Good Catholic Examples


#1

Since my one year “anniversary” of returning to the Church (after a 9 month hiatus) has arrived, I’ve been reflecting more and more on my journey up until now. One thing which I still see remnants of in myself, something which was quite pronounced very early on, and something which I definitely see many Catholics struggle with is the issue of scrupulosity and how to live a good, balanced Catholic lifestyle. It seems as if many of us are almost borderline with our faith, existing at opposite poles from one moment to the next: either we’re incredibly devout, pious Catholics willing to become martyrs for Christ or else we’re bitter, angry apostates the next.

I’m starting to ask myself, “Why?”

Could it be that we lack good, proper Catholic role models – or, simply a network of faithful believers? As a convert, and given my personal and familial circumcumstances, I don’t know the “lifestyles” of a great many other Catholics. It only seems to be through trial and error, through reading posts here on CAF, and some direction from my pastor over the past year which has guided me closer and closer to that middle ground between scrupulosity and sanity, between being in the world but not of the world, etc.

What do you think? Do you think that as catechism itself has literally fallen down the tubes, we’re also lacking in good Catholic example?


#2

Hi “Ep” :wave: Have you read the life of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati? I sent a book about his life, to my nephew (age 24) last Christmas. I think Blessed Pier Giorgio is a great, modern example of a Catholic life… well lived. Especially, for the guys!

God bless!


#3

Many canonized Saints read the Lives of the Saints that preceded them.
We do have the role models, the great cloud of witnesses.

Cursillo started in Spain about the time of WWII. It was postponed slightly because of the war. This movement was started by laymen aware of the lack of cathechesis. Cursillo means short course. It is a three day weekend, generally segregated by gender for Catholics to learn about their faith. What is more important, and where you could benefit is from what is called the Fourth Day. The Fourth Day involves weekly (or there about) reunions with other Cursilitas. There is continued lifelong formation in the faith through these group meetings, and Ultreyas. Group members are accountable to one another as you share your faith journeys.

I was born into a family that recited the rosary daily. Our home had religious pictures, statues, and holy water fonts. None of us children left home in the morning without kissing Mom and receiving a blessing. There would be books in the racks in the back of church about different saints. I would regularly pick up one of these books to read.
The need for adult cathechesis, not simply learning about our faith as children, has been increasingly noted by the bishops and priests in the dioceses where I have lived. I would not say that catechesis has “gone down the tubes”; rather as a society we have become overly busy and stop growing in faith matters.Practices within the home that were once commonplace have become less so. Your pastor may be able to guide you to some good books to read about the saints, as well as other faith resources.


#4

“DebChris” We were watching “Sunday Night Live” last night, and I heard Father Groeschel highly endorse the Cursillo weekends. He said it’s a very good thing for any Catholic to take part in. I’m getting very curious about this, now. I’m going to see if my parish offers this… and if so, if it’s something that I could do, with my mother along.

Thanks for talking about it. God bless.


#5

I think today especially, it is difficult to balance our spiritual practices with everything else we do. Ideally ALL our lives should be directed towards God, from praying to washing the dishes to talking with friends to working or studying. It is difficult to find this though. I think regular prayer is very important. Good Catholic examples are important too, and you’re lucky if you have strong Catholic friends. If you don’t, read about the Saints. But even then… there’s still this ‘tension’ that exists in the world… between the things of the world and of God. Sometimes we give in and start living like everyone else, and it’s easy to lose your faith this way. Make sure you always remember what our lives are about. Don’t look away from Christ, because as soon as you do, you start going off track.
During the year I’m at university, and sometimes looking around and seeing people concerned with parties, popularity, drinking, money, worldly success, etc - it’s a big distraction for me. It does help to have Catholic friends, it’s encouraging. If you don’t, remember how we’re surrounded by the cloud of witnesses…we’re not alone here. Remember Our Lady, the Saints, and the Angels.

just some random thoughts.


#6

I do think a community of believers makes living the faith much easier. For example, take two neighborhoods. One comprised of all Catholics who believe 100% of the Church’s teachings, the other a mixed neighborhood.

