My father says offensive things about the Eucharist


#1

Today (or rather, now, yesterday), my parents (who are non-Catholic) attended EF Mass for the sole purpose of hearing me sing the soprano solo in Mozart’s “Laudate Dominum”. Honestly when I invited them to come, I didn’t expect them to actually come (based upon previous experiences).

We stopped for coffee afterwards, and I heard nothing but complaining (ie, too much incense, if Fr. had actually sprinkled me, I would have had go around with him right there, you guys sure to stand up and sit down alot, etc). These comments didn’t really bother me, though, in comparison to my father repeatedly refering to the Eucharist as a cracker (it pains me to even type it). I asked him nicely to not say that… gave him a few terms that, I hoped, would have respected his sensibilities (communion, Eucharist to name two) without calling it “just a cracker”. He still used “cracker” anyways. I then told him that he was offending me… and he still referred to the Body of Christ as a cracker. At this point, I was to the verge of blowing my top, and had to bite my tounge VERY HARD to not say something offensive towards Presbyterians, police officers (he used to be one), postal workers (but wouldn’t have worked too well, since my mother is also one), NRA members… anything that he deeply cares about just to give him a taste of his own medicine… but I decided that I already had enough to confess with my anger towards him, and thankfully, my mother changed the subject at that point. Right before she changed the subject, I made sure to refer to the Eucharist as the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ pointedly.

Anyways, I don’t plan on bringing this topic up to him again myself, but… I know it will come up again eventually. Any advise on the best way of handling this in the future (especially when he become so offensive)? I know there is respect needed, and perhaps (or most likely) I need to take any advise on respect myself. I’m not looking for anyone to say “Oh, he’s wrong and you’re right”… I just needed to vent, but I also need some advise on how to approach this topic when it is inevitably brought up again.


#2

Actually, I think it is good that you are upset and angry at your father’s derogatory reference to the Holy Eucharist. It shows that your awareness of what the Eucharist is and the respect it is due is greater than your father’s understanding. Still, you need to be careful that your anger does not lead you to offend your mother and father by creating a scene or starting a fight. This would be counterproductive, not only towards your relationship with your father, but also towards your relationship with the Lord, who desires you to honor your parents. Allow your anger to lead you towards greater prayer and devotion to the Holy Eucharist for your father’s sake as well as your own. It seems your father is angry as well and simply wants to “yank your chain” about something he knows you value. Until your father is able to talk about his anger or discuss the Eucharist and your faith in terms that are less confrontational, it might be best for you to avoid the topic with him altogether. Let him see your faith in your actions and peaceful relationships with those around you. Perhaps he will be intrigued by the changes he sees in you and want to talk with you about them. God bless.


#3

I’m sorry to hear this. I will pray for you and your family. And I am sure all here at Catholic answers will also.

By the way you did a very good job of not blowing your top :thumbsup:

God Bless!


#4

It is a tough situation and I have asked God to send St Michael to soften your father’s heart. (or his head if need be:D).

Seriously though, you are in a tough situation since it is obvious that your father does not respect anyone or anything, not even his own child.
At this stage I would say that he needs your prayers more than anything. This is a Job for The Holy Spirit.
Keep your cool and the next time he calls the Eucharist a “cracker”, bow your head and pray God to forgive his blasphemy.
Do this aloud, perhaps with Christ’s own words from the Cross. “Father forgive (him) for (he) knows not what he (says)”.

If you do wish to offer a “comeback” you might offer to him that, you do realize that in the Presyterian Church it IS just a cracker, which is perhaps the reason he is so obnoxious.

I wish I could offer more.

Peace
James


#5

I was in the same boat as your father before crossing the Tiber, both as a former police officer and as a somewhat hostile Protestant. When you are on the other side, there is a discomfort about the Eucharist as your thoughts wander while looking for the answer. Everything you have been taught about the nature of the Church is now challenged.

Humor, even though it was offensive, could have seemed a way to ease those feelings of lost moorings and to provide self-assurance. That can diminish if you can maintain charity and can kindly slip in a word of two about the real meaning. Remember that large ships are moved by tugs going slowly and powerfully. They don’t ram the hull. Over time, you may well lead your parents to the Church.

And one other thing - Police humor can be pretty rough.


#6

Pray for him. The Eucharist is an extraordinary thing. Remember, even those who heard about the bread turning to flesh and blood from Jesus’ own lips could not believe it and turned away from him because of it!


#7

I have to say I am very impressed by how you managed to keep your cool. There is probably not much you can do except keep telling him he is being offensive and praying for him.

I have an impression that his behaviour has more to do with your faith than the Eucharist itself. Is he resentful for you being Catholic? If that is the case know that you are not alone and that many people have family members who are hostile to their faith. I’m sure you will get many prayers for you and your father from people here.


