I need advice from Catholics


#1

Ok… How do I start?

I was raised in a Strong Protestant pentecostal family. My parents got divorced when I was 8 and I am now living with my mother in HongKong/China. I was raised to think that Catholics were in a false man-made church that worshiped Mary. I thought that until I started researching Church history. Church history basically yelled “The Catholic Church is the first Church!”

I was debating for many months if I should convert. I’ve prayed and prayed and God has made a way for me to get in touch with many Catholics that could help me. A few months ago I was a Sola scriptura anti-Catholic protestant, now I wear a crucifix, have icons all over my room, and pray the Rosary daily. If I could I would run off to the nearest Catholic Church and ask how I can become a Catholic. But!.. The only thing hindering me from becoming a Catholic is my extremely strict protestant mother that is very VERY anti-Catholic. I have had debates with her about the Communion of the Saints, Trinity, Mary, ect… At every argument both of us end up in tears and with hate and bitterness inside. I don’t know what to do? My mom has a home group every Saturday and all the people that go to it always have to bring up Catholics. Some even said that 50% of Catholics don’t believe in Jesus, so don’t have Catholic friends…:frowning: (I know that one was made up)

Anyways… If I convert, everyone around me will dislike me and I will end up arguing all the time with my mother. And since I am not a legal adult yet, I can’t leave my mother’s house. I don’t want to disobey my mother… And in Hong Kong there are alot of protestants. Many preachers to nothing but make the Catholic Church seem like a cult… What do you say I do? I’m still surprised I ordered Rosary beads online and pray it daily without my mother knowing… What to do?


#2

I don’t know what your situation is like because life here is so different. I don’t know what your legal rights are as a minor or how much time the nearest Catholic clergy and teachers have to talk with you. I hope for the best.


#3

Well, Hong Kong is capitalist, you have freedom of religion, and basically everything is the same for minors. My dad is American and I was born in America. I really don’t see much difference between HongKong and America. What would you do if in this situation? I’m desperate for an answer.


#4

My family was anti-religion. I was a rebel in search of truth. I left home early. I drifted around. As a late-life convert, I entered the Church last year, having been Pentecostal and Evangelical before for a few years each.
If I had been ready to enter the Church at the time I was planning to run away, I would have talked to the deacon about it and found out if they would approve of my running away. Otherwise, I would just have taken lessons in secret and then told my mother I had been confirmed Catholic after the fact.
I would not run away from home in today’s world. Things have changed. But perhaps there is a friend at school you can trust whose parents will foster you awhile? It would have to be OK with your mother too, and you probably know how to approach her better than I do.
If she won’t listen you can read and absorb all you can and wait until you have somewhere else to live safely before addressing her about it again. That’s all I can think of.:shrug:
It depends on so many things; try to find advice from a local clergyman if you can.


#5

I would first advise you to seek the counsel of two or three priests or religious in your area as discreetly as you can. In fact, if you know the name of any of the Catholic Churches in your area you can likely find a website and do this by email with the priests. Here is a list I found at wikipedia.

Also, if your mother confronts you directly you must be honest with her. Do your best to help her understand that your decision is not a rejection of her, but an embrace of what your conscience is telling you that you must do. If she offends you with words of misunderstanding or contempt you should suffer them gladly for the sake of Christ and offer them up as a living sacrifice for her understanding and conversion. It is going to be difficult, regardless; but, you are called and must answer that call as best you can. IF God has called you then He will provide a way, although do not be surprised at how obscure and/or difficult this Way will be for you at times.

Bless you. . .I will pray for you as will many here. Talk to not one but several priests or religious there in Hong Kong about your dilemma. They will have a better understanding of the dynamics involved.

All my best . . .:slight_smile:


#6

The only thing you must do is to follow what your heart desires.

Follow what you think is right and forget about the consequences

'coz as long as you’re with God, there will be no one who will harm you.

You must believe in Him, 'coz He only knows what is really best for you.

Just have faith!


#7

*Dear Oumashta,

Patience is a hard virtue. The faithfully departed Archbishop Fulton Sheen said sometime in the 1960’s that 5% of those who hate the Catholic Church, hate the Church for what it believes. 95% of those who hate the Church, hate it for what they THINK it believes.

Most Pentecostals are taught that those who past from this earth are dead and will stay dead until the final judgment. Catholics are not going to change that belief. The Blessed Virgiin Mary is dead in their minds. If Mother Mary is dead then why should we pray to her. Mother Mary couldn’t appear to people across the world--------She’s dead. Catholics are nuts---------Pentecostals have been given the true gifts of the word, of 'Speaking in Tongues, and of the Holy Spirit. …How can you argue these points when they believe this. They cannot see…Their eyes and ears are closed shut.

