How to act towards clergy and guilt?

To all,

I'm wondering on how to treat people of the religious orders in or outside of the catholic church? I wasn't raised very much with manners and was wondering on how its changed and what you would recommend me talk or act physically towards a priest? This question is also about nuns, monks, priests, archbishops and others of the catholic faithful. Quite frankly the priest might say something like "How are you?" I usually respond "Yea"; "Pretty Good Father" or something along those lines. I don't know if I should say somehting like "How about you" or "What is up Father" or something! Lol, on the last part you know. I mean I am so confused cause I wased in a broken home cause even my own mom would say things like "What is the definition of normal?" This tremendously with some social issues with my disability has formed barriers with my communications with respected people in the community. 
 This is even more broader in general like I'm blind and my communications in general with sighted people. People will be doing something funny and I cannot get what they mean. It's like you sighted people cannot recall cause of your preloaded track of thinking all are like you, when they are obviously not. Sorry if I offend anybody but sometimes its just insaine. I also get this when people are about to leave to places or in following people. Thanks for all suggestions and other things. Then, a final thing is how to get over feeling like I ask too much for like rides to Mass or something. I feel like I'm not contributing anything to my parish and I feel guilty sometimes. I always apologize even though I cannot help that I am blind the guilt remains with me. Thanks again for any recommendations. 

Thanks be to God,
pPeter Wolfe

Ordained Clergy are human beings just like the rest of us. (Love your neighbor as yourself)

I recommend going to confession . .:thumbsup:

It helps the orthodox priest get to know you better.

Well I had to reread your post a couple of times to get the full meaning.

As to speaking with religious. As another has said, they are just people like the rest of us. A priest is refered to as “Father”, a monk would be called, “Brother”, and a nun is called, “Sister”. each of these are followed by the persons name.
Your response to this person should be just as personable as with any other. When they ask how you are, it’ is perfectly legitimate to ask back.

As to your concern about contritbuting, asking rides etc…you don’t realize it but you are providing a very important function by giving others the opportunity to come out of themselves and perform an act of charity for another. This is not something for you to be ashamed of either. It’s kind of like a line from a movie version of “A Christmas Carol” where Tiny Tim says that he is glad that he is a cripple in church because others will perhaps look at him and remember he who makes the lame walk and the blind see…

As far as actively contributing to the parish, my guess is that if you ask around you will find ways to contribute.

Peace
James

I think James is spot on with his answer.

If you’re grasping for something to say to the priest, respond to what you heard. They’re hoping someone is listening, after all :slight_smile:

And, yes, I do think if you ask around, you will find some way to participate more fully in your parish. Music? Fellowship?

Enjoy!

Sorry about the poor writing abilities and in general cause in all ways I’m inferior to the Cradle Catholic. Praise the alll mighty stingy clergy cause we all cannot be like them. Too many times they defend themselves. So, depressed and feeling alone as if we are the worse people to go to the church. Who cares I’m illiterate anyways.

Peter,
I’m sorry if I came across condescending. Deeply sorry.

In no way are you “inferior” to “cradle catholics”. Please don’t get so down on yourself.
All of us, from the newest to the oldest, from the "catholic in the pew, to the Pope himself are constantly learning. Each one is on a journey towards God. If one has reached mile marker 5 and another is at mile marker 500 it does not mean one is inferior to another.

Peace
James

James,

I don't really think most are like you at all in the church. Most people are raised with a snobby demeanor like others are in some way inferior to them. All things are assumed as if you don't belong and don't care to teach another with less information. For example, I might say "bad sin" and someone might instantly try to correct me with "Mortal sin" like a snear. People are tired of people being pushed out of the church and this isn't just catholic churches in the U.S.A. The middle class snobbishness is most appalling and pointing their fingers doesn't help things calling others welfare recipents as well. 
 I'll tell you on a tangent about what happened to me. I bought a gym for exercising purposes valued around 500$s right? I was in front of Wal-Mart customer services with a christian. He said "So are you on welfare" and I reponded "My sister makes over 100k and pays taxes". He said "You didn't answer my question are you on welfare". Also, looking on AA experience of confessing I had an alcohol issue recently a person who looked for help for me asked me something in front of Chick Fillet. He said "Did you help for that thing you needed help with?" He also continued after I would respond like "What help?" He said in kind "You know AA" and this is public as hell. What an embarassment to christianity and general about the sloth, judgementality and etc I see amongst us. Ghandi put it right "I like your God but I don't like your christians much". Truly the person who condems the poor isn't what they claim to be.

