I'm agnostic and she is catholic


#21

First of all - Let me say that I am sorry if anything I posted sounded harsh. It was not my intent. As to you specific responses.....

[quote="theagnosticcath, post:15, topic:230373"]
1. yes that might be true but so what? we have found each other and everything happens for a reason so bringing the past up like that is irrelivent, i am not letting go, the only way to make me let go would be to tear me limb from limb and even then i'd still hang on with my jaw

[/quote]

This is a very interesting response...I wonder why you would wish to hang on this tightly to someone who might not feel the same way as you do....
I realize that you are using hyperbole here, but still it seems to me to speak to an outlook that is somewhat posessive.

  1. we BOTH have changed, before january i was in all honesty one of the most unthoughtful, self absorbed people i have ever known, i took her for granted and i wasn't paying attention to what was going on out side my bubble, i am no longer that person i have beaten that person and i use the thought of that person to spur me on in challenges that i thought i would never have even contimplated taking never mind trying to overcome them

What has changed since January? Has it been the faith and your studies of it?

  1. i don't see why its so critical for her husband to be catholic if he supports the church, supports the views, supports the teachings and can see how it can benifit a life.

This is a question that she will need to answer for you. The responses others have given are good, but the bottom line in you rcase is why SHE thinks it is critical.

  1. yes i have been caught off gaurd and yes it is a surprise but it does not mean in the slightest that im struggling to catch up and make sence of it all. What i feel is fear, im entering a world that i've only read about that i've only seen on tv, i'm immersing myself in something that i do not understand and will not understand for a good while. I'm not trying to learn as fast as i can as i think that would be wrong you have to crawl before you can walk and you have to walk before you can run, im still crawling and for a while i do not see myself grabbing a ledge and pulling myself up, it will take time and effort.

Fair enough...My conclusions were based on what you had posted previously. My apologies if my conclusions were wrong.

As for learning and such....Iw as raised Catholic and left the church for 35 years before coming back...I'm still learning

And the reason why im scarred of mass is because its a huge part of your faith, when you walk in you kneel at the seat, you say prayers (none of which i know)
So think of being on my end and walking into this group of people you do not know, feeling left out and lonely (not through heart of trying), i feel vunerable and when i do things wrong i can see people stare, they know i dont belong there and it freaks me out

OK, well there are a couple of things you can do...First of all recognize why you are there - To learn. Try not to get distracted by others "looks". Better yet, try to make friends - let them know you are knew and trying to learn.

Sit in the back of church at first so there are fewer people to see your mistakes.

Watch mass on TV (you can stream it on your computer from EWTN) This will help familiarize you with what is going on.

Don't worry about not "knowing the prayers" before mass. Just go in and either sit or kneel and talk to God like a friend...

Hope some of this helps.

Oh - and one other thing. If you have any particular questions you are atruggling with, bring them here (in a new thread) and we will try to help you...

Peace
James


#22

Wow, the plot thickens. ;)

Hey girl, hang in there! Keep praying for your bf and that you both grow in faith. Your concerns about marriage and children are very reasonable. It's good that you've realised all these things and that you're willing to live your faith fully.
You two obviously have to have a good heart to heart and take things easy for a bit.

God bless.


#23

Greetings dear sister.
Welcome to CAF!
=)
It is strange to see that you came here, but I’m assuming he told you what he did and you wanted to explain.
I actually never said you were terrible. I try not to judge people and from the little information he gave us we really couldn’t say much more.
Reading your whole explanation a thought came to mind: why don’t you continue being boyfriend and girlfriend until he becomes a catholic? Do you plan on getting married as soon as possible?
I say this because it seems your boyfriend is trying really hard to understand catholicism and I think your relationship shouldn’t suffer because of that.
I understand perfectly that you would want a catholic husband. I am also looking for a catholic wife, but you must always remember that him being catholic doesn’t mean that he will stay a catholic forever. You really want to marry someone that demonstrates the capability to withstand hardship in faith matters.
I don’t mean by this that your current boyfriend is the husband you are seeking, I am only telling you that it may be too early to reach a conclusion. Some people only marry after 5 or more years of courtship, it doesn’t mean their marriage will be duller.

The most important thing is that both of you love each other with a pure heart, not because you are “in love” with each other but because you can see Jesus in each other.
Try to pray together, go to mass together, meditate together. It can really help both your relationship with each other and with God.