Our Lord will lead you step by step. If you truly believe in the Church as I do, time will only make your heart grow fonder. Theologian Scott Hahn said the belief and love that the Catholic Church has for Mother Mary was the biggest block in his journey to the Catholic Church from the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hahn said he ended up praying the rosary and asking Mother Mary to answer a prayer about something he felt was an impossible situation to overcome. Forgetting about his rosary and intention, he later on realized that the situation in question was taken care of by our Blessed Mother. He now understood the Catholics’ respect for Mother Mary.

Just remember that in life the things you normally wait for the longest are the things you cherish the most. Don’t argue with your mother. Pray for her and pray that you both open your hearts to the Lord’s desire. Your mother mistakenly believes you are trying to become an anti-Christian by becoming Catholic. Your mother believes in her church leaders, denying anything Catholic…ANYTHING. She believes you will be losing your soul to the devil. She is scared for you…She is wrong but she doesn’t know that.

The Catholic Church is non-violently persecuted more by other Christians than anyone else. I believe this was said by Cardinal John Henry Newman: "For those who believe, there is no explanation necessary. For those who don’t, there is no explanation possible. Most protestant missionaries go around the world stating ‘Once save, always saved’. If this were true then there would be no need for the parable of the ‘Prodigal Son’ and Jesus’ explanation about ‘The Lost Sheep’. In both cases all celebrated the return of the son and the sheep. WHY… If they were never lost in the first place why would Jesus care…Because the Lord won’t walk away from you, but you can walk away from the Lord.

Many Protestant missionaries talk down the Catholic Church because the Church is the biggest individual Christian faith in the world… They want to stop this dead in its tracks. If the missionaries don’t blaspheme against the Church they wouldn’t be Protestant.

May God bless you and your family and may God lead us all to the one and only truth, the Universal Christian Church…The Catholic Church…

Take care. I hope this helps.

jpaul1953*


#8

Read your Bible and pray everyday. Ask God to show you the what you need in the Bible. Look to God for your answer. God has called you and He will make a way for you. Trust HIm.
All of that seems so simple and maybe you think that it can’t apply to you, but it works.
You must remember that you are under the authority of your Mother. Just as Jesus was under his mother’s authority at the wedding at Cana. You must obey your Mother. This is part of the Ten Commandments. However, until you become more grounded in the Catholic faith, I would avoid religious discussions. I am coming from the baptist faith into Catholicism. I encounter people who question or even make fun of me becoming a Catholic.
I simply reply that, “God called me into the Catholic Church.” That usually shuts them up. I say it with calm conviction. I don’t yell or mock them back, I just know that God has called me to Him in the Catholic Church.
So read your Bible and pray everyday. Avoid arguments, they are a trap of Satan. Live your Catholic faith in quiet until God shows you a way to come out.
I am praying for you and I believe that God has called you for reason.


#9

I remember my old Protestant pastor commenting that “Protestants tell a lot of lies about Catholics and the Catholic Church”. In addition I still remember my surprise when I heard him say privately in his office that he sometimes wondered if Protestants get to heaven. I think the boot’s on the other foot. If he was correct, and I found from personal experience over a number of years he seldom seemed to be wrong, you can imagine what lengths the devil’s prepared to go to keep Protestants out of the Catholic Church.

But having said that, you seem to be young and possibly still at school. So for the moment, and until you’re old enough to support yourself, with appropriate education and qualifications, I’d suggest you not rock the family boat too much in regards to Catholic vs. Protestant arguments. Just keep it under your belt. Once you’ve reached adulthood and are prepared to leave home if necessary (it may well come to that), then make the move to the Catholic Church.

In the meantime learn all you can about the Catholic Church. As someone else said, maybe see a priest or religious or two and get their advice. You don’t need to rush.

Patience, Oumashta, patience…

It’s a virtue.


#10

She is your Mom and is the one taking care of you in a foreign country.

You know the Ten Commandments and you know you must honor your father and mother all of your life. But right now you live under her roof, you are a minor, and you are dependent on her. In all fairness, if my underage child told me he/she wanted to become a Buddist, Protestant, or Jew, I wouldn’t be too receptive to that either.

Ask for a truce. Maybe you could say you will not convert until you reach 18 and taken instruction. Don’t argue. Even if she takes your rosary, you can still say it on your fingers.

You will be offering many things up right now until you can be your own person. And God will understand.


#11

You must always remember that your mum loves you and wants to do the best she can for you so treat her with respect and do not argue with her…honour thy father and mother.

It is her house and if she does not want you to have the icons in your room i would suggest that you remove them and simply keep your crucifix.

Look upon the visit of your mums friends as an opportunity to strengthen your faith. Listen to what they have to say and ak them why they think what they think. What documentary proof do they have. If they start to quote bible passages then take a note of them and then
test their interpretation against alternative view points e.g. by posting questions here and/ or looking at existing written material.

