My mom has become a Cafeteria Catholic

I can relate. My parents (divorced-in their 70s) are flaming liberals. My mom loves to argue politics at the drop of a hat and belabor how terrible the Republicans are. Damn cable TV. I can’t discuss any of that with her without me having to pop a blood pressure pill. My dad always had a “live and let-live” philosophy. Probably because he was cheating on my mom for 30 years before they divorced. I’ve also deftly used my unknown to me at the time-- room clearing abilities whenever I was excited about my newfound Catholicism and had an overwhelming zeal to share my faith. That not only didn’t attract anyone-but they ran for the exits. I’ve even pissed off my pew-mates after church, just by stating Catholic doctrine that many of them disagree with (unbeknownst to me at the time). I went from soaring heights of euphoria with Jesus and His Church, straight into the ground with shock at everybody’s reaction to me. Obviously in America, we are to just put in our time at Church, work on getting credits on our get-out-of-hell-free-card and with a wink and a nod, do whatever we want to do the rest of the time. Now I read these forums, seldom post (don’t want to force too many people to log off) and just try to go with the flow. Although now and then I can’t resist correcting someone. Guess it’s my technique I’ve yet to perfect. I’ll keep working on that. But utimately, those of us who take it seriously, need to hang in there. We just have to refine our techniques. We then might become a light for the CINOS’s and protestants who insist that they’re Catholic.

For me it’s a similar situation but I think it’s not my mother that has changed, but me. My fiance is an orthodox catholic, you kow, he believes that the husbands job is to ensure that his wife doesn’t have to work and there are certain roles associated with gender and that our lives are to be God-centered etc. When we met I didn’t even say the rosary right. He taught me a lot and opened my eyes to all the things I was doing or believing half-way. So now, my mother appears to be a lukewarm catholic. She is a lot better than most and believes in all of the core teachings, so maybe it is unfair to call her lukewarm, but there are selfishness issues and things like that which rear their ugly head in certain situations.

migurl, Catsrus, and RiverRock seem to be getting at the same point. That is that those of us who are “on fire with the faith” threaten those who are complacent. The complacent want to be satisfied with where they are with their Catholic faith. So they are uncomfortable when forced to confront that they are not truly faithful to the Catholic Church’s teachings. The complacent Catholics criticize the faithful Catholics as being “holier than thou” but fundamentally they are lashing out as a reaction to their discomfort. I suspect that the more montanaman presses his mother, the worse it is going to get. (Hey montanaman, don’t even think about moving back close to mom and dad unless you are prepared for the fireworks and family meltdown!)

Christ made it so easy for us by summing all of the laws and commandments up in two easy to remember lines:

The first greatest commandment is to love God above anything else, and the second greatest commandment is to love one another as we love ourselves.

Unconditional love is ultimately irresistable. We can show God’s goodness and mercy by loving those around us in that way. Don’t use it to manipulate, use it to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Montanman, though it is difficult to accept your mother, your unconditional love for her will do more than anything else besides prayer.

[quote=mikew262]Politics and religion discussions among family and friends, unless everybody agrees, can usually just lead to trouble. You discovered that the hard way. I’d leave it alone.
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Been there, made that mistake. Somehow you get seduced by the idea that family should be able to talk openly, debate and even respectfully disagree on meaningful topics. You shouldn’t have to avoid controversial subjects, stifle your opinion or opt for meaningless banter with the people you are closest to, should you?!?!

Sorry to say it’s more fantasy than reality for some families, mine included. I have learned there are just some thoughts/opinions better left unexpressed. Being “right” isn’t the point nor for that matter the way to “win” the debate. Some people don’t want to be confused with the facts nor the truth and will resent your efforts to offer it. Perhaps your time has come to recognize that sometimes banal conversations are all that the small minded can digest and the axle grease for the family engine. :rolleyes:

I made an attempt to read this post. It sounds to me like someone’s mother is assumed to be a cafeteria Catholic because she disagrees with the statement, “Most Catholics don’t know what they’re talking about.”

I’m a cradle Catholic, and I certainly can’t think of any of my fellow Catholics who would be as ignorant about Catholic Doctrine as it is claimed in this post. I have never heard of a Catholic who didn’t know the difference between the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth. But then, many of the Catholics I know are cradle Catholics who were raised on the Baltimore Catechism.

Remember, Jesus said, “Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called Children of God.” The mother criticized in this post is right – it is what is in someone’s heart that counts. Even Jesus accused the Pharisees of being clean on the outside (washing their hands, etc.), but not so pure on the inside.

The mother referred to in this post sounds like a neat long-suffering lady who has been through a lot. I think she needs respect, not criticism. I would also like to point out that we have a commandment (straight from God) that admonishes us to “Honor your father and mother.”

I tried to see how old you are from your profile. I am 28 and I just wanted to let you know I only started to learn about my religion in adulthood. As far as you only knowing knowledgable Catholics who were properly taught, then I have to say that you are truely blest. Your experience has definetly not been mine. I am also a cradle Catholic and I went through 8 years of religious ed and I only learned about the real presence in the Eucharist when I was 13 because my Aunt told me when she was visiting. My mother assumed that I was being taught as she had been taught (and I am guessing as you had been taught) and that we were leaving our classes with a firm foundation of faith. I am guessing Mountainman is closer to my age and the people he knows and comes in everyday contact with are about my age as well. We don’t know our religion because we were never taught it! Its sad but true.

