Okay so where do I start.... I live with my mom my sis (sometimes) and my grandma. I do have a good relationship with my dad, we go to church together a lot. My dad helps out at church a lot. He loves his church. We are both cursillistas. he is also a great speaker of the lord he can really touch peoples heart. The lord helps him help others in their coversion of hearts so to say. Ok well I'm very concerned. My family doesn't go to church!! I don't even think they pray. I tell them they should pray and go to church. But that's about it. I mean I have prayed with them and I've taked them to church and my mom to adoration. But my sis won't do any of those. So I feel like really bad cause I don't have the right words or tools to get them closer to church. Like its my fault. But they know they should. But since I don't know what to say I put pamphlets and prayers around the house where they would see them everyday for example the fridge/table. I don't know what to do. Btw I am the only one who hugs/kisses/says I love you. So its kinda hard for me. I feel like a dissapointment to god. All I can do is pray? Which i do everyday. Help me with advice please. Sorry its so long.
All you can do is pray and set a loving example for them. I would be very careful about explicit evangelization since that can sometimes rub family members the wrong way and do more harm. I think it was St. Francis that said, “Preach the Gospel at all times; use words if you have to.” Focus on preaching the gospel through your actions.
God is not disappointed in you for “failing” to convert your family. You are NOT responsible since this is not your roll. Remember, it is God that will draw them close to Him. He loves them infinitely more than you do.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Each person is responsible for their own choices, especially those where they will need to face God at the end of time. This does not mean we are not responsible for each other, we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper. But the responsibility is on very different levels.
You are already doing great. Continue what you are doing, and pray for them. Also, in your day, you can offer your day, the good and bad to God for their conversions of heart.
Another important thing is to kindly ask them why they do not believe. Spend time listening quietly. Sometimes, people need time to think about it and without questions they may not realized they haven’t thought about it. :D. This resolves a lot of fights in my life if I stop and say, but why? First you may hear random nonsense. Then possibly excuses. Then ideas. The turning point in the conversation (with you being quiet most of the time and just encouraging more thought when you do get a chance to speak) is when they say, “well…i guess it’s…” At the point you hear what really is on their minds. Then talk and go from there. Then after you get through that point, go back to the quiet listening mode with encouragement.
There are many ideas, but if you have not, try the two above for a couple of weeks and see.
Just an aside: Angeline, you sound like a blessing!
Thanks sirach43 yes I know what you mean. I do that I just don’t preach the gospel literally. I guess it just makes me sad. Cause I’m in love with the church.
And I know I can be hard on myself stillwondering thanks for the advice it helped me a lot. My fam is catholic just definitely not practicing. My mom made promises that shell go to do her communion and go to church but she doesn’t. My gma is hurting from her legs and kinda uses that as an excuse. My sis doesn’t want nething to do with church.
I just feel like I need to do way more when I don’t.
Thanks to both of you
You could make a special point of praying a rosary for them to come closer to Christ. Sometimes when I think about the non-believers in my family, I just make a short, simple prayer: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you, save souls! I will remember you and yours in my prayer intentions. God Bless you!
As a convert, I am the only Catholic in my family. My son is very accepting, and continues to go to a Protestant church, even taking a friend, and we have interesting discussions about the Faith. He does go to Mass with me from time to time.
My dad and brothers…They range from accepting to insulting and critical. We were brought up going to church. Mom was a Sunday School teacher! I have one brother who doesn’t even make the ‘common’ twice a year venture to church. The best I can do is pray and be a witness to my Faith.
It sounds to me you are doing all you can. Now you must leave it to God in His time. He will meet them where they are. Let them see the joy you have found in your Faith! Be cheerful. Be open to answer any questions they may have. Continue to invite them, but don’t be discouraged when things don’t happen as you want. It is not you, but Christ who dwells in you. That is Who they need to see.
Be strong and take courage.
Having family away from the faith is hard, isn’t it?
I agree with the other posters. Don’t be so hard on yourself! You can’t force people to convert. I agree that it’s most important to really live your faith and set an example. I don’t think this means you never talk about it, though. You can certainly keep inviting them to Mass, just try to be attentive to not badgering. I have heard conversion stories of people who had faithful friends who kept inviting them to Mass again and again in a very non-threatening way. Eventually, they actually accepted the invitation, which led to their conversion.
My advice? PRAY! That’s the best thing you can do. Develop a relationship with St. Monica. She prayed for her son’s conversion daily for thirty years. Eventually, her son did convert and became St. Augustine, one of the Church’s most influential saints. She will help you out!
This book may be of help to you:
I’d suggest being a good witness by leading a faithful and happy life. As the early Church demonstrated, it was Christian behavior that drew people to the faith, not exhortations.
Before faith and knocked me on the head and in the heart, I envied people who had a place to turn to, and who always seemed so at peace with themselves and the world.
I’m still struggling to achieve that kind of serenity, but at least now I know where it comes from. Your family may make the same realization.
Oh wow. Really I appreciate the time yall took to read AND answer me. Thank you! I’ve really been stressing and putting myself down. I’m really glad I did this. thank you again. Of course you and yalls family are in my prayers as well.
St. Monica prayed for 30 years until her son, St. Augustin, eventually accepted Jesus & became a Bishop & Doctor of the Church!
Read the Confessions of St. Augustine; books.google.com/books?id=DRMbsJAvsSIC&dq=Augustine%27s+Confessions+Ryan&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=yUwcCWDlvk&sig=G2GgoIxpoVdyHXKMuekFF5sNkXs&hl=en&ei=6qIrS6HNKo6csgOQ19HGBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Augustine%27s%20Confessions%20Ryan&f=false
**we are not called to be successful, we are only called to witness to the Love of Jesus Christ, our Lord & Savior! Jesus will take care of the rest!
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!