Above all ask God for guidance on what to do next, He will not abandon you

God bless


#12

I’m so sorry :hug1: I’m a convert too and I had a lot of opposition to my conversion, but not quite this bad. I’m sure that God is so pleased with you though :slight_smile: how wonderful that He lead you to the Church! :slight_smile: btw… when you said “A few months ago I was a Sola scriptura anti-Catholic protestant, now I wear a crucifix, have icons all over my room, and pray the Rosary daily.” - that’s so much like my journey too! don’t give up… are you almost a legal adult? perhaps you can wait a short time and then become Catholic? if you can’t find a way to get to Sunday Mass… are you able to get to weekday Mass or Adoration? when I was converting, sometimes I’d just go and pray before the Tabernacle during the day when no one was there :slight_smile:

would it work if you were to just go to a Catholic church and simply talk to the priest there? to become Catholic, you’d have to go through RCIA I think… (dont know what it’s like in China). and that takes several months. But perhaps you can ask the priest for some advice :slight_smile:

hang in there…and don’t get discouraged by what people in your mom’s home group say about Catholics, - when I was converting I went to a college Bible study group with some Protestant girls, and they didn’t know about my conversion, and they said a lot of stuff about Catholics too…and it really upset me… but keep in mind, many of these people are probably ignorant about Catholicism and have misconceptions about what we believe.

try to not get into arguments with your mom, just pray :slight_smile:

God bless you! prayers for you…


#13

I don’t know where you live, but when I lived in Hong Kong many years ago there was the
Holy Rosary Catholic Church near by the Post Office and Railroad station, where I went to mass. I believe it should still be there.

I would suggest you pay the pastor a visit and discuss your situation with him. He has an
obligation to help and advise you. God Bless you for your decision. It is painful, but pray
to Our Blessed Mother for help. She will get Jesus to open your mother’s eyes to the true
Church. Of this I am positive, for it has happened many times before.

PAX DOMINI :signofcross:

Shalom Aleichem


#14

I face the anti-Catholic arguments in my family as well (and have for several years). Here’s what I’ve learned:
[LIST]
*]Be patient. All in God’s time - not ours. Several others have written this as well. It’s good advice.
*]Focus on what you and your mother have in common. It’s amazing how much you can agree on. In fact, some of the things people say we disagree about are not actually disagreements but different words used to describe the same thing.
*]Continue to pray. Pray for patience, for guidance, for clarity, for perseverance, for the words to say, for love for your mother and her friends. And FAST. Jesus said, “when you fast…” That means we are supposed to fast. When you fast, offer up your hunger as a sacrifice for the softening of your mother’s heart.
*]Remember how much you love your mother. Always speak to her with respect and love. When you start to feel frustrated or defensive, pause - pray - refocus. Shift gears by telling her how much you love her. Thank her for teaching you to love God. Emphasize what you both know as truth. When it begins to go bad, STOP talking before you get into tears. You might say something like, "I don’t see this conversation leading anywhere good. Do you? If you do, let’s keep talking, because I love you and I want us together to know the Truth. But if it’s going to end in tears and yelling, we should stop now. Because that means we are angry, and God is not pleased with that.
[/LIST]
Hang in there.


#15

Thank all of you so much for adivce and support:) I feel a whole lot better after getting advice from confirmed Catholics:) Before I do anything I will pray, pray very hard. Please keep me in your prayers, and if you need, I will pray for any of you also. Maybe I should wait a few more years and then start my conversion proccess. Maybe I could try to find time to secretly go out for adoration. All in God’s hands… Thanks once again you all.:smiley:

Just remember that in life the things you normally wait for the longest are the things you cherish the most. Don’t argue with your mother. Pray for her and pray that you both open your hearts to the Lord’s desire. Your mother mistakenly believes you are trying to become an anti-Christian by becoming Catholic. Your mother believes in her church leaders, denying anything Catholic…ANYTHING. She believes you will be losing your soul to the devil. She is scared for you…She is wrong but she doesn’t know that.

The Catholic Church is non-violently persecuted more by other Christians than anyone else. I believe this was said by Cardinal John Henry Newman: "For those who believe, there is no explanation necessary. For those who don’t, there is no explanation possible. Most protestant missionaries go around the world stating ‘Once save, always saved’. If this were true then there would be no need for the parable of the ‘Prodigal Son’ and Jesus’ explanation about ‘The Lost Sheep’. In both cases all celebrated the return of the son and the sheep. WHY… If they were never lost in the first place why would Jesus care…Because the Lord won’t walk away from you, but you can walk away from the Lord.

This is very likely to be what my mother thinks. I heard her talk on the phone to one of her friends, she said “It’s a good thing I went to bible school, because if I didn’t I wouldn’t know how to correct him and teach him true doctrine” My mom is a once saved always saved by faith only Christian.

