[quote="FightForFaith, post:1, topic:281379"]
I am newly Confirmed and so proud of my faith! I have very close friends who are non-denominational Christians. I think it's great that we are Christian sisters. However, as I have recently been exploring more and more about Christ's Church and the beliefs of His Church, I have been feeling more and more tension towards my friends. It is obvious where we disagree on things. For example, my friends have said that we shouldn't have to "report" our sins to a priest. They also have said that Catholics added things to the Bible and the age-old accusation of worshiping Mary.
It has never got outwardly tense, but in my heart I can feel myself becoming resentful. I don't want to feel this way! But it feels like they are trying to lead ME to "the truth" by inviting me to Campus Crusade for Christ meetings, and I feel like I already know the truth because I am part of His Church that HE created. Part of me feels like it's a "I'm right, they're wrong" situation. I know it shouldn't be that way, and I know there are many things that we probably agree on.
How can I stop feeling so resentful towards their difference of beliefs and how can I present my beliefs in a calm, respectful manner? How do I explain certain things to them, such as why we ask Mary to pray for us, or why we believe Maccabees, etc. are sacred scripture? I'm really starting to feel frustrated!
Congratulations on your Confirmation, and your joyful devotion to your faith:)
If your friends ask you about Reconciliation, just make it clear that you believe, just as they do, that you are confessing your sins to Jesus, and that you seek advice from a priest (just as they would a pastor) to prevent you from falling into a habit of committing the same thing over and over again. If they won't accept that, they are just looking for an argument or a chance to proclaim that they somehow know better what you believe than you do, and you have to ask yourself if they are truly your friends. True friends are willing to listen to your beliefs, rather than tell you what you should believe, and they won't believe anti-Catholic lies.
If they question the number of books in your Bible, calmly state that Martin Luther was actually the one who removed books from the Bible, not the Catholic Church that "added" books. If your friends want to criticize the Church, they should be willing to hear the Catholic side of the story, and, if they aren't, that should be another warning sign that you need to find more respectful friends.
If they put up a fuss about you "worshiping" Mary, just tell them that you ask her to pray on your behalf just as you would ask them to pray for you. Again, if they insist on accusing you of idolatry, you should focus on interacting with Christians who are willing to see you as a sister in Christ.
If you find yourself becoming resentful and you feel tense, rather than relaxed, around your friends, you may need to consider whether your friendship is actually a friendship. Friends should not make us feel tense or resentful. They should be a source of joy and comfort in our lives. Right now, it may be best if you and your friends instituted a mutual ban upon discussion of religious topics, and a focus on common interests besides religion (if there are any other common areas). If your friends only want to be your friend to take you to their religious meetings (in an attempt to convert you), you may have to drift away from them.
However, if you find that you are very happy when you connect with your friends about things besides religion, you may consider eventually talking to them about your religion again. When and if you do talk to them about your religion again, try to emphasize the common ground in your belief systems, and, whenever possible, try to use language that they would understand. A bit of a language gap sometimes causes tension between Catholics and Protestants (especially of the evangelical or non-denominational stripe).
At the end of the day, remember that you only need to "justify" yourself to God, and not to your friends, and that there will be plenty of evangelical and non-denominational Christians who will accept you as the sister in Christ that you are:thumbsup: Don't let your heart be hardened by the lies that some people have, unfortunately, been made to believe are true.