If I understood the OP correctly, the question is about protocol. As a religious I can tell you that we like people being polite, as much as anyone else does. When I say hello to you, I like it when you respond in kind.

Whether you say, “Hi Brother” or “Hello Father” or as the teens usually do, “Hey!” That’s fine. That’s just being friendly. People should be friendly. It’s charitable to be friendly.

As far as the title, that gets a little tricky. The lay faithful have been confused about this for a very long time. The tendency today is for the lay faithful to be very clerical. I believe that it comes from a time when the Church became very clerical. I’m sure that there are other causes too . . . all too long to discuss here. The point is that the lay faithful always think in terms of priests. Every time they see a habit or a Roman collar, they assume that the man is a priest and call him Father. Or they assume that it’s OK to call every priest Father, which is not the case either. Although, no one is going to be insulted, if you call them Father. It’s nicer than Knucklehead or some other thing.

Normally, if the man is a diocesan he will be either a seminarian, deacon or priest. If you do not know, a safe term is Father or simply Reverend. Usually, the person will correct you.

If the man belongs to a religious order or to a religious congregation (they’re not the same thing), then you’re in a little bit of a quandary. If you know that the man is a mendicant, the title would be Friar. It makes no difference whether he is ordained or not. Friar is just bad English for Frater (Brother). But it has been in use for so long, that it has become good English. If the man is a monk, whether he is ordained or not, the proper title is Brother.

To the best of my knowledge, the only order of friars that prefers Brother over friar, is the Franciscan family. I may be wrong. I know very little about the Trinitarians and the Augustinians, who are also friars.

If you don’t’ know whether or not the man is a friar or monk, no one will be offended by the title Father. If the man is the superior of the house, even if he’s not a priest, it is OK to call him Father. His proper title is usually Father Superior, Father Guardian, Abbot or Prior.

Women religious are a whole other ball game. Women religious are either nuns or sisters, but all are called Sister, unless she’s the superior, then she may be called Mother. This Mother is not the counterpart of the Father used for a priest or an Eastern Catholic deacon. She is Mother, because she is the spiritual head of that family. I do know that there are some congregations where the term Mother has been banned. The last congregation that banned the term Mother for the superior was Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. Mother Teresa is their only mother. The other superiors are Sister.

Just remember that not every man who wears a Roman collar is a priest. Not every priest is a consecrated religious. Nor is every consecrated woman religious a nun. In fact, there are very few nuns. Most Roman Catholics never meet one during their lifetime. They are more common in the Oriental Churches.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

Hi Peter,

Jesus was willing to talk with people of all backgrounds and the good priests are too. A good person, especially a priest, will be willing to overlook the differences in your way of speaking compared to whatever they’re used to. So you shouldn’t feel like you have to pretend to be someone you’re not because you’re talking to the priest.

If you have respect for the priest, as I’m sure you do, this will come across regardless of the expressions you use. Just make sure to remember that the priest is someone we look up to and respect, and keep that in mind when talking to him. So you would likely speak to him differently than with a buddy.

Neil

P.S. If your parish seems to have a lot of “snobs”, you might want to visit some other parishes. Some parishes are very middle class, but others, especially downtown parishes, often have a mix of people from all backgrounds.

Thank you! Your explanation was very helpful. Regarding the bolded statement above, I feel very privileged to have met two nuns, Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration of Our Lady of Solitude Monastery, a few months back at a conference. I am a convert and remember thinking before I entered the Church that I would meet many nuns but you are correct, it is rare to meet one. I am Franciscan and have only met one ordained Brother. It would be nice to get to know others in the Franciscan family. :slight_smile:

Pax,
FM SFO

Ahhhhhhhhh, we’re relatives. Our community was the result of a merger between two Capuchin Friars and three Secular Franciscans. When the question arose about the name the only answer that came up was Order of St. Francis. That’s how we got the OSF. We’re actually the Brothers of Life of the Order of St. Francis, Franciscan Brothers of Life for short. LOL People often think that we’re SFO, because of the same letters in a different order.

