How can I keep my faith strong in such an anti-faith culture?


#1

There are some days when I just can’t stand my generation (I’m 20) and this is certainly one of them. Between the president’s latest defense of abortion and the recent gay marriage “victory” in NY, I see my faith under attack everywhere. Couple that with the relativist, militantly secular ideology that has permeated our culture (not to mention the minds of my peers) and I’m finding it hard enough to maintain my sanity, let alone my faith. I pray for strength against those attacks as well as for those people living their lives in error every day. Is there anything more I can do?


#2

I see you live in a relatively secular part of the country as well. I would suggest lots of prayer, and I don’t know if you are married or have a family, but I think the best defense against the onslaught of secularism and moral relativism is having a happy, faith-based marriage and raising faithful, obedient children who love the Lord with all their heart.
I know that whenever I see children who are being brought up in broke homes or faithless households, my desire to have children becomes stronger. If I can’t save all the other children in the world, I can at least ensure mine are raised in a loving, two-parent, faithful home.


#3

I suggest you get involved with a Christian ministry on campus. You will need support to keep your faith strong, and what better way than to meet with peers who share your beliefs.

Also, don’t forget to attend Mass, keep up religious holy days, etc.


#4

[quote="JChapel, post:1, topic:245890"]
There are some days when I just can't stand my generation (I'm 20) and this is certainly one of them. Between the president's latest defense of abortion and the recent gay marriage "victory" in NY, I see my faith under attack everywhere. Couple that with the relativist, militantly secular ideology that has permeated our culture (not to mention the minds of my peers) and I'm finding it hard enough to maintain my sanity, let alone my faith. I pray for strength against those attacks as well as for those people living their lives in error every day. Is there anything more I can do?

[/quote]

all i can say is pray and i understand what your gonig to, im the only Catholic in my family and amoung my friends


#5

Spend lots of time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. You'll be amazed what wonders it will do.


#6

I have found that one of the best ways for me to keep my faith strong is to simply keep practicing and not hide it. I'm 24 and converted as a junior in college (my then-boyfriend, now husband, was my sponsor :D). I was open about this process with family and friends, many of whom don't actively practice their faith or have no faith at all. Some had had horrific experiences in their faith communities (including Catholic ones) and could not understand why I would ever "choose" to become a person of faith.

I let them ask me questions. I answered them honestly and just kept practicing. It's a part of my life - an ENORMOUS part of my life, and I'm not ashamed! At the same time, I don't go around telling people that I am better than them, or that they are bad people because they don't live the same way I do. Our baby boy was baptized at the beginning of June and I invited many of our college friends to come, even though many aren't practicing Catholics. They all expressed such admiration for the ceremony and remarked that it seemed so much more than what they thought it would be (if we're not out there promoting our faith - who is describing it instead?) If I had excluded them from this joyous moment in our young son's life because I thought they had no potential to understand, I would have missed out on a great opportunity.

I am not saying you are not doing these things, but I find that trying to live by example is much less trying than being endlessly frustrated (which I could definitely be!)


#7

33-200 AD were times where it was HARD to be a member of the Church.

Maybe think about the maytyrs during the Early Church. Maybe gain some perspective.


#8

I just turned twenty on the 24th of this month of June, so, I suppose that would make us peers in some regard. To be honest, I feel like an island sometimes. I am the only Catholic in my family, and much of my family strongly dislikes the Church. I have recently started the following regimen, which will continue until at least Friday of this week (the Feast of the Sacred Heart), perhaps you can adopt some of it. I feel more at peace now than I have in a long time:

