Does anyone else....

…feel really alone in their faith at home, or with friends, or at work, etc?

:frowning:

I’m the only Catholic in my family and sometimes I hear comments about it that really hurt. I try not to show it, but I’m starting to feel really lonely. Whenever I mention anything about my faith, even going to Mass or to confession, I can see that my family doesn’t really approve.

I’m not saying this to complain, but I’m just wondering if there’s anyone else and if maybe we can talk how to deal with it and maybe pray for each other :slight_smile:

I have had similar experiences happen to me. I will send you a private message if you like.

Hello,
I too have a very similar situation. My wife and I went thru RCIA as adults in 1998 and were married in 1999. Both of our families have no religion well, 1 is lutheran, but not practicing. I think for our family, the church has hurt them in alot of ways. But, the only thing I can really do is break the cycle, and raise my children up in the ways of Christ.

Well, I feel alone, and that is because I don’t see any Catholics in my social circles practicing their faith “to the hilt.”

This is especially true in my immediate family. My mother is “Catholic” but she feels she learned everything she needed by the time she was 10 or so. That’s true about her in general, though, that she more or less is stuck in childhood, emotionally and intellectually, so maybe that is a special case.

We must not be judgmental about others, though, even as they may be judgmental about us. I’m saying this, and I had a big blowup argument with a former acquaintance who is Lutheran. It’s not easy to be a model Catholic, much less a perfect one.

My only sibling is a Catholic, but has very strange ideas about it, and like my mother, is stranded back in childhood, intellectually, especially about religion. She recalls a nun saying that you cannot commit a mortal sin unless you wilfully want to hurt God – so that is her key to doing whatever she wants, which is how she has lived her life.

So, living around Catholics itself isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, unless you are in a special situation. Maybe there are a lot of “good” Catholic families out there, I don’t think I’ve met more than a couple.

I have all kinds of crucifixes and pictures and icons in our living room, but my mother doesn’t seem phased by it. I think she believes that even if she is a Catholic, it is a very deeply person thing to her. She does have a Catholic sense of morality in general, but not about everything (she likes astrology, etc.).

I have lived alone all of my adult life, almost 3 decades. It started with a cross-country move, escalating with a traveling job / career. Never felt lonely. I witnessed myriad problems my peers experienced in raising their children in America today. America is a highly competitive, materialistic / consumption oriented society with loads of discretionary income and misplaced values. For the most part, I view it as extremely shallow, Godless, and empty.

During an ethical dilemma many years ago, I made a conscious decision to render unto Caesar that which was Caesar’s - and my soul / spiritual life to God. It may sound / seem incompatible to live this duality, but we must survive in our time as our predecessors survived in their own trying times.

At some point we realize only God is eternal. Everything else is temporary. Including our own lives. For me, the solution is to trust God and His son, Jesus. They will never let you down. Everything else in life will let you down. Friends will come and go. Careers come and go. Your family may or may not approve how you live. Walk with Jesus, and let the Holy Spirit console you in difficult times. We can’t change the world. I accept that, and have learned to only try changing the things I can. We can work on our spiritual life. Jesus is the greatest friend to have. Everything else will have its place, and eventually pass away.

As for the Church, I choose to support it. In spite of the problems. The foundation and value system it provided in my formative years has been invaluable. And the spiritual aspect of life becomes more and more wonderful with age.

I feel more alone here (at home) because I don’t feel comfortable talking to most people about my faith…
its completely different when i’m at college, or talking with college friends (much to my surprise and elation…)

Most people I know at home are Catholic, but I live in an area where most people don’t like to discuss religion… :shrug:

Hello Monica,

While I completely empathize with what you’re experiencing, I won’t belabor you with my own woes. It does get lonely being the only Catholic in my family, but, more than that, I sometimes wonder if I’m the only *Christian *in my family - but, to avoid being trapped by spiritual pride, I try to recognize the goodness in all my family. It does seem, at least, that I’m the only one who cares about the interior life, who understands something about the life of grace, and given my interest in mysticism, this makes me just a little bit weird. :wink:

However, consider this: living the active Christian life, whether Catholic or Protestant, calls for conversion, and conversion is unique to each person. We each experience God’s call differently. Some choose not to respond at all. Even in families where parents take their children to Mass, each member of that family must respond to God differently - if at all. There are many cradle Catholics who find that they are the only practicing persons in their whole family! Imagine how lonely that must feel - to know that your family seemingly knows what it’s given up on?