I believe that most of the Franciscan obediences have scaled down on ordaining, because of the surplus of priests. There was a time when we had too many. The other reason for scaling down is the call of Vatican II to return to the roots. Our roots are not clerical. They are fraternal. This is very hard from many people to appreciate. To a Franciscan the life with his brothers is his first priority, even before going out to serve. When we have to choose between going to a mass or going to pray with our brothers, the community must come first. A Franciscan cannot serve well unless he serves as a brother, not a father. Even our ordained brothers remain brothers forever. This throws people off.

I remember being at a house where the superior prohibitted the use of the title Father. He announced it to the laity, that they were not to call the friars “Father” or to call the order the Capuchin Fathers. They were to refer to the men as the Capuchin Franciscan Friars and to call us either Friar or Brother. It took a long time for people to catch on. That house eventually gave birth to 12 houses and they are now an independent region. People automatically call everyone Friar. Outsiders do not know who is ordained and who is not. In my own community, those who interact with us don’t know either. Here, it’s funny. Because we’re the only Franciscans for miles around. Everyone wants to call us Father. We just keep repeating, Brother, over and over again. People get used to it.

At first people thought it was a rank thing. They thought that there were brothers and there were fathers, who ranked higher. Then we got a superior who is not a priest and he is called Father. Later we were assigned a priest who is called Brother and he is the go-to guy for our centers, while the theologian is a non-clerical brother. Then came the Secular Franciscans, whom we also call Brother or Sister. That blew ranking idea out of the water. It’s always fun to watch how the younger kids seem to get it very easily and the older people get very confused. I saw a little boy try to explain it to a lady that I assume was his grandma’ .

People on CAF get all confused with words like “nun and sister” or “congregation and order”. I have explained the difference between these to over 50 people. I guess we who are in religious orders or in religious congregations take these words for granted, because we know the differences. It’s easy to forget that others don’t know what you know.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

Well I haven’t met most people in the Church so I cannot answer whether I am like them or not. I can say that I have met some wonderful people at my local parish who have been most supportive of me and my situation. You see I am the primary caregiver for my wife who has Alzheimer’s disease.

Most people are raised with a snobby demeanor like others are in some way inferior to them. All things are assumed as if you don’t belong and don’t care to teach another with less information. For example, I might say “bad sin” and someone might instantly try to correct me with “Mortal sin” like a snear. People are tired of people being pushed out of the church and this isn’t just catholic churches in the U.S.A. The middle class snobbishness is most appalling and pointing their fingers doesn’t help things calling others welfare recipents as well.

Once again, I cannot speak to what “most people” do or how they are raised or whatever.
I can only speak from my own experience in The Church and I have seen many good people and some not so good.
Whatever they are though makes no difference in my relationship to Christ through His Church. If anything, the ones who seem more sinful or less devout or whatever, only make me more determined to improve because I know I am a sinner just as they are. The only difference is in the particular sins.

I’ll tell you on a tangent about what happened to me. I bought a gym for exercising purposes valued around 500$s right? I was in front of Wal-Mart customer services with a christian. He said “So are you on welfare” and I reponded “My sister makes over 100k and pays taxes”. He said “You didn’t answer my question are you on welfare”.

I’m not sure I get your point here. Were you doing anything illegal? Did you answer his inpertinent question?
You are blind, correct? So I assume you receive some sort of government disability payments. You could have simply said, “I am on disability” and been done with it. Or you could have simply said, “My income is my business.” If he had a problem with that, it would be HIS problem, not yours.

Also, looking on AA experience of confessing I had an alcohol issue recently a person who looked for help for me asked me something in front of Chick Fillet. He said “Did you help for that thing you needed help with?” He also continued after I would respond like “What help?” He said in kind “You know AA” and this is public as hell. What an embarassment to christianity and general about the sloth, judgementality and etc I see amongst us. Ghandi put it right “I like your God but I don’t like your christians much”. Truly the person who condems the poor isn’t what they claim to be.

