Seriously now. What does one say?


#1

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?


#2

Hi Fred.

I’m glad you are Catholic. None of my family is Catholic either. Sometimes the best thing to do is to leave a lot of the stuff to say to the experts. If someone brings a topic up that you know you need to defend but you don’t know how, suggest a book for them to read. Send them an email of an article from Catholic Answers. The more you depend on apologists to help you out in those situations, the more you will learn from them too, and the more you will start to become an apologist yourself! (Make sure to read everything you suggest others to read.)

The second thing too is sometimes it is fun to put others on the defensive. But that’s only when you’re feeling fiesty. You know that in your heart that the Catholic Church is the one True Church founded by Jesus Christ, so try not to always talk about the Church in the defensive but rather, talk about it as if that perspective is obvious.

I was watching Fr. Corapi on EWTN last night and he said that he likes to ask his Baptist Pastor friend if he prayed the rosary that day. His Baptist friend said, “No, we don’t do that!” And Fr. Corapi said, “Why not? What do you got against praying the Gospel?”

Keep on learning more about apologetics and you’ll find life gets a little easier. :thumbsup:

God bless


#3

Fred,
I know what you mean. Being a cradle Irish Catholic “revert”, you and I would probably make a ferocious team, but there would be no prisoners, and that’s no good is it?:irish1:

One thing you probably want to do is something that I trained myself to do. Keep still until I feel that the Holy Spirit has given me something to say, as promised in Luke 21:15.

As for the pedophile priest jokes, you might try something simple like, “Yeah, that will put them right up there with all the non-Catholic clergy doing that as well as the teachers…” and just let it go. If anyone says squat about it, (which often they won’t)

Sexual Abuse in Social Context: Clergy and Other Professionals
and ministers sexually abusing children will point out some social context if you should need to cite it.

One key to answering silliness is to never let it “wind you up” so that you are mean-spirited. We do have a higher standard.

As for Catholics that are messed up. These are especially the people that we need to show our consistent lives of faith to. You and I can’t help it if others are not faithful, but you can bet your life that at some point, if we are living like we are supposed to and their lives hit the wall (as they always seem to) they will be looking for someone to pray for them and you may find yourself in a counseling situation that you never expected. Leave all that to the Holy Spirit.

You and I have the responsibility to live the most faithful lives that we can, and when we have to answer, do so just like St. Peter says in 1st Peter 3:9: Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing.
10: For "He that would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile;
11: let him turn away from evil and do right; let him seek peace and pursue it.
12: For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those that do evil."
13: Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is right?
14: But even if you do suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
15: but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence;
16: and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
17: For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than for doing wrong.

Hang in there Brother!
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.

P.S. Put that “Tiber Swim Class of 1995” in your signature line Brother! :thumbsup:


#4

:slight_smile: Hi, I wanted to let you know that there are more of us than you think. I came home to the catholic church many years ago. I feel that I wasted so many of those years by not really living the truth, I thought if I went to mass and said my rosary every day, I was set! :blush: I am also very poor at expressing myself. I never read much, so I couldn’t talk my way out of a wet paper bag !!! I always avoid getting into any religious talks.
I, too am the only Catholic in the family,but, at least my loved ones never had any problems with that. It’s funny now, when I think about my late husbands "holy, religious , born in the old world, good cradle catholic ", back stabbing sisters. They never offered to explain things , teach me things…I do pray for them !
( don’t mean anything personal in that, just to say, that if I had that opportunity to ‘help a blind man’ I’d treaure the chance)
However I am getting smarter about things, reading LOTS more, and praying always for guidance! I really have had a good spiritual growth and I know it’s all due to a deeper prayer life and a Glorious Mother to lead me to Him ! :thumbsup: Bless you and may you find your way to peace!


#5

BTW… what is the Tiber swim club, anyway??? :smiley:


#6

The Tiber is a river just outside Rome, if you swim the Tiber its a funny way of saying you converted to Roman Catholicism. :smiley:


#7

Fred,

You need to learn about your faith. This is easier that it sounds because so many people who came before us have done the work for us and put it in plain english. I highly recommend going through these links and reading anything that is interesting:

www.catholic.com click on the files where it says “Library”

www.scripturecatholic.com

www.biblechristiansociety.com

You NEED to learn about your faith so you can gain confidence and spot error.

If you ever have a question either do a search in the catholic.com search bar or ask in these forums.


#8

Thank you. The Scripture Catholic website especially looks like it has very good information that I can use. I appreciate the kind words, support, and information.


#9

Instead of thinking that you need to get into a debate at work, why not just state: “It upsets me when my faith is disparaged at work, and I would appreciate it if you would avoid that in the future”.If they don’t honor your request then complain to management, maybe after a few attempted reminders. You have no obligation to debate religion at work, and they have no right to be trashing yours.

If you practice a simple mantra approach, then you don’t need to think on your feet. I think this technique is called ‘fogging’ in the assertiveness books. But, you should not be subjected to hearing your Church constantly disparaged at work, that’s really harrassment, just like it would be for any other group.


#10

The Tiber is the river between Rome (the city, the capital of the Pagan Roman empire) and Vatican City. Christians could not be buried in Rome, so they were buried outside Rome, on Vatican Hill. That is where St Peter is buried, and St Peter’s church is over his grave. When you swim the Tiber, you leave the pagan culture and come join the communion of Saints.


#11

#12

Pain in childbirth indeed!

But seriously :slight_smile:

I tend to discuss things too dispassionately and too raitonally for most people. Some fire in your eye, some shaking in your voice isn’t always a bad thing. How do you think these people would respond if you told them (God forbid! ;)) that the Bible alone is not sufficient to resolve all disputes in matters of faith and morals?

Jeremy


#13

I didnt know that…thanks…:thumbsup:


#14

Hiya Fred

Welcome Home!

I am a convert also - swim team of '06. I too have a hard time doing all that, except when I prepare myself for it - or the odd time that H.S. seems to have a hand (sword) in it. Hang in there - and Pray for them. Prayer WORKS. My wife was rabid against Scripture, Jesus, Catholics (or any other Christian Group for that matter) and was dead set on Native American stuff (She is Native) Now she is looking into the Church, and seriously contemplating conversion…went so far as to get an appt. with a Sister and locate a sponser. Blew my mind - talk about last thing I EVER expected to hear. Pretty much left me out of the loop because I do have a tendancy to Preach when people ask questions in earnest…wish that quality (?) would come through when ppl attack. :shrug:

Anyway, I guess - don’t worry about it if you aren’t effective against attacks like that - go with your strengths (your positive ones) and Pray!

Peace

John


#15

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