Feeling Guilty


#1

I keep going back and forth as to this being the correct place to post this. And then I realize that it is because it has to do with family, and those who soon will be family.

I am marrying a wonderful young man in a month or so, and he was raised Baptist. I attend services with he and his family, occasionally, and then I go to Mass at my parish.
I was invited to Palm Sunday service at their church, but didn’t go in favor of Palm Sunday Mass.
I was again invited to service this evening, but went to Holy Thursday Mass instead. I had a wonderful evening, and processed with the congregation to take Jesus to the adoration chapel after Mass singing "Jesus, remember me when you come into You kingdom"
After I left adoration, I thought to myself "Could anything [church name here] did tonight have ever been that significant?"
And then I felt guilty for questioning the legitimacy of another’s practice.
My parents raised me with a kind of “No one’s Jesus is better than anyone else’s” attitude. But now,I find myself getting a bit snoody towards Protestants.

And I am dreading the invitation to Easter Service. I went last year, and it felt empty to me. I have expressed this, and I get negative responses in return (something regarding my having problems with bible-believing churches).
I just don’t know what to do.

And as for FH, he enjoys Mass with me and is all for NFP and raising the children Catholic, so he is not the issue.

I just don’t know how to handle this situtation, and this guilt. I feel that I have handled well up to now “No, but thank you anyway” but I can’t help but feel that this reflects negatively on me.

Thanks for listening y’all.


#2

I can relate to you… My wife does not like the Catholic church. I can honestly say that you should not feel guilty for the faith you have reguardless if others agree. I am the only Catholic in my whole family and I always get negative remarks about how the Catholic Church goes against the bible. When I was a new Catholic I would get upset about this but as the years went by I began to see that I had no reason to get upset. It is their ignorance that leads them to criticize your religion and your faith in the Church.
Also, you should never feel bad about going to Mass on days of obligation.
In my opinion people who react with anger from bad comments about their religion, racism, and whatever else you can think of is just a form of insecurity. You just need to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. Never let anyone make you feel like what you believe in is wrong. From my experiences protestants tend to be quick to point out the flaws in the Church and ignore the flaws in their own.
Have courage and be a strong Catholic. Live life with the philosophy of: I am strong in my faith and reguardless what anyone says out of ignorance I will stand proud of what I am and the Catholic Church I belong to.
One last thing… I can also relate to the empty feeling you get from going to something besides Catholic. My previous church worked more off emotions… the whole service would have been totally paralized if they did not have the yelling and music set to the mood the pastor was trying to project.
I hope I did not upset you with anything I said. All this is just my opinion and built up from my personal experiences.
God bless you and I pray you have a wonderful marriage and life.


#3

Howie-
Thanks darlin, it does help.
At least I am not alone :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


#4

It’s ultimately up to you whether you attend other religious services, but I think it’s something you should get straightened out now…before you and your FH have children. Will they also be invited/expected to attend these services by your future in-laws? And how will you deal with this?

As Catholics, we are blessed with the fullness of faith. This belief doesn’t make us snotty (or at least we should always strive to be humble) but it is the truth. Other non-Catholic relgions may have parts of the truth, but not the whole truth. This explains why you would feel that other services are “empty”…something IS missing. Namely, Jesus present in the Most Holy Eucharist.

As long as attending a non-Catholic service doesn’t challenge your faith, you’d probably be OK going, HOWEVER we must always consider the message we send by our actions. Does your presence suggest that you believe “it’s all the same”? And will this confuse future children that you are trying to raise in the faith? DH and I are both Catholic, but he is a Jewish convert, and some members of his family are still Jewish, and some are now Catholic, and some have converted to Protestantism. We try to make it very clear where we stand on our belief of the Catholic Church being the one, true church. We were asked to be godparents for our neice, but they are Episcopal, and so we said no…we can’t promise to help raise a child in a faith other than the Catholic Church. It caused some drama in the family, but we have to be witnesses to what we believe. “As for me and my house…we will serve the Lord”!


#5

I am assuming so. My father was baptist when my parents married, and when we visited his mother we attended her church. They explained to me the differences between the Catholic Church and my grandmother’s church. And then we would go to the little Spanish Mission church. That was always fun. :smiley:
We will probably pass off the invitations as they are younger (I have a daughter and my FH has told his parents I don’t bring her to service because I believe Mass is family thing, and I don’t want to put her in the nursery/daycare/sunday school) and maybe go with them when the kids are older.

It might. But I already know that his family doesn’t believe that’s “it’s all the same”.

Thanks for the advice Queen Anne!


#6

If you are Catholic and believe Christ is present during Mass, and that the Catholic Church was founded by Him, then no wonder you would feel Mass is better than a bible service or meeting.