Each day, I am to say the entire Little Office of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. After Prime, I make an examination of conscience. I make a second examination of conscience prior Compline. After Terce, I am to prayerfully read from Sacred Scripture; a daily rosary is to be said after Vespers. I will eat nothing but dinner until Saturday morning (dinner is eaten together in my household), and no meat on Friday and drink nothing but plain water until Saturday, when I will free myself from those dietary regulations unless I feel it is more spiritually beneficial to continue with my fasting. Friday, I intend to be consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus before the Blessed Sacrament. Throughout the week, I will be volunteering at my parish library, organizing it and cataloguing the books so, later this summer break, I can reorganize the entire library. After I spend at least an hour cataloguing books, I head over to the church (the library is in the basement of the office) and spend some time with Jesus, praying a litany and then reading aloud with/to Him from the Scriptures. I am going to start studying my Latin as well (in fact, once I finish what I intend to do online). I may stop reading the news as the week goes on, so I may focus more on the coming consecration.

I hope this helps in some way, even to just give you an idea. Pax tecum.

(Oh! If you have the money, I would strongly recommend picking up a copy of the Manual of Prayers published for the seminarians at the North American College in Rome. I picked one up about two weeks ago, and it has become a good travel companion.)


#9

I know how you feel. The best thing to do is keep your faith as solid as a brick wall. Go to daily mass and confession whenever you can. It does wonders.


#10

All I can say is I share your pain. 19 and I hate my generation with a burning passion. Everything you just mentioned just has been fuel to the fire.


#11

“These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world.”

~~ John 16:33


#12

[quote="JChapel, post:1, topic:245890"]
There are some days when I just can't stand my generation (I'm 20) and this is certainly one of them. Between the president's latest defense of abortion and the recent gay marriage "victory" in NY, I see my faith under attack everywhere. Couple that with the relativist, militantly secular ideology that has permeated our culture (not to mention the minds of my peers) and I'm finding it hard enough to maintain my sanity, let alone my faith. I pray for strength against those attacks as well as for those people living their lives in error every day. Is there anything more I can do?

[/quote]

Think that's bad, I'm 18 and from the UK, my age bracket is quite staunchly liberal (however the older i get i notice my generation is becoming more conservative) and to even mention my views as a CATHOLIC is like a capital offense!


#13

Lemme tell you how I do it, as I am also 20:
I started off going to SUNY Buffalo, but the transexual fashion show, offers of suckers cast in the form of female genetals, the school newspaper depicting two people going at it in the lecture hall (and giving advise concerning relations in general), and condoms being used as beach balls made me turn to Niagara University, a Catholic school run by Vincentian priests. Later that year, I also ended up mutually splitting with my girlfriend of 3 years.

The week before we broke up was easily the most pain I’ve felt in my life, but did I ever question my faith? No! Faith was the only thing keeping me from going completely out of my mind; faith in God, faith in His love, and faith in His plan for me.

Directly after we broke up, I felt anxiety because it had been so long since I had been single, but I had noticed when I was at the rosary group on campus I felt more at ease. I also took to going to the daily mass on campus, and found that to be extremely peaceful as well. Because of this, I took it upon myself to pray the rosary every day, and go to daily mass. Even if I couldn’t find the time for the rosary (I work night shift, and thus my day is mostly made of work and sleep), I would at least meditate on the day’s mysteries.

I know this is long winded, and it’s not even really as complete as I would have liked it, the point is this: at the very least, meditating on the mysteries of the Most Holy rosary have certainly strengthened my faith, and perhaps it can do the same for you.

…at the very least, I will pray for you tonight in my evening prayers…:thumbsup:


#14

You are not alone in feeling like this. I am a bit older but my 20 were hell. I felt under attack all the time and struggled to keep my faith (and sanity). Bit it got better. I feel more confident now and don’t let things affect me so much. I’ve come to realise that this awful period shall pass but the Church will remain. Don’t feel like you have to carry this weight on your shoulders. Give it to Jesus and ask him to help you.

Also, if you can, surround yourself with practicing Christians and make them the centre of your social life. That really makes a difference. You won’t feel so alone. I don’t have many Christian friends at the moment so I spend a lot of time on this forum and read a number of Catholic blogs. We are out there and I thank God for internet.


#15

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