I know that it is God’s will for me to become Catholic, because God has shown His approval, that’s how I got the crucifix. I remember I prayed to Him one day and said, “God if you want me to be Catholic please let me have a crucifix necklace, if You want me to stay protestant don’t let me have it.” The next day when I talked to my dad on the phone, for some reason I felt strongly to ask him for a crucifix necklace (I was scared at first because my dad is a backslid “Catholics persecuted the true church until martin luther came along” person. I asked him for it he mumbled a little bit and then sent it to my through the mail… It’s a weird story but it’s true.

Is it ok for me to go to adoration if I’m not yet a Catholic?


#16

Oumashta:
Is it ok for me to go to adoration if I’m not yet a Catholic?

Yes, there is no problem with that. But, please, talk with a priest. God Bless. I will pray for you.

PAX DOMINI :signofcross:

Shalom Aleichem


#17

Hi Oumashta

Something else to think about: if you read up about the lives of the greatest saints that ever walked the earth, almost without exception they all endured incredible suffering in one form or another. Many suffered horrible illnesses, many lived in poverty, many others were persecuted for their faith, yet they remained faithful and enjoyed the rewards of their faith later…

God never said that following Him would be easy. Indeed we often have to carry very heavy crosses. Your strength of faith is a shining example to so many others who often give in in the face of adversity! Keep it up and keep praying! You will receive the greatest rewards in God’s time…

Regarding Adoration - you are welcome to pray before God in any Adoration Chapel. But of course, as you probably know already, there are certain steps you will need to go through before you actually receive the sacrament of Communion in the Holy Mass. Speak to your priest about this, and he should give you all the advice you need.

You have my prayers also, my friend. No matter how tough things get, remember that God IS there with you every step of the way!

Patrick


#18

Hello Oumashta: I really feel for your situation. It must be very difficult for you. You have already received great advice from earlier contributors to this post. One of them asked how long it would be until you would reach the age of emancipation, but I don’t think you answered. Are you still years away? I don’t think so because your posts are very well thought out and expressed. I am a convert of 4 1/2 years, but didn’t face any of the challenges you presently face. However, prior to my conversion I was as anti-Catholic as they come. Once I became receptive to learn more about what Mass is all about, and why Catholics do what they do at Mass, I suddenly realized that all those notions to which I had held so closely concerning Catholics and the Church were based upon misconceptions, myths and ignorance–not stupidity, but ignorance which is simply a lack of knowledge. I want to leave you with one of my favorite passages from Romans 5 (from the J.B. Phillips translation of the N.T.) which reads: “…we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles. Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us.” Stated more simply, when we are going through tribulations, we can still be joyful if we exercise patience which helps build character which, in turn, gives us hope, and we know that hope never disappoints. I’ll be praying for you…and your mother.


#19

In the meantime, pray for the intercession of saints to convert your mother’s heart. You will be surprised that our prayer partners in heaven will hear and pray for you as well. Especially pray the Memorare prayer…our Blessed Mother is a great intercessor.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Amen.

Logic may not always win over people, but the power of prayer cannot be denied.
You will be in my prayers as well on your journey. Introduce your mom after you thoroughly explore this website too…

catholicscomehome.org/not-Catholic.phtml


#20

Oumashta,
I too am a convert, although I had tons of love and support from my husband’s family (cradle Catholics) as I went through the process. My own family was somewhat supportive – they are relatively middle of the road in their Christian beliefs. What I found most helpful as I have made my way toward understanding my “chosen” Faith, is to try to always respond to questions and untruths with love. If I feel my ire rise, I graciously smile and say something like, maybe another day we’ll be able to discuss this without anger.

I have read several books written by converts (the first was Steven Ray’s “Crossing the Tiber,”) and have taken some “basic” apologetics classes. I keep the work books close so that I can answer questions correctly, and have the full force of the Church’s teachings and the Holy Spirit to work with me. It is an uphill battle. People hold firm to their beliefs and it is difficult to give up what they are comfortable with.

One of the first instructions in apologetics is to start by talking about the things our religions have in common. That will lay a foundation of trust and hopefully will make the other person relax and be more inclined to discuss than argue. I usually ask what things they have “heard” about the Catholic Church that bother them, and then try to dispell the myths. Worshipping the Blessed Mother (and idols/icons) and praying to her and the Saints for intercession are really big issues, and there is a lot here on Catholic Answers that will help you find ways to explain the Truth. Remember, always approach the other person with love! Especially your mother!!

There have been lots of good replies to your questions and concerns, and you can come back here again and again for positive reinforcement.

I will pray for God to send down the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of those who are cruel to you, that they too may open their eyes and hearts and accept the Truth of Christ’s teachings.

Yours with Christ!!!


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