#8

While he is Presbyterian and they believe it’s only a “symbol” he obviously dosen’t know his Reformed theology well. If he does it again I would tell him that he needs to go back and see what Calvin said about the Eucharist. Obviously he didn’t believe it was the body and blood but he wouldn’t have called it a cracker either. He is specific in his writings that it still gives “spiritual strength” which tells me he didn’t truly understand the significance of Real Presence, even if he was a Priest at one time…


#9

What’s kind of interesting is that recently I had some major doubts to my own devotion to the Holy Eucharist. In some ways, I’m very glad that he has enabled me to see that the devotion is truly there. I offered up my Mass this morning for his and my mother’s conversion. As I indicated in my first post, I don’t plan to bring this topic up at all again with him, but I have the feeling that he will bring it up with me. I pray that I will be able to approach it with both truth, and especially with charity. I do feel for him and his anger, and I know it is much bigger than just this topic. As I mentioned, he used to be a police officer, but he also is a Vietnam vet. I pray that he can find peace… not only for his sake, but for mine as well… :wink:

Thank you… My tonge hurts quit a bit today… like I said, I had to bit it really, really hard! But I know if I had said exactly what I wanted to say, it would hurt a heck of alot more!

I have thought of this… Actually, I went to confession today, and Fr. suggested that the next time Dad says something blasphemous (though he does have a lessened culpability due to ignorance) to say that exact thing! I have also considered making some cracks about King Hawaiian bread and Welch’s grape juice (which is what they use there… I was a member at that church until I converted).

I also liken it in some ways to a teenager who, when are confronted with the truth of a situation, before they can fully accept that truth will roll their eyes and say “whatever!”… that’s not always a bad thing. When I first converted, he really didn’t say too much… it was one of those “If you’re happy, then I’m happy”, things… but he’s been asking questions as of late, and I think that I may be giving good answers. For the most part, I don’t mind the hostility. Again, like I have said previously, I don’t plan on bringing this topic up myself… I just want to be prepared for when it does come up again.

Fr. mentioned John 6 this morning, as well. :slight_smile:


#10

Again, I don’t know if it’s so much because I’m Catholic… like I mentioned, he was pretty alright with it when I first converted. Though, I converted as a cafeteria Catholic (:blush:) but have since come around… Thinking back on it, the hostility and the cracks started coming around the time I started really taking the faith seriously. It’s kind of interesting, though, that when I first converted, it was my mom who had the most issue with my conversion and dad had a laizze-faire attitude, and now it’s my mom who’s defending my faith (or at least the respect of my beliefs) and it’s him who seems to have the issue.

John Knox (I guess the “father” of Presbyterians… he took Calvin’s ideas and tweaked them a bit) also believed in a “spiritual presence” rather than a Real Presence. He’s not really the type to delve too much into theology, and I suspect that he became a Presbyterian because he married my mother (he and I were actually baptized on the same day… when I was just 3 weeks old), and it has worked for him. I don’t think that he really even went to church for many years at the time he met my mom. Though I haven’t heard too many stories of his wilder, younger and sordid past, I know he rebelled for awhile, and I kind of suspect that he may have been agnostic/atheistic for awhile… or at least just didn’t give God too much thought.

I understand, though, all too well how PTSD and other traumatic events can cause one to go into survival/self-preservation mode, and how easily God can be pushed to the back burner, if not just out of the picture. Just from my own experiences, I feel he would find great healing in the Church… and especially in the Sacraments (and most especially Confession). It actually wasn’t until I started going to confession regularly was I able to move on from some of the hurts and abuses that I’ve experienced, and the forgiveness that I’ve experienced in Confession has enabled me to forgive others. That forgiveness has been the key in my own growth and moving on from what used to solely define me.


#11

I don’t have anything extra to offer you here (the others have given much better advice) except my own personal experience with my Baptist father.

And please let me precede this by saying that I am so fortunate that my father felt comfortable enough with my conversion to attend my Catholic wedding and my children’s christenings without so much as a sideways comment.

However, when my father starts to talk about any aspect of the Church in an offensive way I refuse to continue on the subject. He knows that I am more than happy to answer questions but I won’t be insulted or heckled. I either change the subject or walk away and won’t engage him any further. It gets the point across in the most respectful manner I can think of.

Pray for him (and your mother) always!! And ask them to pray for you. :wink: I think you handled yourself very maturely. Good luck and God bless.


#12

I will be praying for you. I hope your father’s heart will be softened.

Due in part to my conversion to Catholicism, I no longer have any relationship with my father and his wife and children (my parents are divorced), my grandparents, my father’s brother and family, and my father’s sister and family. None of them attended my wedding, nor have they met my son. (Though my extended family was invited to the wedding and would have been welcome.) I pray you won’t have to experience this!!


#13

Defientaly can be a tough situation when someone you love like your father can say such offensive things about something so meaningful; however. good for you for holding back and not getting into an arguement, if it happens to come up again just tell your dad in a nice way to not talk like that, also pray for your dad, I, personally think thats the best thing you can do, is pray for your father, and I will also be praying for him. Hang in there, you did the right thing :slight_smile:

God Bless


#14

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