this is your perspective on the issue, I doubt that you are one of the people being referred to in this thread. Regardless, you are loved. :hug3: and you have much to offer. There is nothing more refreshing to my faith, then to see it through the eyes of someone who is young in theirs. The newness, the joy, the yearning, the appreciation of the beauty and the simplicity, I could go on … :slight_smile: Please don’t deny others your thoughts, they are just as important and valued as someone who has been around and involved for years IMHO.

There have been some threads where people have been condescending and outright abusive and prejudiced. I’ve been horrified and saddened.

I agree with the OP and it’s not being judgmental of others, that is between them and God. It’s acknowledging the concern that others who are not Catholic will believe that all Catholics are so judgmental and completely entrenched in their understanding of the Laws of the Church with little regard for humanity. It is a valid concern, which I share. There is so much good here ! and so very much to learn! This other stuff just keeps getting in the way. Lately, I see it as an opportunity to try to show love, regardless. Learning that simple thing will likely keep my busy for a long, long time. :blush:


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