One of the things that really struck me was that both of you are willing to stop having sexual intercourse. How real is this situation? If you want to stay pure (both of you) and continue to grow in faith you should really avoid situations where it can become a problem.
It is not easy for people who have already started having sex to just stop so my heart and prayers are with you.

I really hope both of you can find God’s Will towards you in this situation, so that both of you can find the purest path and great joy.

God bless you
Hug,
Daniel


#24

Thank you to everyone who have posted their opinions and views on this

It truly makes me believe that i might well find faith someday if everyone is as passionate and caring as everyone on this board :)

Thank you so much
God Bless You


#25

[quote="theagnosticcath, post:24, topic:230373"]
Thank you to everyone who have posted their opinions and views on this

It truly makes me believe that i might well find faith someday if everyone is as passionate and caring as everyone on this board :)

Thank you so much
God Bless You

[/quote]

You are welcome...and praise be God that you (apparently) told your GF about this thread so that we can see her input as well.

As to passionate caring Catholics, yes there are many, but there are also those who are less so and even those who are "cultural catholics" or fallen away like your GF use to be...But don't be detered by those. You will find such in any walk of life.

Keep reading, keep studying and learning....Keep asking questions.

May God bless you both.

Peace
James


#26

[quote="theagnosticcath, post:24, topic:230373"]

God Bless You

[/quote]

That is the first time you have ever said that :D

Daniel: Thank you for the welcome. I've visited CAF quite a bit and I listen to Catholic Answers Live constantly! So I suppose that is why he decided to come here and then after he got some promising feedback he alerted me to the post. I suppose it's sometimes easier to write things than say them and we've both been able to explain ourselves more clearly through writing than speaking. And I was only joking about being the terrible gf - I did feel like that though but I suppose the way that my request of him came across wasn't how I wanted it to.

We are planning on being boyfriend and girlfriend but we have been together for 18 months now and long story short, we've been through a lot. I also genuinely believe that he was brought into my life by God and that he has been an answer to so many of my prayers and I don't mean that I was praying for a boyfriend but there have been things missing in my life that he has provided. He is a wonderful person and I love him very much because of who he is, not because of any physical attraction (although I do think he is beautiful). I think that as he learns more about Catholicism he will appreciate it and want to be a part of it however due to our poor communication I was under the impression that he was doing it just to understand me, not because of his own interest or because he thought he may convert. I want him to be doing it for him and for a relationship with God. I do love him with a pure heart and I believe that he loves me too, I think that our both being on this forum to try and work through this issue is testiment to that. All I have prayed for is that God opens his heart and his mind to the Catholic teachings and I pray that I am able to lead him by example. Conversion has never been a motive of mine, just understanding, acceptance and support.

Personally I am a lot happier not having sex because I feel like we have a much closer relationship and we are partners in life and are together because we enjoy and love each other as people and not as objects. I know it is more difficult for him but I am so blessed and grateful that he has been understanding and is beginning to see the significance and meaning of sex.

Thank you all for your input and God bless :)


#27

[quote="agnosticcathgf, post:26, topic:230373"]
That is the first time you have ever said that :D

Daniel: Thank you for the welcome. I've visited CAF quite a bit and I listen to Catholic Answers Live constantly! So I suppose that is why he decided to come here and then after he got some promising feedback he alerted me to the post. I suppose it's sometimes easier to write things than say them and we've both been able to explain ourselves more clearly through writing than speaking. And I was only joking about being the terrible gf - I did feel like that though but I suppose the way that my request of him came across wasn't how I wanted it to.

We are planning on being boyfriend and girlfriend but we have been together for 18 months now and long story short, we've been through a lot. I also genuinely believe that he was brought into my life by God and that he has been an answer to so many of my prayers and I don't mean that I was praying for a boyfriend but there have been things missing in my life that he has provided. He is a wonderful person and I love him very much because of who he is, not because of any physical attraction (although I do think he is beautiful). I think that as he learns more about Catholicism he will appreciate it and want to be a part of it however due to our poor communication I was under the impression that he was doing it just to understand me, not because of his own interest or because he thought he may convert. I want him to be doing it for him and for a relationship with God. I do love him with a pure heart and I believe that he loves me too, I think that our both being on this forum to try and work through this issue is testiment to that. All I have prayed for is that God opens his heart and his mind to the Catholic teachings and I pray that I am able to lead him by example. Conversion has never been a motive of mine, just understanding, acceptance and support.

