OK so I’m a convert. That’s technically correct, although I don’t think of myself that way. As far as I can tell, I’ve always been Catholic… just took me awhile to realize it. I guess I’m what I’ve seen some people mention on this site as Tiber Swim Class of 1995.
I grew up fundementalist baptist, then got evangelical, then found home. Also, I’m what I think the psyco-lingo people might label as passive-aggressive. I find it very difficult to express myself, especially in times of stress, and I avoid confrontation like no one’s business. Can’t help it. I’m 40 and have always been that way. It takes me a long time to formulate the appropriate words and then finally have a discussion when something is bothering me between my wife and I.
So that being said, what does one say to people? I’ll admit that when I was received into the Church at the Easter vigil of '95 I was not a model Catholic. But I’ve grown and learned so much since then. So, my family is still evangelical and think that, while all dogs go to heaven, all Catholics go to hell. My in-law family is all cradle-Catholic and, to all appearances, think the whole thing is BS. My wife is maybe in-between me and they as far as her opinion goes… many times closer to her family’s position than I am. Many, if not most of my co-workers are Catholic and are the worst as far as anti-Catholic sentiment and jokes go. As if pedophile priests are something to joke about.
So everytime someone says something anti-Catholic, which is frequent, and frequently idiotic (as I can eruditely prove… four hours too late), I remain silent. I have ideas, but can’t express them. And do I really want to argue with my father-in-law who has had a recent heart attack but still loves to argue about everything? Can I speak to the experiences that cradle-Catholics have had that have made them view the Church as they do? What do I really know or have to offer?
Oh I can speak of lots of things I’m sure they don’t know of, or haven’t considered, but I’d probably do so while being a complete smart a** (One of my gifts!) and where’s the love in that? So I say nothing, hoping that my actions will speak louder than words, but that’s a fantasy too… I don’t think my actions amount to that much really. And I pray… as often as I remember to. Which is sometimes.
But everytime people start trashing the pope or the church my blood pressure rises and I start to get completely hostile… while remaining outwardly calm and passive. So what does one say?