When you feel lonely, reflect on Jesus’ words to his disciples,

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me.” (John 14:1)

hi monica. yes faith is lonely. before i was baptized i felt this way. i like to go to a church and pray when i am more lonely than other times. i carry a rosary or crucifix with me at all times. when i am lonely i hold it in my hand and talk to Jesus or Mary. i bought a cd that is Catholic music. i play it when i am alone. i come here and read what people write. i read at the Vatican. i read the Bible. at times i watch EWTN. then there are other Catholics in my house.

Hi “Monica”. Aw, I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. :console: I have a similar situation. I’m not the only Catholic in my family, but my family are all spread out over 2,000 miles… so, I never see any of them. In addition to which, I’m alone with the care of our elderly mother. It can be very lonely, at times. :sad_yes:

I believe, that Our Lord occasionally “isolates” us… in order to show us that we must lean on Him. And not others, so much. Of course, love other people. But truly trust and lean on Jesus. This is the lesson which He has taught me… in being separated from my family.

Monica, your are free to message me at any time, dear soul… if you’d like to. I don’t mind exchanging emails, either. God bless you.

Monica, You’re definitely not the only one who has to deal with this, not by a long shot. I think one of the things that makes being Catholic particularly hard these days is that there are so many former or non-practicing catholics around who think it’s their right to bash the Church. In my large, mostly non-practicing Catholic family I’ve hardly ever been to a dinner or barbeque where there wasn’t a crack made about the Pope or other nasty comment. Mostly they’re angry at the Church over things like divorce and abortion, and sometimes I try to talk about Church related things with them but it’s usually like talking to a wall. I honestly think there’s more hope with the generation that’s coming of age right now because they’re almost entirely unchurched, and are therefore free of a lot of negative perceptions about the Catholic Church and religion in general. I went back to school this year to get a degree in journalism after working for several years, and most of my classmates are in the 18-22 range. The odd time when religion came up, I’ve found that most of them know absolutely nothing except what they’ve seen in the news. A lot of them are genuinely curious about religion and sick of the MTV culture they were brought up in.

…feel really alone in their faith at home, or with friends, or at work, etc?

I’m the only Catholic in my family and sometimes I hear comments about it that really hurt. I try not to show it, but I’m starting to feel really lonely. Whenever I mention anything about my faith, even going to Mass or to confession, I can see that my family doesn’t really approve.

I’m not saying this to complain, but I’m just wondering if there’s anyone else and if maybe we can talk how to deal with it and maybe pray for each other

Yep…I feel that way a lot. I am a convert to the faith (1999); my step-mom is “don’t force your religion on anyone by talking about it” Lutheran and my father is agnostic. My mother, up until her death in 1998, was deeply entrenched in the New Age movement and the Course in Miracles “theology”. My whole family was shocked when I converted, although they were as supportive as they could muster up, which is to say, not very supportive at all. It’s pretty much a mutual agreement not to talk specifically about religion at all at this point.

I have been blessed to have a spouse who is a Roman Catholic who tries hard to live his life in a state of grace, as do I. But even being married to someone who shares your faith doesn’t mean you won’t be lonely. We don’t know a single other faithful Catholic couple in our area. I know ONE woman at work who believes in the Truth of the Church and her husband just left her after 20 (?) years of marriage for another woman. And she just got laid off, so will not even have the support of the one other faithful Catholic in her workplace. (please pray for her by the way, this world is heaping its troubles on her). As jobs, families, children, money (i.e. the world) revolves around DH and I and intrudes into our space, we find ourselves not always “on the same page”. Sometimes we’re both infused with enthusiasm about our faith and we enjoy so many active decisions to pray and attend daily mass and say a family rosary and bring Jesus into every aspect of the day. So many times, one of us struggles under the weight of the world and the other has to carry the Cross for us both,. Occassionally, and praise Him that this is not too often, we are both weak and feel discouraged.

Like others here have said, however, He will sustain you. He will never leave you and will bring you His joy and His peace. Even as we suffer ( and I think so very many faithful Catholics are suffering right now), He is holding us and drying our tears.

His peace to you, Monica!

  1. at home … Well, I’m the only one in my family who lives in the state of Ohio. As I posted in the Carthusian Spirituality social group, Ohio is my desert.