Personally I am a lot happier not having sex because I feel like we have a much closer relationship and we are partners in life and are together because we enjoy and love each other as people and not as objects. I know it is more difficult for him but I am so blessed and grateful that he has been understanding and is beginning to see the significance and meaning of sex.

Thank you all for your input and God bless :)

[/quote]

I would like to add something that I have not seen here before. If I repeat, forgive. I recently (Dec.) lost my husband who was an agnostic. A friend, who is a nun, came to see us in the hospital, just a few hours before he passed. I was upset because he did not believe in God as I do and I was concerned what would happen to him. Sister reminded me that faith is a gift. Some of us don't receive that gift, others do but not at a time that a family or loved one wishes. You cannot force belief on anyone, you can only pray for them. Let them find, or not, faith within themselves. Pray for them and love them.


#28

[quote="theagnosticcath, post:15, topic:230373"]
1. yes that might be true but so what? we have found each other and everything happens for a reason so bringing the past up like that is irrelivent, i am not letting go, the only way to make me let go would be to tear me limb from limb and even then i'd still hang on with my jaw

  1. we BOTH have changed, before january i was in all honesty one of the most unthoughtful, self absorbed people i have ever known, i took her for granted and i wasn't paying attention to what was going on out side my bubble, i am no longer that person i have beaten that person and i use the thought of that person to spur me on in challenges that i thought i would never have even contimplated taking never mind trying to overcome them

  2. i don't see why its so critical for her husband to be catholic if he supports the church, supports the views, supports the teachings and can see how it can benifit a life.

  3. yes i have been caught off gaurd and yes it is a surprise but it does not mean in the slightest that im struggling to catch up and make sence of it all. What i feel is fear, im entering a world that i've only read about that i've only seen on tv, i'm immersing myself in something that i do not understand and will not understand for a good while.
    I'm not trying to learn as fast as i can as i think that would be wrong you have to crawl before you can walk and you have to walk before you can run, im still crawling and for a while i do not see myself grabbing a ledge and pulling myself up, it will take time and effort.

And the reason why im scarred of mass is because its a huge part of your faith, when you walk in you kneel at the seat, you say prayers (none of which i know)
So think of being on my end and walking into this group of people you do not know, feeling left out and lonely (not through heart of trying), i feel vunerable and when i do things wrong i can see people stare, they know i dont belong there and it freaks me out

[/quote]

My heart goes out to you, to both of you really. I do think your girlfriend means well, but she may not be able to truly understand how intense this whole experience is to someone who has no background in religion at all. I mean, you are diving into a VERY deep pool here, and you don't have the foggiest notion of how to swim, or even have on water wings! To go from zero religious training into the most intense and demanding religion and faith? Well I think it is that, anyway...There is an awful lot to absorb and learn.

I would urge her to be very patient, not to pressure you, but to show you the BEST, the very BEST of what it means to be Catholic. I hope I did not sound uncharitable before, but ultimatums just have not been very successful in my own life nor those of people I know and love. I know I am the kind of person who takes an ultimatum as a challenge and I just want to prove to the person that I am stronger. A character defect of mine, yes.

Just reading your posts should show her that you are really trying and that you love her very much. Just to stay with her shows that you do. Someone who was not a person open to faith would have already run for the hills.

Hang in there, take it one step at a time, and we're here for you (and her, although this is technically your thread).

:)


#29

[quote="theagnosticcath, post:17, topic:230373"]
I can see where you are coming from and in terms i do agree, i would never undermine the faith
I do though pray, every so often, just little ones, nothing to big....kind of like starter prayers haha
im not saying that i wont be part of the faith, im still certainly wide open to converting but its still a while away.
i can see how much a difference it can make just by reading your posts and although at the moment im not converting i dont think i would ever want my other half to feel so isolated and alone because of her faith, i try and interact with her as much as possible

Thankyou for listening to me and for understanding me

[/quote]

This brings back memories. I'm married to a very supportive non-Catholic. He's considered converting, he still might, but after more than twenty years, not yet. I remembered the tears I went through over deciding whether or not to marry him. It was not an easy decision, and it doesn't have a black-and-white right-or-wrong answer. I know another couple in which the husband insisted that his wife convert before they married. She is still a bit bitter about that, I think. Insisting that she obtain a decree of nullity before they married was non-negotiable, but as for the pressure to convert, he shouldn't have done that to her. Encouragement, evangelization, prayer and support are true love. Forced conversion isn't. It rarely works out well.