Frankly, from what you say here I see a person who was maybe not very tactful, but that’s it. I don’t see, “judgemental” or “sloth” in this person’s question. In fact what I do see is a concern for your welfare and that you are receiving the help you need. A very Christian thing to do.

If a person judges others, God has promised that he will be judged by the same yardstick. So if others are being unfairly judgemental then this will come back around on them later. It is not for you to concern yourself with.
Your job is to become the best Christian, the best Catholic, the best Citizen, the best Person you can be by entering fully into communion in the Church, entering parish life as fully as you are able, developing a strong prayer life, and looking into your own heart for those areas where you need to improve.
If I can help you in any way in this let me know. I will be praying for you.

Peace
James

James,

 Bottomline is that I feel powerless and less than human lots of the times. My blindness impeeds me of the same htings you guys take forgranted each day. I cannot do anything anymore like I did. Looking at statistics at 25% of all blind people having jobs in the U.S.A before the recession shows depressing sobbering future prospects. More and more government jobs in the future being cut or just aren't offered with scaling down of services and etc can make our lives hectic. Most people think they can relate but they cannot. 
I've come to terms with the reality of life being the classes of individuals shouldn't mingle with one another. The segregated middle to upper class don't care what happens in the end to the poor. It's all a bunch of feces and that is warned of in the Bible. Also, your statement of these people's intent isn't on the mark at all. Those people were helping me move and when they did they mentioned somethin at the apartment office. Do you want that television? The television was like fifty inches implying the poor people want everything for free. Who cares christians are bought out by one political idiotology anyways. One way or no way and if not they vote in an abortion president. Shows how unhopeful are uneducated nation has develolved into. 
 Finally, I don't know how you could possibly help me. I feel like nobody can relate to my life of Hell on This Earth. All of us fighting for something we will never obtain, yet hold on like a twig of pinestraw. Quite funny really the pathetic nature of human kind. I cannot contribute anything cause I even e-mailed my priest with no response. I've asked around and most christians where I am just pity me over my disability. I know the truth and they just want merits of pats on the back of driving me to the church or somehting. I doubt they even know my name or what I enjoy anymore. They constantly correct me like the rest of the people on here. My opinion or voice doesn't matter anymore. 

Peace,
Peter

Even in the darkest of shadows there is always light


You are quite right I can’t relate to your situation but I can tell you that i went through a time of pain and suffering also and so I can offer some advice for you even if I myself am ignorant of your situation . Always remember the future is not set in stone, it is what you make it to be. Remember also that it is not for the emphemeral material world that one should live, but for God. For in the eyes of our lord it is not the rich or the powerful who are most important, but the poor, the oppressed and those in need.

I implore you not to give in to despair, or the petiness that fills human nature. But instead focus on the good things, the good qualities that live behind the bad, Justice, Joy, Compassion and Love. Your future is what you make it to be, if you give in to despair then it will become for you a reflection of that sentiment, self pity helps no one, negativity only leads to more pain and suffering. However if you move forward, despite the hardship and the pain, for a better future, involved in the world for the betterment of others then despite your loss of sight you can gain a sight more valuable than the vision of the material world and of sin that compels the masses of the ignorant. For you, if you choose can look heavenwards towards our God, he who gives sight the blind, and heals the sick.

Remember it is not through material gain that one becomes truly happy. But by loving the Lord with all their heart and all their strength and loving their neighbours as themselves. Help others, work for genuine charity, and look for God. For although it may be difficult now, the future is yours and if you try, if you have hope then it can be much more fulfilling then anyone but the Lord knows.

My prayers will be with you.

Peter,
I read so much hurt and despair in your posts that it makes my heart ache. I am sorry that you are going through such a difficult time. And to be honest, I don’t know how I can help you either, being so far apart and all, but my offer stands.

May I ask a couple of questions to clarify some things? Are you totally blind partially blind? I mean how are you able to read and navigate on CAF?
Did the blindness occur suddenly (like an accident) or is it something degenerative?

Peace
James

Did you know that our Holy Father Francis was also blind? He transformed the Church of his time, founded the largest religious family in the Church, achieved the title of the Perfect Christian, preached the Gospel to people from the courts of the papacy to the peasants in the fields. He wrote extensively and left a legacy that is alive and well today.

