What do you do if someone thinks you’re being a fanatic/crazy person for some things you do as a Catholic? I don’t mean doing really weird non-Catholic things as a Catholic. I mean doing things like going to daily Mass, or following other Catholic teachings including moral teachings or modesty. For the sake of privacy I won’t share more but just thought I’d ask for advice on what is the best thing to do in that case…? thank you!
I think that to some extent this is a good opportunity to look in the mirror and evaluate what you’re doing. Are you being over the top and if so, is it a problem?
The other thing to consider is how people know about what you’re doing. If you go to Mass on your way to work, for example, it’s unlikely that other people would know about it or criticize it. People don’t usually criticize the clothes that other people buy.
On the other hand, if you’re constantly talking about how important it is to dress modestly, perhaps indirectly criticizing the way other people dress, always pressing the issue, people may get tired of it and begin criticizing you.
If you’re sure that you’re not pushing a religious agenda, then I would just ignore the criticism. If you are pushing an agenda, then this may be the time to reconsider your actions.
Being Catholic is counter culture and you would expect this sort of attack from the secular world but unfortunately some Catholics resort to this sort of thing. Usually the attack is that you think you are holier than thou. This sort of attack is usually directed at Traditionalists. You hear about this also from woman who veil. I have also heard Faithful Catholics derisively called ‘pray, pay and obey Catholic’ by these people. Never mind we are commanded to do all three in Scripture lol. So you just keep practicing the Faith and don’t worry about it. Pray for them…
You are not a fanatic. Don’t be upset with what others think. Concern yourself with what our Lord thinks. We live to please Him first😊
Up in the Scottish isles, the expression used is “She is very kirk-ey”
Does it really matter? What folk say I mean? The Dear Lord alone knows what folk here think of me with my strange life style. I do not worry or care.
I once read a post on a Protestant board deriding some Catholic ways as fanatical, and soon after, an article about teen girls with crushes on rock stars and how they spent money on this, had posters in their bedrooms, etc. It seems like there are people who behave in strong ways towards things they consider important. The secular world (which infortunately includes some who are Catholic )thinks nothing of a girl who idolizes a rock star, but poorly of those who would go so far as to put God first in their lives.
So don’t worry about what others think: their opinions are skewed. As long as you are doing well with the duties of your state in life, then carry on with your devotions.
I am not sure I understand how people would know that you are going to daily Mass…other than the priest celebrating and others who are present unless one is making it a topic of conversation, in which case the people in the conversation are very likely to remark and comment on the matter. Surely that is not surprising.
The same would be true for other matters, such as modesty…presuming one is not dressed like a Victorian widow or something equally singular and eccentric or otherwise discussing why one chooses the fashions one does.
I can see several possibilities… college student whose roommate noticed them always leaving for Mass before dining hall opens or classes begin (and not dressed for a workout)… person who experienced a deepening of faith but their spouse hasn’t and does not feel drawn to go with them… commuter who catches the bus at a stop near church and usually sits with the same seatmate who sees them rushing from the church sometimes when Mass runs later… person who goes to noon Mass rather than having lunch in the employee kitchen at work…
The daily communicant need not bring up the topic; those around them, being observant, could be asking questions.
Thank you for the replies! Just to clarify, I am not speaking of acquiantances to whom I talk to about daily Mass or modesty. (These are not typical conversation topics for me with non Catholics, they don’t come up unless the person is already interested). I meant if there’s someone really close who would just know more about you. This is definitely not a thread to critique anyone, as they obviously care and it all comes from concern, and I understand how my choices can look weird. If someone is not Catholic it might seem puzzling. For example with dress… I don’t wear period costumes and such. I shop in ordinary stores. But especially in this hot summer weather my clothing choices stand out. Add to that daily Mass, not seeking any relationship (I’m discerning a vocation), being involved at my parish, and it all might just look like too much to people who happen to know. I avoid talking about it all but people who know me well just see.
I wanted to make this thread more general about any situation… I clarified about my first post just because some were wondering what I meant.
This can come up in various ways… Let’s say someone has five kids and is expecting their sixth, and their coworker (rudely) comments on how maybe “its time to stop having kids”. The person tries to explain they don’t see it like that and now they might be labeled kind of weird. Or someone doesn’t want to watch a movie with impurity or go to a bad party when invited. If its a consistent thing people would notice. In the world some would just think the person is “moralistic/judgemental” (even though they’re not necessarily judging)… Some might think they’re a religious fanatic. People who are closer like family, relatives and friends might genuinely worry, but see it almost like an illness. So how do you deal with that?
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” John 15:18
Not saying that your family or friends hate you, but sounds like they are harassing you a bit. Of course they won’t agree if they’re not Christian.