[quote=Listener]I made an attempt to read this post. It sounds to me like someone’s mother is assumed to be a cafeteria Catholic because she disagrees with the statement, “Most Catholics don’t know what they’re talking about.”

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Listener–Did you read the part about the mother basically allowing one son to have a live-in girlfriend? Or her sleeping arrangements for her other son (montanaman) and his girlfriend in the same room so as not to use the living room? I dunno. She certainly is not encouraging her sons to follow Church teaching on sexual morality. I agree she deserves respect but I think it is going too far to call her a “neat long-suffering lady who has been through a lot”.

I’m a cradle Catholic, and I certainly can’t think of any of my fellow Catholics who would be as ignorant about Catholic Doctrine as it is claimed in this post. I have never heard of a Catholic who didn’t know the difference between the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth. But then, many of the Catholics I know are cradle Catholics who were raised on the Baltimore Catechism.

You are so lucky, Listener. I am a cradle Catholic who is 36. I went through 11 years of CCD and have had five sacraments with all the prep. associated. I didn’t know anything about doctrine until my mid-twenties when I began self-study. No mortal sin, no Immaculate Conception, no infallibility. Nothing. In a way, I more surprised that we (who were reared in this generation) aren’t all cafeteria Catholics.

However, my mom who was Pre V-II, says she knew all her Baltimore Catechism, but didn’t understand it until a few years ago. She was prompted to a deeper spirituality by a heart attack. Praise God for heart attacks!!

[quote=RiverRock]I can relate. My parents (divorced-in their 70s) are flaming liberals. My mom loves to argue politics at the drop of a hat and belabor how terrible the Republicans are. Damn cable TV. I can’t discuss any of that with her without me having to pop a blood pressure pill. My dad always had a “live and let-live” philosophy. Probably because he was cheating on my mom for 30 years before they divorced. I’ve also deftly used my unknown to me at the time-- room clearing abilities whenever I was excited about my newfound Catholicism and had an overwhelming zeal to share my faith. That not only didn’t attract anyone-but they ran for the exits. I’ve even pissed off my pew-mates after church, just by stating Catholic doctrine that many of them disagree with (unbeknownst to me at the time). I went from soaring heights of euphoria with Jesus and His Church, straight into the ground with shock at everybody’s reaction to me. Obviously in America, we are to just put in our time at Church, work on getting credits on our get-out-of-hell-free-card and with a wink and a nod, do whatever we want to do the rest of the time. Now I read these forums, seldom post (don’t want to force too many people to log off) and just try to go with the flow. Although now and then I can’t resist correcting someone. Guess it’s my technique I’ve yet to perfect. I’ll keep working on that. But utimately, those of us who take it seriously, need to hang in there. We just have to refine our techniques. We then might become a light for the CINOS’s and protestants who insist that they’re Catholic.
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WOW! RiverRock you just described my very self to a tee! I have more enemies in my own church than I care to count, however without trying to sound arrogant I do feel more Catholic than most! My technique is… mind my own business (that goes to say when its time to speak I speak), go to Mass pray and let the Holy Spirit guide me, and always always have “Be charitable” at the forefront of my mind when dealing with family and friends and the rest!
Good post :thumbsup:

[quote=Nance]WOW! RiverRock you just described my very self to a tee! I have more enemies in my own church than I care to count, however without trying to sound arrogant I do feel more Catholic than most! My technique is… mind my own business (that goes to say when its time to speak I speak), go to Mass pray and let the Holy Spirit guide me, and always always have “Be charitable” at the forefront of my mind when dealing with family and friends and the rest!
Good post :thumbsup:
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Wow…and new and interesting definition and demonstration of being charitable. Sorry, but it sounds like you (and River Rock) revel in offending those you disagree with and have richly earned the snubs you have received from those you have labeled CINO.

In all due respect, I wish someone would have educated me when I was a “cafeteria Catholic.” In fact, I’m a little mad that no one bothered. All those lost years…

It is a work of mercy to instruct the ignorant. When we stand before the throne of God, we will have to answer for what we did not say as well as for what we did say.

[quote=JMJ Theresa]In all due respect, I wish someone would have educated me when I was a “cafeteria Catholic.” In fact, I’m a little mad that no one bothered. All those lost years…

It is a work of mercy to instruct the ignorant. When we stand before the throne of God, we will have to answer for what we did not say as well as for what we did say.
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Thank you Theresa. You do know where I am coming from. Seems you’re damned if you do; damned if you don’t. As Island would have it, being charitable means not sharing our faith, as best as we understand it. Just keep my mouth shut, and whether it be from a protestant (who insists on going to Mass), or for fear of offending someone, better to “live and let-live”. Oh, where have I heard that before? Better to let everyone go to the cafeteria and be their own judge as to what they will and will not believe. Sounds like a CINO to me. It’s not that I stood at the pulput and told everyone they were going to hell. Just when something would come up, I would try to tell them that that’s actually not what the Church teaches. I’d say, “according to the Cathechism…” You would’ve thought I was a porcupine at a nudist colony. They, like Island, would rather keep their head in the sand. Oh well, I will keep correcting misinformation when I hear it, no matter who’s offended. Oh, now I’m being judgemental and “holier than thou”! See what I mean, can’t win for losing!

