Living in the world


#1

Does anyone else feel completely surrounded by unbelief? My brothers, most of my family, almost all of my friends are either non-Catholic or non practicing, make up their own rules Catholic. My way of life is very very different from all of them, even most of the families from our local parish.

I speak to mothers from the parish who throw in an offhand comment about birth control. A friend of mine was asked whether he was “one of the fathers” of my children. My brother posts facebook messages stating that people who believe in God should be smarter, and he’s even put some messages up that are very offensive to Mary. His sister-in-law proudly announced that Christians won’t like her because she is studying assisted fertility law, so she can help anyone, including gays and infertile couples to have babies. Another (married) friend tells me about her recent abortion, because her two other children wouldn’t cope with a new sibling. My Dad’s brothers are having long, often heated discussions about whether Richard Dawkins is an intellectual giant or an idiot.

I feel like people are looking at me like I’m a freak, and I can’t state my own views on things because they are based in Catholicism. I really think that if you are not looking at the issues from a Catholic basis, then the Catholic argument makes no sense.

I’m just feeling a bit down about the vastness of the blindness. :frowning: I’m scared for all those people. Oh dear God, what’s to become of us?


#2

I know exactly how you feel - both on a personal level and in general. I read the news online for my lunch hour every day and am about ready to take a book to work to avoid reading about all the sin in the world.

I am becoming Catholic and slowly realizing that the good Christian parents who raised me are no longer that interested in following the path I walk on. I can’t explain birth control or my interest in pro-life work to most of my family and Protestant friends because they honestly don’t see it as a sin (and it took a lot of prayer, study, and trust for me to see it that way, too, it’s just how we’re raised).

One thing I have found helpful is working in a pregnancy crisis center. Your comments tend to center around pro-life issues. If you are passionate about it - consider it. Not only will you surround yourself with other pro-life people with good values. I have found it helpful for learning love for those who do fall into sin. Instead of being frustrated by it, you can choose to help people - not condone the sin - but show them that God will forgive the sin if they come back to him. Your friend who had an abortion may be hurting and really need counseling - it could be a good opportunity to talk to her about Project Rachel.

In the mean time, I don’t know have any advice on your family, since I struggle with the same thing with mine.


#3

You have to remain the light in the darkness obviously. Always ask God for strength, set a good example, do not be afraid to speak the truth. If the truth offends them, they will become more scarce in your life by default, if you give into them and deny speaking the truth, their ways may rub off on you, getting you to at least lower your guard around them.

What it is that we do, when it comes to placing obstacles in our own paths like this, isn't a good thing, yet when it comes to people, often we are their only witness, so do your job well and you are planting seeds.


#4

[quote="admonsta, post:1, topic:189269"]
I feel like people are looking at me like I'm a freak, and I can't state my own views on things because they are based in Catholicism. I really think that if you are not looking at the issues from a Catholic basis, then the Catholic argument makes no sense.

I'm just feeling a bit down about the vastness of the blindness. :( I'm scared for all those people. Oh dear God, what's to become of us?

[/quote]

The Catholic viewpoint is not an argument, it is the standpoint of the Truth. A common theme for most alternative secular viewpoints is to somehow paint yourself or your hero (eg. Dawkins) as the final authority. As Catholics, we simply know that no human being possesses the authority that we know exists in God. As a result, we can only watch while the secularists around us jockey for superiority; we can't even enter into this competition that is played by their rules and for their goals.

In actuality your statement goes like this: if you are looking at the issues from a Catholic basis, then their secular argument makes no sense. A guy like Dawkins can only teach his limiting (and boring) version of "truth" that is ultimately under his own authority, and that authority is pretty much limited to his own life and whomever he can influence. He believes he is intellectually superior, and he wants you to believe it too. Whoop dee doo. His "truth" is of absolutely no value to those who are understandably much more intrigued by someone who has power over death, can change water into wine, walk on water, or appear before St. Faustina about 1900 years after his physical death. Approaching that Truth requires humility in the knowledge that this kind of power will never be under human control. Thank goodness.

As long as members of your family seek authority and power, they will not be open to Truth. Do not engage them in their false arguments. Smile at them often in your humble knowledge of Truth.

-Tim


#5

Wow. um...I guess I'm lucky.

I have friends who I love dearly who are atheists, some who are believers. Sure, there is alot of disbelief and rubbish in the real world, but there is also so much beauty-I focus on that.

My family posts offensive and weird stuff on Facebook-I just ignore it, or cynically make fun of them. :thumbsup:

I pray for them, all my friends, every night. But I know God views me, a rotten sinner, just like he views them.


#6

This makes me feel a little better. Yesterday I complained to my mother about my brother’s ridiculing of religion. She said “Well, you know where he’s going, don’t you?” I got a real sense of dread that hasn’t totally left me yet. She did continue and say “all we can do is pray”, but I’m still scared for him. I don’t pray nearly enough.