I like to turn it around: if they laugh at you for avoiding impure movies, say something like,
“Why do you want to watch that garbage?“
If someone complains about the number of kids a person has, give them Homer Simpson’s line:” saying there are too many kids is like saying there can be too many doughnuts.” (actually it’s flowers.)
You have the right perspective on things. Don’t be afraid to point that out.
I come from a secular family, and for me to go from practicing no religion at all to becoming very actively involved in the Catholic Church, which I think is viewed as more “intense” than other Christian denominations is jarring to them. They don’t really understand because they have nothing similar to compare it to in their own lives. For example, they do not understand that I can’t just “skip” mass, and I tried this past lent to observe the fasting and abstinence obligations for the first time and they thought I was being over-the-top just because I only ate pasta and no chicken at dinner. I only talked about it when asked. :shrug: I think that if you just keep living the way you see fit, eventually those around you will adjust.
I see what you mean! I guess its hard to understand the sudden change…
Have you noticed the change in the culture (US)?
…I can recall when hazing was done in the movies… and perhaps in a few colleges… once it was popularized and accepted it became a “must” do culture… which progressed to the point of young men being killed by the “pranks” and the culture reaching into the high school and perhaps even the middle school levels…
That mentality also filtered into the Church–Priest began to look the other way as people took more and more liberties… today, it is not uncommon to find people attending Mass as if they are going to a club/beach/theater or worst; they bring in food, drinks, and entertainment… it is as if dragging themselves to the local parish is a trek across the Sahara and they must pack their camels in an effort to avoid dying on the trek… and talk about disorder… in some parishes not even the Blessing of the Sacraments enjoy a moment of silence…
The word is out: minimalism and ‘do it your way,’ If you veer from these new norms… well, yeah, you are a fanatic/crazy Catholic…
Jesus aptly queried: ‘when the Son of man returns, would He find Faith on earth?’
Be True to God; forget the judgment of liberal-fringe “Catholics.” Jesus is not concerned with who we please but in how we Stand for Him.
…and then there’s the pitfall of society… Catholics buying into minimalism and the carefree attitude–once I was asked to join a group… since I refused I was considered “pious;” funny thing was that at least one of the altar server was talking about how drunk he got the very previous night… people don’t have to lord their behavior or religiosity over anyone; those who want to be “rebels” outside the Church and “saints” while in from of the Priest will project their feeling of guilt on you (make you the escape goat).
St. Peter was forced with a choice… does he follow man or God… do you remember his conclusion?:
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!
While we cannot lord anything over anyone, we must also not succumb to the fallacy of ‘going along to get along!’
I will pray that you find more fora, and especially good friends, with whom you feel free to speak about “your conversion” more liberally. Jesus told His followers that they would be hated as He is hated; a cross you appear to bear with fruitfulness.
Your witness to The Spirit moving in your life is wonderful. St. Paul tells us to think of those good things we know to convert our minds. Your witness is one of those good things to know.
Thank you for replying to this concern. Your recognition of the church that Jesus founded is a great answer to the pressures that “cradle Catholics” realize when finding His True Presence a necessity in living out faith-filled lives.
…well, there used to be a time when people minded their own… in the last few decades hollowood’s babble has convinced the masses that they must “know” and “share” everything; so people do not use commonsense and refrain from getting into other’s business… they “need to know” everything about everyone… so when the issue comes up… the reply is usually to accommodate their own personal judgment and practices… ‘what, you go to Mass every day? …are you seeking the sainthood? …life’s too short to spend so much time doing that!’ (or some other moronic assessment)
…I was once taught to not lend money to anyone, even the best of friends… I thought it kind of overkill… then I learned that people are quick to borrow but forgetful, resentful, and outright vicious when having to repay a loan… I’ve witness people even turning others against the person that they owe money to in order to keep their debt from surfacing…
…it is the same with moral/religious mediocrity/bankruptcy–those who are disengaged from God project their feeling of guilt and judgment upon those who are faithful to the Church and the Word of God.
Sadly, Jesus warned that He Came not to bring peace but war (Holy War)… that where two would be gathered one would be taken and the other left behind, this includes the intimacy of the bedroom!
Serve God, forget about how others may judge/or not judge you, pray for them and treat them in Christ’s Love and generosity.
I commend your determination to continue on the Path; welcome to the Body of Christ!
Any cultural change is a struggle… what is more difficult is that you are not going to another state/country… you are still home where your family and friends see/experience you on a daily basis; still, charity does begin at home so by refraining from “schooling” them on what you’ve learned/discovered you are wisely not burning any bridges… who knows, your Conversion may not be the last one in your family!
I’ll keep you in my prayers.