:smiley: I’m not sure I’ll be any use here, but here’s my two cents.

Like someone said before, she may not by trying to put out the message that she does not think fornication is a sin. She may not want your brother to leave the house (and thus her sphere of influence) and do whatever he wants anyway. As for you, she probably knows that you would make the right choice anyway, so telling you to sleep in the same room is just that, sleeping.

As for writing your Mom. It’s always a good idea to write out Mothers and thank them. They don’t hear it enough. It’s always a bad idea in my family to try to tell them what they should or should not do. In my house (growing up and now with my wife) Mom rules the roost. You don’t just go telling Mom she wrong, unless you want to unleash something most exorcists aren’t prepared to deal with. :smiley:

That’s just how it is in my family. Yours is something I really can’t comment on. You know your family more than anyone. Good luck

Just curious River Rock, how old are you?

[quote=Island Oak]Just curious River Rock, how old are you?
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River Rock said her (?) parents are in their 70s, so she must be in her mid 40s to mid 50s. Is that older or younger than you were thinking she was? Maybe because I am the same age and have similar views, I can relate to her totally. I think she is dead on. (And I particularly liked her “porcupine in a nudist colony” imagery! :smiley: ) (Apologies to River Rock if you really are a he and not a she!)

Montanaman and River Rock,

you guys made my night! You guys are comedians! I know, I know you were suffering but it was so comical the way you explaned it, I bout fell off my chair ---- and my kids are looking at me funny…

The reason it’s so funny is that most of us who are “older,” let’s say over 45 — have been through this almost exact scenario when we were in our 30s…good news is that it does pass.

The poster who said mom was going through separation anxiety combined with autonomy on your part — hit the nail on the head.

Your mom loves you (and her Church) she just doesn’t want you living on the other side of the country and, be a better “expert” at Catholicism than she is herself. Later, she’ll accept it and even admire you for it. Give her time.

In the meantime, have you two considered Stand-Up Comedy? :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote=RiverRock]…As Island would have it, being charitable means not sharing our faith, as best as we understand it. Just keep my mouth shut…for fear of offending someone, better to “live and let-live”. Oh, where have I heard that before? Better to let everyone go to the cafeteria and be their own judge as to what they will and will not believe. Sounds like a CINO to me. They, like Island, would rather keep their head in the sand…
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Much younger given his/her peculiar lack of perspective and basic social skills.

River Rock: did you even bother to read the paragraph quoted below from my earlier post before you so charitably pasted me with the label of CINO (knowing absolutely nothing about my beliefs or faith practice)?!!? IF you read it, did you understand it? Doesn’t it support the idea that we SHOULD be able to be honest/open, truthful and uncensored with the people to whom we are the closest:

“…you get seduced by the idea that family should be able to talk openly, debate and even respectfully disagree on meaningful topics. You shouldn’t have to avoid controversial subjects, stifle your opinion or opt for meaningless banter with the people you are closest to, should you?”

The fact remains that there are plenty of folks out there who aren’t interested in the “truth.” (a point I make in the second paragraph of that same post!) You can continue your tirade, arguments, insults and the like with them. MY POINT (since you missed it) was simply that it’s often NOT WORTH IT. Even our good Lord didn’t try to badger everyone he encountered into agreeing with Him. He knew faith was not something that could be pounded into anyone, but rather a gift of grace, born of humility and obedience.

I know and embrace my faith. Not perfectly. None of us does. It is not my place nor valid Christian witness IMHO to browbeat those around you, in your family, social circle, parish, neighborhood, workplace, etc. into unqualified acceptance of that which is truth to you. I suspect that with your approach you have had the effect of scaring away far more people than you have led towards the faith. You certainly managed to offend me and I don’t even know you.

[quote=]Oh well, I will keep correcting misinformation when I hear it, no matter who’s offended. Oh, now I’m being judgemental and “holier than thou”! See what I mean, can’t win for losing!
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Never mind…I’m not sure you really care.

[quote=Island Oak]Wow…and new and interesting definition and demonstration of being charitable. Sorry, but it sounds like you (and River Rock) revel in offending those you disagree with and have richly earned the snubs you have received from those you have labeled CINO.
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Island Oak–You may not realize it but this post of yours (#30) is when this thread turned pointed and personal. You are accusing her of being uncharitable, reveling in offending others, and richly deserving the snubs of others.

In any case, we should all be addressing montanaman and the topic of this thread, rather than bickering. (Now I duck and run for cover. :whistle: )

I posted a response attempting to identify with the frustration experienced by the OP. For this I was labeled as a CINO, afraid to share my faith and keeping my head in the sand. And I’m the one who took the thread negative. Sorry, can’t swallow that.

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