It is difficult to practice the faith when your husband does not see it, even though he is very supportive. (I must admit: My husband has recognized, too, that I am much easier to live with when I'm practicing with more devotion than when I'm more lax!) It is an issue worth considering very seriously before marriage. When we were at this impasse, we met with a priest. He explained to him that it would be difficult to me, he explained to me that it is quite possible to raise serious Catholics in a home with a non-Catholic provided that the non-Catholic is supportive. In fact, he thought that the children would benefit from knowing that non-Catholic and anti-Catholic are by no means the same thing! This has proven to be true. Nevertheless, practicing the faith and not being able to share it with my husband has proven to be very difficult at times. I miss that he's not Catholic; I miss it very much.

If she has truly said, "Convert or we're through" rather than "I'm not sure I can marry a non-Catholic, I'm having second thoughts" I'd break it off and tell her that she *might *hear from me if I ever decide to convert. This follows my rule that you should not ever marry someone who sees you as a "fixer upper." Someone who not only sees you as a fixer upper but also slaps a "DENIED PERMIT TO OCCUPY" across your front door is the extreme end of that.

I'm not condemning her for coming to the realization that she needs to marry a practicing Catholic when she does marry. That is understandable. I've been married to a non-Catholic, and it is not easy under the best of circumstances. If I had it to do all over again, I would examine myself, my intended, and our relationship very seriously before taking the leap. All three must give the green light, or regretably, it is a no go. Giving you that information in such a harsh way as you imply she did--that is, expressing it as an ultimatuum rather than as an admission that regrets the later-rather-than-sooner realization that this point is non-negotiable barrier to marriage--lacks graciousness, and perhaps charity. You seem a nice sort; I hope you'll try to overlook that. Don't overlook your correct conscience that resists being buffaloed into a false conversion in order to "keep the peace." Even if you investigate into the Church by checking out an RCIA program, stick to your guns on that point. It ought to be the Holy Spirit that guides the timeline of your spiritual life, not a would-be wife.


#30

Hi there, I'm a cradle Catholic too, and DH is probably best described as agnostic. He believes in a higher power... but has no teachings in any specific religion. Now, I never stated anything outloud. But deal breakers for me would have been aethiest, or perhaps Jewish (not ever getting to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, is God) The fact that he's open to explanation was important. He didn't have to be caught up with my 20+ years of learning (and there is STILL so much for me to learn). He did have to agree to Catholic upbringing of children, no undermining etc.

[quote="agnosticcathgf, post:20, topic:230373"]
Hi, I'm the said terrible gf who gave an ultimatum.....although it wasn't exactly an ultimatum, it was just honestly saying that I don't see a future when our beliefs are so differing. I can't understand how we could both completely support our children being Catholic and living as a Catholic family if he didn't believe in the teachings.It's doable. I promise! I struggle to understand how someone can support the church's message and yet not want to be a part of it.And see, without conversion, he can learn along side your children. For example, how can we teach our children about the Eucharist when one of us doesn't believe?You do the teaching, he does the agreeing. He does not undermine... and asks questions too if necessary And if we both believe then why wouldn't he want to take part as well?It takes time... it's a lot to wrap your brain around. Imagine having to switch to another religion. There are plenty of other denominations... we all believe, generally, in Christ but I don't want to take part in their ritual at all... Part of that is because I know better... but I don't even know enough about them to even consider it... It takes time...

I'm going to be completely honest.....Would I like him to convert? Absolutely. I believe in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe in the Catholic church. I believe in God's mercy and I believe in the resurrection and the everlasting life through God. I love my bf and I want him to be part of that. I want him to experience the happiness, comfort, love and mercy that I feel from God. I think the main problem here is that neither of us properly communicated with each other. And I'm reminded of a teenage boy who is his father's sponser at our church this season. The most touching thing I've ever witnessed.

I'm a cradle Catholic so it is difficult for me to understand where he is coming from because my life has always been Catholic (even though I did stray for a bit - I never lost faith in God or the church). My entire family are Catholic. All my education up until university was Catholic and I even considered joining the religious life. I appreciate all of your insights and thank you for reaching out to the both of us. I hope that I've explained myself a bit more clearly. I really get you here. Although I went to public high school. There is a degree of "sheltering" that you might have experienced. I have so little knowledge of other religions and such. That they sound insane to me. And if you could have seen my face the first time someone (my fil) informed me that "Mary was not a virgin"... WHO BELIEVES THAT???? I was seriously awe struck at such a statement. And this was not too long ago. My husband came home from work, and I said, we need to have a talk. I had NO IDEA how out of it your parents are! LOL! Even DH was suprised that his father would make such a statement, I think to me...