And if you can be charitable and remain open/transparent, perhaps his family will begin to wonder if there is something important and beautiful going on over there.

Also, when you think about it from a personal relationship point of view, if God is right there during the Mass for you, why would you choose hanging out with FH’s family at a service instead of God?


#7

I never thought of it that way.
And I guess the other thing that hurts is the expectation that I attend service when invited, but I have extended the invitation and it has never been taken up.


#8

I can understand that. My guy is Protestant as well and I would love to bring him to Mass with me and in return, I’d go to church with him (I would also go to Mass that weekend, I wouldn’t go instead of Mass). I understand when people say they feel uncomfortable in a Catholic church, but they shouldn’t be too surprised if we’re uncomfortable in theirs.


#9

“Yours” is not better than anyone else’s just because it’s yours. However, if the Catholic Church stands for the truth and is in the truth - and the truth, or Truth, rather, has a name and we’re in the church that He founded - then naturally the services at other churches cannot compete with the sacrifice of mass.

I have too much of a headache right now to deal with legitimacy of one’s practice, but if our church is the one Christ founded and our broken away brethren are not quite in full communion with this Church, then our practice does seem more legitimate than theirs. But I’d rather know what exactly you understand under your terms before arguing. :wink:


#10

I think what you are experiencing is a real question of what is most important to you. You are not prejudiced against people of other faiths. This is a real issue for you right now that you need to explore. Do not underestimate the importance of those foundational beliefs that make us different from people of other faiths. It is those very foundational beliefs that form every other belief we have. It is very likely that if you marry this man, though he may seem to be so perfect right now, you will have problems a little further down the road. Sooner or later, this issue with faith will come back to haunt you. The reason I say this is that I married someone of the same faith, and I am still struggling with the questions why in the world I married him—what was I thinking? I can’t imagine how I would feel if we didn’t even worship at the same church. I would for sure feel completely miserable and very alone. I wouldn’t marry a Protestant unless he really loved the Church and had a sincere desire to become Catholic at the first opportunity. Faith is too important to play around with.


#11

I know what is important to me, my faith. My FH knows this as well. Though he is going through his own spiritual desert right now, he supports me in my faith and the faith I am raising my daughter and our future children in.
I know and acknowledge the spiritual desert, as my own desert took me into Paganism and Witchcraft and then back to the Church.
As for service, this seems to be something we are attending now, as an engaged couple, to appease his parents. I prefer Mass, and he has no preference (that whole spiritual desert thing).
As for going through the relationship desert, isn’t it a natural part of a relationship to grow, change and re-find and redefine your love for one another? To me, it only makes sense for a relationship to go through a point of “why in the world did I marry you?” that leads the couple to rediscover each other, attend Marriage Encounter, begin or renew spiritual practices together (rosary, chaplet, prayer before you go to sleep and/or get out of bed), etc.


#12

This is an alarm signal.
While you are trying to appease his parents, it doesn’t sound like they are really being appeased.
And if you have to appease them, what does this say about your relationship with them after you get married?

You also have an issue with your FH that needs to get settled. What happens when he takes a leadership role as a husband and decides that the Catholic faith is not for him and doesn’t want his wife and children to be a part of that?
On the other hand, what if he never takes his leadership role and decides he is not interested in faith at all?

This is an issue that really needs to be settled before marriage.
It is of the utmost importance, just as important as agreeing on how to handles finances. You do not want to be in the position of having to choose faith or your husband. The chances of that situation happening are greatly increased if you don’t agree before you enter marriage.

Final question, if your future in-laws are not appeased - will he support you over them?


#13

I have since ceased attending Service, and that seems to be giving the impression that I want- that I do not agree with their Church and that I find my Faith to be far more important that trying to appease them.

Well, since we have already agreed that we will be raising the children Catholic, and there really was discussion with that. We were both just kind of like "Catholic? Ok"
As for right now, he has no interest in the Faith, but he is in his own Spiritual Desert, so I am being loving and patient with him. He attends Mass and does evening prayer with my daughter and I. Right now, while he figures out what he believes, that is all I ask for.

Yes, he will support me over them. It has already happened.
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#14

I saw your other posts on this thread and wanted to extend a thought that perhaps on FH’s and his parents’ end, this is not just a single issue but rather a much bigger problem.

It does not sound as if the main problem for them has to do with religion or services. Are they perhaps controlling things a little here? How does your FH react?


#15

I see somethings that they are still trying to control by FH isn’t letting them, as much, any more.
He has become more openly critical of some of his parents’ attitudes towards things, and has been sticking up for me regarding the religion issue.

But can I ask you to elaborate a bit more on your question?


#16

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