My point is that physical vision is not a requirement for doing great things for God. The requirement is the desire to begin doing little things with great love.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

How do you detach people from the religion itself though? I mean that I’m easily discouraged a lot cause of a low self-esteem and it seems at times pointless to talk to the one sided often times assembly in church. I mean if you don’t agree 100% with conservatives, then your not a christian enough for them. They talk to you like your dumb and often times try to correct you especially about war. I’ve tried to understand their reasoning but its too simplestic for me. Often times organized religions and institutions crowd out the little guy as if we are all the same in all things other than euthenasia, homosexual marriage, abortion, cloning and stem cell research cause we are not. I’m not a republican nor really a democrat that much just point out the logical fallacies of this one sided political vollyball being passed around and the spike to the game is money bottomline.
How can you continue knowing that you have relatively little to no support. Most people who attend church come with an subjective point of view like a one size fits all mantra which is wrong. We are in church not only to worship God but to learn and respect our religious leaders in the church. Quite frankly I’ve seen opposite and too many exceptions of this soul escriptura **** like the protestants. Too many protestants in the catholic church cause they are too bought out and don’t do enough. I should have role models but have found a home filled with thieves who kanive to get what they want. They want the pats on the back for doing such and such but don’t want to follow all the edicts of the church. Why do it at all if you don’t adhere to social justice? Pointless completely with the material and spiritual needs to the church such as tything (e.g. Adherence article) referenced about the apathy of middle to upper class bracket members showing their faith to the all mighty dollar.

Peter:

I would encouage you to read the life of our Holy Father Francis, maybe the edition written by Thomas Celano, who was an early brother. When you do, pay special attention to some of these details.

He lived at a time when the Church was in worse shape than it is today. Unfortunately, there are people who like to believe that the past is always better, which is not true. There were good things, but there were also some very horrible things happening.

Francis was surrounded by people on the left and the right side of every issue and he never defended either. On the contrary, he avoided being identified with both sides. This is brought about very clearly when he visits the Sultan who asked him, “Did you come in the name of the Christians?” Francis responds, “I’ve come in the name of Jesus Christ.” Celano, Bonaventure and other learly Franciscans who knew him tell us that the answer was very carefully planned. Francis did not want to associate himself with the Christian camp, because he was convinced that their actions were wrong, even though their cause was noble. He had an abilityt to separate actions from causes. He was not about to identify with the Sultan either, because his actions were equally wrong and his faith was incomplete. So there was only one place where he could stand, that was under the shadow of Christ. What we see here is an excellent example of how he navigated between opposing forces without taking sides and delivering the message of the Gospel, which was a message of peace and a message of salvation.

Francis also forbade his followers from professing allegience to any nation on earth. No one was to ever pledge allegience to any flag, any nation, any political party or polical leader. He realized that patriotism divides men and sets brother against brother. As his order grew, he did something that had never been done before. He divided it into regions called provinces, but these provinces were to ignore national boundaries. They were for the purpose of fascilitating the government of a growing family, not for fostering a cultural identity. To drive home the point, he wrote in French, Italian, Provencal and Latin. Many people do not know this, unless you’re a Franciscan going through a novitiate program where you have to read the early writings. He did this deliberately. He was not part of any group, any party, or any movement. He was Catholic.

He brought down the structures of the religious life of the day by founding the first religious order where all men are brothers. The brothers were priests, bakers, farmers, lawyers, scholars, doctor, royalty and peasants. However, Francis did something that had never been done before. He stripped the clerics of their power. Every cleric who joins the Franciscan family, to this day must submit to the authority of a superior who can be either cleric or lay. This was not the usual for his time. He also founded a real order, with a rule and its own government for married men and women and he forbade the friars interference. He also forbade the friars interference in the life and government of the nuns that he founded. He believed that Clare and her sisters could also hear the voice of Christ and did not need males to guide them or govern them. Unlike other religious women, the Poor Clares always governed themselves without male intervention.

