Groups of friends and differences in values


#1

I associate with two groups of friends consisting of my roommate friends and my Catholic friends. My relationship with the latter group is excellent as we are all practicing Catholics and have that common trait that drives our relationship. This is not the case with my roommate friends.

My roommate friends and I met our freshman year in college and are now 2nd semester seniors. We have been friends and roommates most of college and get along fairly well. But I am a serious practicing Catholic and the three of them are not (one is non-religious from a Lutheran background, the other is non-religious from a Catholic background, and the third is technically Catholic but doesn't really seem to seriously practice the Faith). What really binds us together is everything else other than faith, especially music.

But lately I feel less comfortable around them but I don't think they feel the same way about me. I think it might stem from my Faith as that is becoming increasingly more and more important to me while for them it is not (or so I would assume). I feel more comfortable around my Catholic friends except for a few minor things. And I feel more comfortable being around Catholics as my faith grows more and more. I actually find myself attending more group activities with Catholics as opposed to my roommate friends—I would easily attend a Catholic seminar or something but really wouldn't be as interested in going to a concert or movie with my roommate friends. What also bothers me is that I find that in certain situations being with my roommate friends doesn't bring the best out of me—I might find myself getting caught in bad jokes, inappropriate discussions, etc. or saying things or acting-out in a strange manner.

So I find myself wondering if I truly want to be friends with them or not anymore. They are good people and we get along mostly, but since my Faith is becoming more important to me and they follow no faith I find myself becoming more distant towards them. I also feel like the outsider in this group of friends sometimes. The sticking point, though, is that all of us are good friends and have an otherwise strong bond that wouldn't be easily severed if things ever came to that. And again they are good people and we get along 80-90% of the time. But nonetheless I still feel more uncomfortable around them.

What do people think?


#2

I sometimes wonder if God gives Catholics non-Catholic friends specifically so we can pray for them. If the saying, "There's no salvation outside the Catholic Church" is true, then perhaps we're meant to be the Catholic Church for them.

Do you love these people as close friends? Or are they people you haven't really been all that close to? If the latter, then who you choose to be friends with or not is really up to you, and you can stop being friends with them if you wish to. However, even if you break it off, I recommend praying for their conversion.

If they're already deep in your heart, though, pray like crazy for them! Pray to St. Rita, Saint of the Impossible, for their conversion. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Pray pray pray. And don't throw away a good friendship.

I have a best friend who's pagan, who used to be a lot moreso, but who is slowly coming around to more Catholic ways of thinking (though she's still pagan). I love her to death and was good friends with her before I "reverted" to Catholicism. So I consider it my duty to pray for her conversion and salvation. If your non-Catholic friends are close to you, and you love them dearly, then stay friends and pray for them. If you're not really all that close, well, time does put distance between some people, but still, keep their souls in mind and pray for their conversion.


#3

The previous poster left some very good thoughts - especially when it comes to PRAYING for your friends and keeping them as active friends. Who else is going to bear the light of faith to them? Maybe God put you there for a good reason. Don't abandon them.

Yes, we can often be put in awkward situations where we witness bad behavior. It becomes a delicate balance of not sinning ourselves and not insulting or hurting your neighbor (after all, Christ Himself associated with sinners!)...

This is going to happen for the rest of your life - at work, in the world, heck - even at the grocery store or post office... we don't live in an isolated commune and aren't supposed to (unless you feel called to religious life in that way)!... God puts us out "on the battlefield" to defend our faith... but "crushing our enemies" doesn't work well when you're trying to convert or change someone's heart. Our "battlefield of faith" is a lot more subtle - quiet and reserved, but consistent and loving... never faltering in our behavior, but always being open to even the most sinful...

Challenging, yes.

Don't abandon your friends. :)


#4

[quote="tabsie3210, post:2, topic:184309"]
I sometimes wonder if God gives Catholics non-Catholic friends specifically so we can pray for them. If the saying, "There's no salvation outside the Catholic Church" is true, then perhaps we're meant to be the Catholic Church for them.

[/quote]

:thumbsup: OP, it sounds like you're evaluating your friends based on what they can do for you. Maybe you need to reevaluate the friendships based on what you can do for them?


#5

[quote="LotusCarsLtd, post:1, topic:184309"]
I associate with two groups of friends consisting of my roommate friends and my Catholic friends. My relationship with the latter group is excellent as we are all practicing Catholics and have that common trait that drives our relationship. This is not the case with my roommate friends.

My roommate friends and I met our freshman year in college and are now 2nd semester seniors. We have been friends and roommates most of college and get along fairly well. But I am a serious practicing Catholic and the three of them are not (one is non-religious from a Lutheran background, the other is non-religious from a Catholic background, and the third is technically Catholic but doesn't really seem to seriously practice the Faith). What really binds us together is everything else other than faith, especially music.

But lately I feel less comfortable around them but I don't think they feel the same way about me. I think it might stem from my Faith as that is becoming increasingly more and more important to me while for them it is not (or so I would assume). I feel more comfortable around my Catholic friends except for a few minor things. And I feel more comfortable being around Catholics as my faith grows more and more. I actually find myself attending more group activities with Catholics as opposed to my roommate friends—I would easily attend a Catholic seminar or something but really wouldn't be as interested in going to a concert or movie with my roommate friends. What also bothers me is that I find that in certain situations being with my roommate friends doesn't bring the best out of me—I might find myself getting caught in bad jokes, inappropriate discussions, etc. or saying things or acting-out in a strange manner.

So I find myself wondering if I truly want to be friends with them or not anymore. They are good people and we get along mostly, but since my Faith is becoming more important to me and they follow no faith I find myself becoming more distant towards them. I also feel like the outsider in this group of friends sometimes. The sticking point, though, is that all of us are good friends and have an otherwise strong bond that wouldn't be easily severed if things ever came to that. And again they are good people and we get along 80-90% of the time. But nonetheless I still feel more uncomfortable around them.

What do people think?

[/quote]

I'm glad that you are having a deeper conversion and taking your faith seriously. It shows you are maturing. I note that you and your friends in question are college seniors. Life is about to change for all of you soon.

I'm willing to guess that your non-religious group of roommate friends do have some religious convictions down deep. It's not uncommon for young adults to stop practicing their faith in college, only to find God again as they mature. I suspect that you help set a good example for them and may simply be experiencing at an earlier time something they may eventually achieve also. God uses good and bad experiences throughout our lives (like marriages, births of children, deaths of loved ones, etc., etc.) to draw us to a deeper relationship with Him.

Keep your own behavior in check and set a good example. Avoid sin, but don't neccesarily avoid these friends. You and your friends may be almost finished with college, but I suspect God isn't finished with any of you yet.


#6

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