My Father


#1

I am a college student who lives on my own, but I talk to my father almost weekly. Well, today I talked to him and he said something I don’t know how to handle it. He said that he learned about Budhism and he wants to figure out how to practice it. He is a Catholic and I don’t know what to do. Anyone have any advice?


#2

Hi! Some things we have to consider here. Did your father mean he wanted to convert to Buddhism and totally abandon the Catholic faith or does he want to practice some Buddhist principles that may still be in accord with Catholicism?
If your Dad is all bent on becoming Buddhist then I guess you should leave it at that for now. Let's pray that he gets more enlightened about his decision and maybe realize later that being a Catholic is still worth it. God bless!


#3

Buddhism and Catholicism have so much in common. Both involve ridding the self of attachments in order to achieve something. However, in Catholicism, the end goal is love and service to others. In Buddhism, the end goal is...nothing.

Perhaps what he is searching for is a deeper sense in which he can rid himself of attachments...a greater purification of himself. Talk with him about whether he is looking more for a deeper involvement in this process (which Buddhism makes much more accessible than Catholicism) or whether he is truly looking to detach himself from all things, including love.

If you have time, you might want to read and study this, so you have a better idea of what he is exploring.

newadvent.org/cathen/03028b.htm

The trouble is that these elements of Catholicism (ridding the self of attachments) are a bit harder to get to, and less accessible, whereas in Buddhism they are right on the surface. Talk with him about what attracts him to Buddhism, and listen a lot to what he has to say. It may be that he is simply seeking a different kind of involvement in Catholicism, but doesn't know how to find it.


#4

I agree with the above.

Try to find out what he finds attractive about buddism.

The odds are you will find parallels (many direct ones) in Catholicism.
That way you and he can find a pathway for him that both preserves his Catholicism and improves his spiritual life.

Peace
James


#5

The big difference between Catholicism and Buddhism is that Catholicism comes from the Revelation of God to man. Throughout the Old and New Testament we see God directly revealing himself.

Buddhism began with a person who was searching, and he came up with many esoteric ideas, but it is not the Way, Truth, and Life which is what Jesus is.

Buddhism is “a way” thought up by man, and Jesus is THE WAY revealed to us by God.

If a person has a hunger for Buddhism, it can very well be that they are desiring a deeper prayer life.
We have Doctors of the Church on contemplative prayer: St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Therese of Lisieux. Many are not aware of the treasures we have in our Church from the saints.

Someone’s desire to learn more about Buddhism can come from a desire for a deeper prayer life in the Lord, who alone can satisfy all our desires.


#6

I urge you to learn about both Budhhism and Catholicism. Then talk to your father about both.

One thing to keep in mind that might help your dad: Religion is not a club you join because you like the rules or because you like what it has to say. Religion is about Truth and conforming ourselves to the Truth (not the other way around).

There are many logical proofs that the Church holds the fullness of Truth in the deposit of the faith. For example, Jesus claimed to be God. We can exclude liar and lunatic (arguments on that for another subject), so He was God. As God, then we must do what He says under pain of our own peril. He gave His Church authority, meaning we should follow what the Church says.

If authority doesn't work, then consider this. If Buddhism is accepted as true, then the end result is nothing: a state of no desire. If Catholicism is accepted as true, then you receive eternal bliss in a beautiful relationship with God - or - you go to Hell for refusing Christ. Logically speaking, if you're not sure which is actually true - risk analysis suggests you should go with Catholicism.

I will pray for you.

God Bless


#7

Thank You all for the advice. He did say this though," The Budhists talk about how the people are supposed to be taken care of and how it is not good to hurt the planet. It makes sense becuase their gods are in nature and if you hurt nature, you hurt a god." He more or less said the latter and brought up polytheistic/pantheistic beliefs.I am praying and will see what happens. God Bless.


#8

I know it hurts to have a father 'not get' the religion. My father prides himself on only missing mass once in his life. Yet, he rolls his eyes when I talk about praying to God for help.

It sounds though like you and your father have more of an open relationship than I do with mine.

I do caution though..... be careful. I have yet to meet a man who loves to take advice from his kid. You will always be his baby and he will feel odd listening to your advice.

I also know it always hurts to find out our parents are not perfect. I think the best you can do is pray for him

CM


#9

[quote="UnworthyApostle, post:7, topic:195214"]
Thank You all for the advice. He did say this though," The Budhists talk about how the people are supposed to be taken care of and how it is not good to hurt the planet. It makes sense becuase their gods are in nature and if you hurt nature, you hurt a god." He more or less said the latter and brought up polytheistic/pantheistic beliefs.I am praying and will see what happens. God Bless.

[/quote]

Sounds like your dad is simply concerned about people and the environment which is perfectly fine and not "out of tune" with Chrisitanity.
Sounds a bit like the Christian belief of "Do unto others...", and to support and care for all.

Wanton harming of the planet IS harming "a God", in fact it is harming "The God" who created it all.

These things in Buddism are fine, though the "splitting up" of God, the God of all creation, into little "gods" in nature, is totally unnecessary.

St. Francis was well known for his desire to not harm anything in nature. This is one of the things that make him such a popular saint both inside aand outside the Catholic Church. Perhaps St Francis can help your dad. He was a contemplative, with a dep prayerlife, and also a "naturalist", loving God and all of God's creatures.
Something to consider.

Peace
James


#10

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