Francis insisted in absolute obedience to himself and to the Pontiff. This is very interesting. Today, we hear so many people talk about the importance of thinking and how the pope and bishops can be wrong about this or that. Francis wrote that it was true that the pope, bishops and superiors could be wrong about this or that. He also admitted that they often were wrong. Then he commanded his followers to do whatever they were told to do, even if it was wrong, as long as it was not a sin. His argued that Pilate was also wrong, but had Jesus failed to comply, salvation would have been forfeited. Therefore, he believed that God brings good out of obedience. This was not a popular position and it’s still a very unpopular position. Here on CAF, most Franciscans who have attempted to participate have ended leaving in frustration, because people don’t want to hear this other side. In some houses, superiors have simply forbidden the access to CAF, because of the rejection and the abuse from the left and the right. Bu the lesson to be learned is that we can navigate through life without making enemies and teaching with our humility and our fidelity to the Gospel and to the Church as it speaks to us through the Pontiff.

Another thing that you will notice about him is how he never pointed the finger at the clergy or the religious. In fact, he had several brothers excommunicated for doing such a thing. He placed everyone in his order under obedience to him. Once he did that, he then commanded absolute obedience and respect for clergy, bishops and popes. The law of the Church is that if you violate a solemn vow, you’re excommunicated until you recant and correct what you have done. Many were excommunicated then and today too. He had zero tolerance for people who tried to run the Church. But you would never know it by his words, only by his actions. He preached to them without ever tellign them that he was talking about them. His style was kind of “if the shoe fits, wear it.”

Devotion to the Gospel, the Church and the world can be achieved. One just has to know how to navigate the waters.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

I would encouage you to read the life of our Holy Father Francis, maybe the edition written by Thomas Celano, who was an early brother. When you do, pay special attention to some of these details.

He lived at a time when the Church was in worse shape than it is today. Unfortunately, there are people who like to believe that the past is always better, which is not true. There were good things, but there were also some very horrible things happening.

Francis was surrounded by people on the left and the right side of every issue and he never defended either. On the contrary, he avoided being identified with both sides. This is brought about very clearly when he visits the Sultan who asked him, “Did you come in the name of the Christians?” Francis responds, “I’ve come in the name of Jesus Christ.” Celano, Bonaventure and other learly Franciscans who knew him tell us that the answer was very carefully planned. Francis did not want to associate himself with the Christian camp, because he was convinced that their actions were wrong, even though their cause was noble. He had an abilityt to separate actions from causes. He was not about to identify with the Sultan either, because his actions were equally wrong and his faith was incomplete. So there was only one place where he could stand, that was under the shadow of Christ. What we see here is an excellent example of how he navigated between opposing forces without taking sides and delivering the message of the Gospel, which was a message of peace and a message of salvation.

Francis also forbade his followers from professing allegience to any nation on earth. No one was to ever pledge allegience to any flag, any nation, any political party or polical leader. He realized that patriotism divides men and sets brother against brother. As his order grew, he did something that had never been done before. He divided it into regions called provinces, but these provinces were to ignore national boundaries. They were for the purpose of fascilitating the government of a growing family, not for fostering a cultural identity. To drive home the point, he wrote in French, Italian, Provencal and Latin. Many people do not know this, unless you’re a Franciscan going through a novitiate program where you have to read the early writings. He did this deliberately. He was not part of any group, any party, or any movement. He was Catholic.

He brought down the structures of the religious life of the day by founding the first religious order where all men are brothers. The brothers were priests, bakers, farmers, lawyers, scholars, doctor, royalty and peasants. However, Francis did something that had never been done before. He stripped the clerics of their power. Every cleric who joins the Franciscan family, to this day must submit to the authority of a superior who can be either cleric or lay. This was not the usual for his time. He also founded a real order, with a rule and its own government for married men and women and he forbade the friars interference. He also forbade the friars interference in the life and government of the nuns that he founded. He believed that Clare and her sisters could also hear the voice of Christ and did not need males to guide them or govern them. Unlike other religious women, the Poor Clares always governed themselves without male intervention.