To say it was an ultimatium was slightly harsh, I have never wanted to force anyone to be Catholic but I am very proud and defensive of my faith and will support it to the very end and I hope that people will come to the church themselves but if I can help nudge someone in the direction of the Lord then I'm going to take that opportunity. It's out of love for him that I want him to be Catholic. I want us to be able to share this and I want him to know and love God like I do. The most important thing is that you allow him his free will as God has. ;) I know this is important. And actually, I feel you're ahead of the game with regard to his willingness to check things out. In the end, it's important that he realize, among his vows, this will be the part you won't let him out of... EVER! My Dh was a bit suprised that he HAS to attend church now. As we have boys, who like to copy daddy. Part of not undermining is that he attend to. Not stay home and watch a game. Perhaps agree to some ground rules until he feels he can actually convert.

[/quote]


#31

[quote="Contra_Mundum, post:16, topic:230373"]
I think I can answer this one. It matters because then the marriage would have God at its centre. It is one thing to support the spouse and another to share the faith. My husband is super supportive and respectful and interested but he still does not share my faith. I love him and I'm glad I married him but sometimes I feel lonely because of this difference. We don't pray together- I pray alone. He'll support me in raising children in faith and take them to church and not undermine our faith, but he will not be a part of it. (unless he converts of course).
It makes all the difference you see. You can have a very happy life together even if you don't convert and she decides she could live with it, but these things matter. One of you will always be more aware of it.

[/quote]

I agree with this. It would be amazing if DH was on the same wave length. In the end, I just do what I can. I pray for his soul. I ask my guardian angel to pray with his. My husband has a great since of humor... I told him I did this with my guardian angel... he then proclaimed what he knew his angel would say... and for WHATEVER reason, in his best beam me up scotty, scottich accent shouts, "I'm doing the best that I can!!!!"

He's very open, and supportive of the teaching with our children... That's all that I ask for.


#32

[quote="theagnosticcath, post:15, topic:230373"]

And the reason why im scarred of mass is because its a huge part of your faith, when you walk in you kneel at the seat, you say prayers (none of which i know)
So think of being on my end and walking into this group of people you do not know, feeling left out and lonely (not through heart of trying), i feel vunerable and when i do things wrong i can see people stare, they know i dont belong there and it freaks me out

[/quote]

This takes time to learn. As I stated above. My DH is not Catholic. He has gone to church with me on and off for near 25 years now. He still doesn't know the prayers. But he does know when to stand, sit, kneel. You will eventually get it.

Also, in case you didn't know, our Mass is going to have some MAJOR changes coming up the start of Advent. And us "old timers" are going to have some new things to learn as well. And I promise you, we will stumble. Some people may look and stare... so be it. They may just be taking in the "newbie"... We have them all the time. And we recognize this as a good thing. Not anything to be concerned about. But there is NOTHING wrong with you holding a missle and flipping the pages to follow. Your sweetie can do this for you in fact. She can point to where you are in the Mass, you can come up with gestures for stand, sit, kneel if necessary.

AND it's NO BIG DEAL that you don't go to communion either. Here's what DH does. He's a big guy. Generally, he stands up, walks out of the pew with all of us, then goes to a kneeling position until we return. There are plenty of people NOT going to communion. It's no one's biz why... and trust me, we are usually in our own heads during communion.

Now... DH has commented on the prayers said out loud. He asked me not to long ago if I sat and listened to us ever. He said it was "freaky"... to which I responded... Jeez... It's not like you saw a goat go running down the isle... THAT would be freaky. LOL! He usually has a question or 2 for me about the Mass.

I encourage you to continue seeking this truth. Only because I truly believe you will be a better person for it. AND I encourage you to ask questions about ANYTHING that doesn't make sense, or anything that you've heard something negative about. Trust me... even us cradle Catholics don't know it all.

If you two love each other. And it sounds as you do... you can truly be good for each other. You can challange her to learn more in effort to teach you. Your faith can grow within this prospective marriage. It can be an enriching experience for you both. As long as you're open to it... and as long as she's open to you taking your time.

Again, I recommend that you come together and establish some ground rules, clarify expectations, limitations, etc... You can do this...