  2. with friends … As a single, middle-aged woman with no kids and a uniquely different personality (try picturing a female Forrest Gump), friends are far and few between, even when you take everyone’s advice by joining groups in the parish or hanging out for donut Sunday. So instead, I’m in the process of becoming one of those eccentric reclusive artists … Seriously. One of my photographs will be on display in an art center in Ohio throughout June. :slight_smile:

  3. at work … Last year I was forced to resign my job due to my being a pro-life Catholic. That was after they found out that socially shunning me for a year’s worth of silent treatment would not be enough to freeze me out … (praying to St. Michael helped). :angel1: Would welcome any prayers about this … am currently in between contract positions.

If you’d like to get to know each other better and exchange private messages Monica4316, you’d be most welcome. :curtsey:

Prayers for you,

:gopray:

Hi Monica, I understand where you are coming from :sad_yes: I too feel this way more times than not. In my line of work the topic of ‘God’ is brought up almost daily, and not in a nice way. At home my dh tries to be supportive but even he can’t refuse to bring up negative history of the church (just to get a rise out of me!)
But I try and overcome this through pray, but at times even that is difficult. Just know you are never alone He is always with you. As with the others feel free to PM me also, I would love to share ideas with you.
You are in my prayers
Amanda

My profile says agnostic. I was a baptized convert, according to the Roman rite, so that probably makes me “lapsed”.

A major impediment for me is the mockery and taunts from family and friends. I will be attending a Catholic university this fall ( mid life career change, and no jobs out there). I told them I was going to enroll in a mediaeval studies program, and they seemed to accept that, except for the job prospects.

I recently spilled the beans and told them I actually enrolled in the theology program. Needless to say the taunts just increased.

Now, if I truly had faith, this shouldn’t bother me in the least. If one actually believed in God, Jesus, an afterlife, and everything in the CCC, what possible event could damper this absolutely amazing revelation?

As it is, I have no or little faith. I’m hoping that by immersing myself in a Catholic academic environment, I could find out why so many rational, highly intelligent people believe these astounding stories in a book.

I expect the ridicule from family and friends to continue. For now, I will try to brush them off with my impartial, scholastic work.

If I ever find an incontrovertible proof for Christianity (objective or subjective), then it wouldn’t matter what anyone else thought.

Hey I know how you feel. I live with several lapsed Catholics and all I ever hear is that I am on a “religious kick”. This kick has been going on for a few years now. Since I still practice my faith as best I can, It gets thrown up in my face in disagreements. No one wants to talk about God in this house. I am told I spend to much time on CAF. (RIGHT!) It hurts me because I want to share so much with them and they don’t want to listen to what I say. They won’t even pray with me. Not even a single Hail Mary or an Our Father. It is sad though for them. They do not know what they are missing. There lives could use the spice of God more often. It would change much of the problems they are having right now.

God Bless!

Yes, it is lonely, but only lonely involving other people, not God.

I feel sad by the people I’ve lost, or had to lose , because of my faith. But I’m not depressed or despondent. I am very happy. When you have the Truth, you have the Truth. There’s no way I can lose with Jesus, ever. If my girlfriend ever comes around to the faith, I will be even happier with life. But if not, I know God provides and God will remain in me no matter what as long as I remain in Him.

Keep on fightin!! Don’t let despair get to you… you can feel it for a second, but no more than that! Otherwise it’ll eat you up, I know what despair does.

Hey there!

I just wanted to add that even though my family is lapsed and think of me this way. I do not despair for myself, I despair for their souls. I may not be able to bring them back to the faith the way I want, but I have great confidence in the Lord! If only by my example, they will know the power of the Lord! My prayers are that they be reimbued with the graces given to them in Baptism and through Our Lord’s Passion and Crucifixion!.

Don’t stop talking about how God is working in your life, ever! I found that even though this does not make them happy at times, I have heard talk of returning to Church a few times recently. We are doing God’s Will by example!

God Bless!

mh2007 - I like your reply .

Interesting question…

Home, I live alone so it is just God and me.

Work, retired so God and me hang out.

Friends, new to the area so God and I talk a lot.

Area, Mostly Baptists/protestants since in am in the south.

So I have some good companions God, Mary, Matka Boska Czestochowska (black Madonna Poland), and John Paul the Great

Yes, I feel very alone in my faith at times because I am a “traditional” Catholic in a very small parish where it’s more like a protestant church than Catholic. People don’t seem to know much about the faith or care. Nobody visits Jesus in the blessed Sacrament or had heard of it at all. The tabernacle was empty till I asked the bishop to allow us to have the blessed Sacrament here. So, I have Jesus, but feel alone in my faith.

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