Francis insisted in absolute obedience to himself and to the Pontiff. This is very interesting. Today, we hear so many people talk about the importance of thinking and how the pope and bishops can be wrong about this or that. Francis wrote that it was true that the pope, bishops and superiors could be wrong about this or that. He also admitted that they often were wrong. Then he commanded his followers to do whatever they were told to do, even if it was wrong, as long as it was not a sin. His argued that Pilate was also wrong, but had Jesus failed to comply, salvation would have been forfeited. Therefore, he believed that God brings good out of obedience. This was not a popular position and it’s still a very unpopular position. Here on CAF, most Franciscans who have attempted to participate have ended leaving in frustration, because people don’t want to hear this other side. In some houses, superiors have simply forbidden the access to CAF, because of the rejection and the abuse from the left and the right. Bu the lesson to be learned is that we can navigate through life without making enemies and teaching with our humility and our fidelity to the Gospel and to the Church as it speaks to us through the Pontiff.

Another thing that you will notice about him is how he never pointed the finger at the clergy or the religious. In fact, he had several brothers excommunicated for doing such a thing. He placed everyone in his order under obedience to him. Once he did that, he then commanded absolute obedience and respect for clergy, bishops and popes. The law of the Church is that if you violate a solemn vow, you’re excommunicated until you recant and correct what you have done. Many were excommunicated then and today too. He had zero tolerance for people who tried to run the Church. But you would never know it by his words, only by his actions. He preached to them without ever tellign them that he was talking about them. His style was kind of “if the shoe fits, wear it.”

Devotion to the Gospel, the Church and the world can be achieved. One just has to know how to navigate the waters.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

How do you detach people from the religion itself though?

If Catholics were perfect we would have no need for Confession; what should be present in Catholics is a desire to be good; even if we fall on the way, and we all fall short of perfection - this is why we should judge rarely and generously.

I mean that I’m easily discouraged a lot cause of a low self-esteem and it seems at times pointless to talk to the one sided often times assembly in church.

To be fair; people shouldn’t go to Church to talk; they should go to it for services etc.; now naturally people want interaction and thus it is usually provided in most Parishes in terms of events people go to after or before Mass.

I mean if you don’t agree 100% with conservatives, then your not a christian enough for them. They talk to you like your dumb and often times try to correct you especially about war. I’ve tried to understand their reasoning but its too simplestic for me. Often times organized religions and institutions crowd out the little guy as if we are all the same in all things other than euthenasia,

If people are patronising or rude that is there problem. I believe that many people wrongly treat the physically disabled in patronising or demeaning ways; often people will assume you are mentally disabled because you are in a wheelchair; you are deaf; you are blind etc. This makes a terrible burden even harder for those who suffer from disabilities; but remember this; if people are daft enough to assume that you need patronising because of a physical handicap then that is their loss; not yours.

Ask yourself (or if you feel like defending yourself, ask them) would they patronise Didymus (a famous Third century Blind theologian) - the chances are they don’t even know who Didymus is; but perhaps it will unveil their prejudices.

There are over a billion Catholics in the world; many of whom have a variety of opinions on different subjects; particularily political. Don’t be deterred.

I’m not a republican nor really a democrat that much just point out the logical fallacies of this one sided political vollyball being passed around and the spike to the game is money bottomline.

I understand where you are coming from. Here in England we have one political party; with three names - if people are gullible enough to believe they are substantially different; then that is their loss - not mine. The best policy is to only talk politics with friends; and only give an opinion to stranges or people you don’t know well when asked.

How can you continue knowing that you have relatively little to no support. Most people who attend church come with an subjective point of view like a one size fits all mantra which is wrong. We are in church not only to worship God but to learn and respect our religious leaders in the church.

I feel there is good support in my Parish. If people are coming with all sorts of silly views then that is their perogative; and is their problem; if you intend to meet the decent and dedicated Catholic people they will often be found organising events or attending daily services; although even people who do that are not necessarily perfect - but none of us are perfect.

Quite frankly I’ve seen opposite and too many exceptions of this soul escriptura **** like the protestants. Too many protestants in the catholic church cause they are too bought out and don’t do enough

Point all Protestant inclined people to the Book of James for homework.

Pointless completely with the material and spiritual needs to the church such as tything (e.g. Adherence article) referenced about the apathy of middle to upper class bracket members showing their faith to the all mighty dollar

We should concentrate on our spiritual lives, not the flaws of others. Offer help or guidance when appropriate; but do not be deterred by the failings of others; it is no poor reflection on you; all we can do is try to help people – if they do not want it; their loss.

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.