Best wishes!!!


#33

[quote="lynx, post:2, topic:230373"]
In all honesty i'm a little angry with her. No one can force you to acknowledge God. That's for you to do, or not, on your own terms. For her to issue this ultimatum knowing about who you are seems wrong. If she can't love you for the person you are I wouldn't want you to be with her. However, if it were me and my love, I would fake it. I'm actually getting married to a previous Catholic soon, and I plan on faking ceremony stuff for her parents. So, is she worth it, lying to yourself and her for as long as it takes to sort your religious matters out?

[/quote]

I highly recommend not lying and faking. It causes more harm than you can imagine. My husband kind of faked his catholic faith (he was raised as mostly secular Christian) to me as well as to himself before marriage. Only to announce 6 years after we got married that he does not in fact believe in God. And that too when we are trying to have a child which raises a question about the Catholic upbringing.
It is very motivating for you to believe in Church NOW because you will get appraisal from your beloved and get a green light to marry her. Only to come up with all the unresolved differences of faith and understanding of it later. It can be very frustrating later in marriage especially when she is so pushy and gives you ultimata already now. What will she give you after you get married if you don't immediately become a perfect Catholic?

I recommend to you to try praying to gain faith and light into your relationship. Faith is a gift given to us by God. On our part we have to be open to it.


#34

[quote="theagnosticcath, post:3, topic:230373"]
in

i just dont understand why she is as closed minded and narrow minded as this

[/quote]

I think this is a serious issue in marriage. Trying to control the other person in any way. I myself have tried this in my husband (trying to persuade him about my religion because he is mostly secular) and I am ashamed I did. Marriage can be very difficult if one person is quite open minded and another quite close minded. Constant arguments.


#35

[quote="GraceDK, post:4, topic:230373"]
Your full of deceit man. You are no gentleman.
The young man who started this thread is infinitely more ethical than you.

You will build your relationship on a lie and you wont be able to keep it up.
If you truly love a woman you will not deceive her.

[/quote]

Agreed. My fiancee and I who are both Atheists briefly considered getting married in my grandmother's church. Most people in my family have been married there, and it would have made a lot of people happy. In the end I decided that I didn't want to start my marriage on a lie. I mean a lie in the sense of me declaring a belief in God when I don't; I'm not calling anyone a liar!

To the OP: An ultimatum like that sounds dangerous to me. It's okay for you to discuss important issues, but once she tries to force you to accept her view (or if you do the same to her) there is a problem. If my fiancee and I wanted to vote differently on an issue in an election I may debate her, but I would NEVER issue her an ultimatum. Not cool.


#36

[quote="theagnosticcath, post:15, topic:230373"]
1. yes that might be true but so what? we have found each other and everything happens for a reason so bringing the past up like that is irrelivent, i am not letting go, the only way to make me let go would be to tear me limb from limb and even then i'd still hang on with my jaw

  1. we BOTH have changed, before january i was in all honesty one of the most unthoughtful, self absorbed people i have ever known, i took her for granted and i wasn't paying attention to what was going on out side my bubble, i am no longer that person i have beaten that person and i use the thought of that person to spur me on in challenges that i thought i would never have even contimplated taking never mind trying to overcome them

  2. i don't see why its so critical for her husband to be catholic if he supports the church, supports the views, supports the teachings and can see how it can benifit a life.

  3. yes i have been caught off gaurd and yes it is a surprise but it does not mean in the slightest that im struggling to catch up and make sence of it all. What i feel is fear, im entering a world that i've only read about that i've only seen on tv, i'm immersing myself in something that i do not understand and will not understand for a good while.
    I'm not trying to learn as fast as i can as i think that would be wrong you have to crawl before you can walk and you have to walk before you can run, im still crawling and for a while i do not see myself grabbing a ledge and pulling myself up, it will take time and effort.

