How should Catholics show their faith?

This has been an extremely difficult for me, because how does one appear normal orbit offensive by wearing a st Christopher medal or a crucifix?

What do you think?

Catholics show our faith by what we do and don’t do; by the love we have and show for others. By keeping the commands of Christ.

Medals and crucifixes are jewelry to some, symbols of deep reality to others. This shouldn’t be the primary communication of who we are, what we profess.

I had a friend who was a widow and a “devout” Catholic. She was upset because all five of her children left the Catholic religion. Three became Atheists (hoorah!) and two became fundamentalists (boo!). Why? Well, she told me and my dear friend was too ignorant to figure it out. She and her husband were very “devout,” ultra-tradionalist Catholics (even though they remained in mainstream Catholicism, not one of those SSPX whacko groups). They tried to raise their kids the same way. To paraphrase The Simpsons on the teachers-gone-on-strike-old-people-took-over episode: whenever anyone was caught eating meat on a Friday, “That’s a lickin’.” If they were caught talking to a member of the opposite sex: “Oh, yes, that’s a lickin’.” If they said “darn:” “That’s another lickin’.” All her kids were brought up by “devout” Catholic parents who mirrored Carrie’s mother, Margaret.

She proudly told me how her husband would line the five up in front of him and demand how they violated Catholicism. No matter what they said, as they stood there in fear, he pulled out the belt and whooped them good to make them “devout” Catholics. It was for their salvation, dontchyaknow.

So three became Atheists (yeah!) because they were taught that Catholicism means a mean god and mean parents in order to be “saved.” Two became fundamentalists (boo!) because fundamentalism, unlike Catholicism and parents, says that once you say you’re sorry, everything and anything you did is wiped out.

My friend, the mom, sat on a chair and wept over losing her five children from Catholicism and couldn’t image why. She “knew” her five children were now going to hell while her “devout” husband who whipped their kids with a belt was now in heaven. As an Atheist, I tried to talk to her about actions-version-words and all that but it didn’t matter. The poor thing one day slipped on some ice and shattered both her hips and ended up hospitalized, but nothing more could be done for her. Her priest gave her last rites. She still wasn’t comforted. She cried and thrashed. She knew she hadn’t done enough since all her kids were now going to hell. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that because of her and her husband’s version of Catholicism if that was all true, they were the reason. I told her she did the best she could do. "Did I? she asked. “Yes, you did,” I replied. A few hours later she died.

“Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” - St. Francis
You don’t have to be in your face about your Christianity. I don’t think you stop making the sign of the cross at lunch, stop wearing a crucifix, etc because it may offend someone. We have religious freedom in the US, right?

This is very sad story. I hope there is more to the story than just this.

I find it disturbing that you celebrate the fact that some became atheists when your friend was obviously suffering. Very disturbing. Just as disturbing as you lamenting some becoming protestants.

Sadly, there wasn’t. I hope that my words of comfort helped her as she breathed her last hours later.

Why shouldn’t I celebrate that three of her children became Atheists because of the actions and practices of their “uber-Catholic” parents? Wouldn’t you celebrate if someone becomes Catholic? And are you glad that the other two became Protestants? According to Catholic theology, they are now doomed to hell. Does that make you happy? They became Protestants because of their parents’ Catholic beliefs and practices. Again, I ask, does that make you happy?

My friend was suffering because of the - I shall say it - vile form of Catholicism she chose. She and her husband abused their children to try and get them to conform. That was their choice. I tried to dissuade my friend from continuing the practice that some of you Catholics consider “faithful.” I tried to explain to her that her version of Catholicism - which many of you conservative Catholics support - had driven all her children away and she should become a joyful Catholic rather than a bitter one. She couldn’t fathom that. It was all about ritual and practice and other sundry stuff so supported by conservative Catholics. I was the last one to try and comfort her; I tried to bring her comfort. She was so filled with laws-and-rituals that she couldn’t use it. She died angry and bitter. But at least, as an Atheist, I tried. No Catholic like you could or would help her.

The disturbing part is how insensitive you were to your friends suffering in enjoying that. Having said that, upon further reading, something’s off about your story. Peace.

I wear a crucifix with the medallion of Our Lady. Has someone been offended by your necklace?

Why did the poor woman cry and thrash? Surely the hospital gave her pain medication. Any medical team allowing a woman with 2 shattered hips to thrash in pain needs questioning , hard. Death from breaking hips? Was she a great age?

Catholics show their faith by the way they live, how they live, what they live.

There was a time tye Church was focussed on fire and brimstone. And that is an era many grew up in and lived. The Church today is focussed on Mercy and Love.

The Blessed Virgin Mary said in one visitation. Mothers pray for your children. And live your lives as good examples to your children whose faces are turned from God.
Because in your death they may come to know The Lord God again.

Did I ever say I enjoyed it? I tried all I could to comfort and console her, unlike the believing Catholics who kept cajoling her that somehow she failed her kids by not beating them enough into Catholicism. You really need to learn something about reading comprehension. When her conservative Catholic “friends” told her she didn’t do enough through violence and beating to make her kids “good Catholics,” I told her “you did the best you could.” Okay, at the risk of being banned, you’re an *sshole, SAVINGRACE. Go shove a baseball bat up where the sun don’t shine.

Alright, moderator, ban me. Just so long as “SATANGRACE” knows he’s an *sshole.

Charming, is that how communicate with people who disagree with you? Call them names.

Catholic theology does not state that those who are Protestant or even those who were Catholic and become Protestant are doomed to hell.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.