In the Catholic neighborhood, a man misses Mass. His neighbors are concerned, ask if everything’s ok. Turns out he has a theological problem with The Church. One neighbor helps him study Church teaching and he realizes his mistake. He goes to Confession. Later that week another neighbor couple announces they’re pregnant with their fourth child. Block party ensues.

In the mixed neighborhood, a man misses Mass. His neighbor, a Fundamentalist, asks him if everything is ok. Turns out he has a theological problem with The Church. His neighbor encourages this and explains why nobody should be required to go to Church and uses Scripture to “show” his Catholic neighbor that the Mass is blasphemous. Another neighbor, overhearing, says that she thinks her Catholic neighbor is a ‘good guy’ and shouldn’t worry about missing Mass. Later that week another neighbor couple announces they’re pregnant with their fourth child. One Muslim neighbor congratulates the couple. Two others suggest now would be a good time to stop having children. A third says the couple is selfish and overpopulating the planet.

Living with people of Faith is just much easier. The Saints are great role models, but having solid people in front of you just helps. This is an excellent reason why we should be proud, faithful Catholics - it helps others to be faithful too.


#7

lol that’s a good example about the two neighbourhoods. :wink:


#8

Hi Ep
I have a thread going called “what type of catholic are you?” in philosophy section(i think !).I think the attitude of some of the responders is a description of “good catholic examples”.

Obviously the saints lives are inspirational but i also feel inspired and motivated when i meet regular good catholics either here at CAF or at my parish or life in general.
I feel renewed in my faith when i converse with other catholics who i can look up to, admire their lifestyles and learn from them how to improve myself.

God bless


#9

It would be great if you could make a Cursillo with your mother. Cursillo would possibly be offered by the diocese. You would need a sponsor. My pastor signed his ok to my going. I need to come back with a website link so that you can find the nearest weekend.
I first heard about Cursillo years ago. It was no longer offered where I lived, in WI near MN, at the time. It was a friend in my prayer group who asked a couple of years ago if I was interested. There are active Cursillo groups in my current diocese.

Thanks for elaborating on what I posted. Are you involved with the Newman Center at your University?
Most of my life has been in areas where there are few Catholics. Friends would see me waiting for the bus to go to Wednesday catechism. From an early age I found myself explaining the faith in which I believed, although the Baltimore Catechism often fell short.


#10

This website will help explain Cursillo.
natl-cursillo.org/
Go to links and contacts for information about Cursillo near you.


#11

Hmm… from my own experience I don’t tend to go to the bitter, angry end. It’s more of a dispair. Feeling unworthy of God’s love or attention. A large part of my feelings stem from the fact that I know where I am in my faith development and I also know that I will always make mistakes no matter how much I develop. I am a sinner and depend on God’s merciful grace. Don’t get me wrong, I try. I don’t have any strong role-models around me really. I love reading about the saints and they inspire me so much.

The balanced Catholic lifestyle? I’m struggling with that as well. Last winter I started to not function at work, then I pretty much shut right down. I developed a strong dislike (hate) of our society with all it’s materialism and distractions and didn’t know where I belonged anymore. Then I remembered God :)(not that I had forgotten him, he just jumped out at me) I can’t seem to fill myself with knowledge of him fast enough. Now, fitting back into “the real world” again, that is another story. I really resent that I have to.


#12

Thank you, “DebChris”. I hope it will work out for my mother and I. She is elderly and suffers from Alzheimers and is severely disabled. So, I don’t know how much she would really “get” out of it… or, if she would allow me to focus and concentrate; But I’m sure she would enjoy the activity.

Do I need to ask my Pastor for permission… if our parish offers it?


#13

It would not be offered by your parish. Yes, I am sure your pastor would be happy to sign the card that informs him that you are making Cursillo.
You will probably need to find somebody to watch your mother, if she has Alzheimers. Does your local hospital offer respite care?
While sometimes Cursillo is held at a retreat center, when I made mine we slept in the HS gym.
Jesus told his disciples “Come away and rest for a while.” As a caretaker it is easy to forget that you also need to take care of yourself.


#14

Oh, yikes. Well… that probably lets me out… for now. :frowning: No, I wouldn’t be able to leave my mother anywhere. She doesn’t do well, in the care of others.

Well… maybe I will be able to do this… in the future, someday. Thanks for the information. God bless.


#15

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