Dear Friends in Christ,
I have a dilemma. A good friend of ours is a singer/songwriter who often describes herself as a “recovering catholic”, a condition that she likens to alcoholism. “Some people can drink…some not so much” . This is her joke monologue as preface to a song which is actually about letting go of resentment and making amends! Before she says any of this I know it is coming because she says that she might offend someone by this admission but…. Every time she has said this I have been deeply offended and it has ruined the rest of her show for me. She is really a very nice gentle person. She is a volunteer for the St Vincent de Paul store and does other charitable work. She is not really self-centered. She is living a “homemade” religious life with no church affiliations. I’m not sure she is an atheist but she has told me she doesn’t believe in hell. I do believe that she was never a catholic who properly catechized, understood her faith. She would never have left! I think she was just raised in a nominally catholic-in name-only home so she thinks she knows what it means to be catholic. ( The drummer in her band is a catholic of the cafeteria variety who is quite openly defiant to the major teachings of the church …but that’s another story.) I would like to point out to her that she: A) has an incorrect understanding of the catholic church and so was never really a catholic. You can’t recover from something you are not! B) that Catholicism is not a disease! We have many friends in the music business, folk singers mostly, because of my husband’s obsessive hobby of recording artists, trading recordings and hanging out with other “tapers”. The vast majority of these performers are radically left wing and loudly so. This doesn’t bother my husband because as he claims he is just much more “tolerant” than I am and he likes their music. Pointing out that much of the musical lyrics are based on liberal politics, raunchy living, sexual deviance and new age philosophy is a mistake because I get blasted for being intolerant, not wanting to have any “fun” or being a “prude”. So here are my questions of you all:
How can I tolerate with a Christian attitude these beliefs that are so far from my own? I have to honor my husband and I don’t want to cut myself off from everything he likes to do. I come off as having a holier-than-thou attitude. I am being submerged in a world that is anti-Christian and very humanistic and pagan. I am avoiding more of this world than I was and I am certainly praying more!
What if anything should I say to this singer friend? If she is truly my friend I think she wouldn’t want to offend me. The whole culture in her world says that you can insult others as long as you make it clear that what they are doing is “Ok for them”.
How do I witness to the truth of the Catholic faith in a world that is so relativistic?
How can I be sure that if I do say something I am truly defending Christ and not just caught up in my own pride?
Thank you for your input. A couple other things about me, I am a recovering alcoholic so I may be hypersensitve to the jokes about recovery from anything. This could be triggering a prideful response. Also our daughter is a postulant with a conservative dominican order and this is well known among our friends. My husband is a cradle catholic who attends mass with me on Sunday but resists learning anything about his faith. He tells me not to lecture him if I try to explain any article of faith.