Timotheos, your response was very helpful - I’m going to show it to my Dad, who will agree with it completely. Thank you.


#7

We don’t know where anyone is going. Period. We’re not God. We may think we know, but we don’t.


#8

Standing up, jumping up and down, raising my hand

I would have to say that for my wife and I it is about 50-50. The majority of her family is still involved with the faith and believes what the Church teaches and follows the teachings of Holy Mother Church. My family on the other hand, sadly, have stepped away, turned a back on or outright have left the faith. Those that have not are what we like to term "CINO" that is Catholic In Name Only. It is sad and the only thing that we can do for them is pray.

My wife and I do our very best to follow the teachings of the Catholic church. Take for example our openness to life. Currently she is pregnant with our 5th child and for my parents, two brothers and their wives seem like our heads are green and it spins around every 45 seconds. To them this is just something that they cannot seem to grasp. While they may be (seemingly) happy to our face, we are sure that they have other things to say when we are not around.

However, my wife is from a large family (she is one of 9 children and one of 105 grandchildren), and they are so much more accepting and would never say one bad thing about having a large family (obviously). It is good to be surrounded by them and to be around those that share our Catholic view. That is not something that is all that common. We love our faith and do our best to follow the teachings of the Church and not to pick and choose what we want to follow. To have friends and family that follow that is indeed a blessing. Unfortunately, those that do not we have to try and distance ourselves a bit from them. Many times we have moved away from friendships that were not helping us in our spirituality. It is a fine line to walk with family, but we do our best.


#9

Yeah, there is a problem.


#10

Wow, chev? Are you feeling alright…? " gets out thermometer" This is the shortest thing I have seen you post in while…:slight_smile:

Anyway…
Yes! To the OP…
I have a very different circumstance per say though…I was very blessed to raised in and around the Catholic bubble that is Steubenville…it was here I got my formation both at home and in school, but then I moved out to the 'big city"…CULTURE SHOCK! :eek: Things I had only read about I was coming face to face with on a daily basis, at work, in town, in my building…sad but true…
So I joined here! :wink:


#11

I was baptized at 17, but only became serious about the faith in last couple years. And there are times I wonder if it was worth it. I lost all but of my friends when I reverted. I became an outcast. It is horrible to be the one that everyone mocks. I don't fit in with the ultra devout women (because I am not a cradle Catholic), and I don't fit into the world. I fit it is best to not talk about religion with people I'm getting to know. I need all the friends I can get.


#12

Remember what Our Lord said: "You will be hated because of me."

I know how important it is to get involved with Catholic community at one's parish. It is so good to be with like-minded people who are inspiring about the faith. I know it helps me to accept the challenge of hearing a lot of sorry stuff from others. They need our example and prayers desperately.

Hopefully we can spark hope in some of the misguided people we meet every day. Just calmly give them the Catholic view. Maybe they won't say anything, but they may be impressed with the simple, calm, way you express what you believe in and why. We can ask the Holy Spirit to work through us.....we can plant seeds and God will water them.


#13

Country Singer,
Your tag line at the bottom has made me fall in love with you; it is everything I enjoy too; problem is I have been married for 26 years to a wonderful woman. YOU WILL FIND YOUR SOULMATE- HE IS OUT THERE SEARCHING FOR YOU! If you want some advice as to where to find an honorable man- look to your local Boy Scout Council- get involved- there are alot of women involved in scouting- there are alot of single men involved as well because they know how much Scouting helped them. Let me know when you get your Eagle- yes I am one.

Even Obamaits are impressed when you say I’m an Eagle Scout- doesn’t matter what age you are. The men that set foot on the moon- only Eagle Scouts.


#14

Admonsta, remember that Jesus prayed to the Father, shortly before his cruxifiction, asking the Father not to take us out of this world, but rather to protect us from the evil one. He wants us HERE for a reason - There IS work for us to do here. Take a look at this short video - it will bring you tremendous hope! : familyland.be/en/message-of-hope.html

JPII left us a plan for this age - great summary here : familyland.be/mercy/77-the-seven-dimensions-of-the-responsibililty-of-the-present-moment.html

-G.


#15

Yes, admonsta, I feel your pain. I am a convert from a family of agnostics and atheists. My only nephew puts some of the most troubling things on his Facebook page under "religious views." My family has gotten better about not "Catholic-bashing" around me, but I still sense their disapproval of my conversion.

One of the hardest things for me is the occasional thought that comes up when I read that passage where Jesus said, "you didn't choose me, I chose you." I wonder, did He choose me and not the rest of my family? Or are they chosen, but have decided to turn their backs on Him? It breaks my heart sometimes. But God isn't finished with them yet, just as He is not finished with the ones you care for. As long as there is life, there is hope.

Let us continue to pray for our unbelieving loved ones! :gopray2:


#16

I just want to say that I know exactly what you mean- I'm in college and our Newman Center might as well be on a completely different planet than the rest of our campus. Sad times.


#17

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