And the reason why im scarred of mass is because its a huge part of your faith, when you walk in you kneel at the seat, you say prayers (none of which i know)
So think of being on my end and walking into this group of people you do not know, feeling left out and lonely (not through heart of trying), i feel vunerable and when i do things wrong i can see people stare, they know i dont belong there and it freaks me out

[/quote]

I fully agree with you. I also feel your pain to try to understand Catholicism so quickly. Especially mass is very complicated and full of symbolism.
I also very much value your honest desire to convert. Unfortunately this does not happen just because we wish it. To truly convert means to accept Jesus as Lord over oneself and I think that it is mysterious how this happens. Way to God can be long or short, it is individual. I was baptized as a child but it took me many years to understand Churches teaching and even to proclaim Jesus as my Lord. It all takes time. I fully agree that you should talk to your girlfriend and make her understand you. If she is not willing to give you a chance and wait for you....I don;t know.
From my own life; I used to be and sometimes still am like your girlfriend because it is really hard not to share something so important as your faith with your spouse. However at the end of the day I respect and love my husband just the way he is even if it mens he is agnostic. And I believe that this is important for marriage stability because people change.


#37

I think it depends on what is important to her. Maybe she wants a Catholic husband, since she is returning to the faith. You know the saying, "The couple that prays together stays together." The most important thing is to be honest. Do NOT fake anything. If you do not want to convert yet, tell her that. Also tell her you will raise the kids Catholic (she must promise to raise the kids Catholic to get married in the Church).

But there can be problems if she and the kids go to Mass on Sundays but daddy stays home. Kids will start to rebel if they see their parents do not present a united front, even when they're little like 7 or 9 or something, not even teenagers. It is difficult, but if you don't want to convert it might be good to take a break in the relationship, maybe see other people for a while. There might be someone better for you both. Or maybe you are being called into marriage together and you're supposed to convert. I would talk to a priest or a pre-marital counselor. They will be able to get to know you better than we can here on the forum and give you good advice.


#38

To the OP, you do indeed sound like a wonderful, thoughtful person and I can tell you really love your girlfriend and want to save your relationship. :o

Personally, I think you need to talk to her, and have an open conversation about what is going on. What she is doing is unfair and, frankly, immature. She certainly has many other qualities that you love and admire, but this particular behavior is not mature or loving towards you. She has every right to be honest and forthright about what she wants, but she still has a long way to go if she thinks that you can convert people by issuing ultimatums or essentially asking someone to live a lie/testify to something they do not yet completely and wholeheartedly believe in, or even understand! She's basically going the cradle/revert Catholic zealot route of trying to get others to think the way she does when she still has a lot to learn. Conversion is a process and a very complex thing. I've been raised Catholic my whole life, baptized, confirmed, altar server, the whole nine yards, and often even I still don't feel "converted"! :blush: We're all unique, complex individuals as God created us with our own paths to follow to God, not cookie cutters.

I was in a similar situation with my first love, who was anti-God, period (he acknowledged the existence of God but claimed to hate Him :( ); but I felt he was the one (and am still in love with him though it's been a year and a half since he left me). I was struggling (still am) with my Catholic upbringing and faith and such and I started having these "callings" to the religious life (now no more) while we were together, and I tried to get him to see things my way about God and religion, he told me on our first anniversary that he was going to try and change for me and explore religion; three or four weeks later, he broke up with me and broke my heart completely. I never did anything drastic, like issue an ultimatum, and the whole story is more complicated than this one aspect, but it showed me (thankfully at quite a young age) that you cannot force someone to change in a relationship. If you enter a commitment with someone, especially marriage, you need to be okay with the fact that they may change and fix their so-called failings you find with them, or that they may never change at all. It was ridiculous and dangerous of me to try and get my ex-boyfriend to think my way when I was basically only beginning myself.

Overall, this is something that both you and your girlfriend will need to think long and hard about, and it is essential that you communicate deeply and openly with one other. If she insists that she absolutely has to marry another Catholic, then she has every right to do so. I have experienced and have also witnessed with my parents the considerable difficulties which can occur when spouses do not share spiritual beliefs, and other values as well. But it's not fair to try and "force" you to convert, it just does not work that way. I have a hunch that time is really all you will need to see where this is going. You are only at the beginning of your exploration, who knows, you could become extremely devout and she would get what she wants. But forcing it into existence? What are you supposed to do, convert now and figure it out later? What if you don't? What if you end up married, maybe with children, and have to tell her that you don't believe the way she does? What will she do then?


#39

I went to mass today and it was conducted by a fr that I at least know so it wasn't as daunting as it had been the previous times, it also helped that there was only about 8 people there so it didn't seem like people where going to stare at me (not that people will, that's just something I need to get over)

I took part in certain areas and thoroughly enjoyed it!:thumbsup:


#40

God bless you mate.

I'd say read the New Testament. It's getting aquinted with Jesus which is the primary thing in Christianity. Everything else is secondary.

He is amazing :)


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