Sometimes, I feel so depressed


#1

My folks raised a family of 8 children and tried their best to pass the Catholic faith to all of us.

Now, my oldest sibling is 37 and my youngest 18, and to see the result is SO very depressing.

We got together for Easter dinner and several of my siblings sat out in the living room bashing the church for this and for that. I tried my best to argue with them, but it’s hard when you are the only one in the room who feels that way.

My second oldest brother is married with two beautiful children and they NEVER go to church and his wife is taking the pill because while she understands NFP and knows how to use it, she doesn’t want to have to abstain. My sister who is just below me in age is about to have her tubes tied and my 19-year-0ld unwed sister is on the pill. She had a baby earlier this year and gave him up for addoption. I feel like she has learned nothing from her experiance and just gives me lipservace when I try to talk to her about it.

My siblings all think I’m nuts and don’t understand the real world because of my views about birth controle, faith in one God, the need for Tradition and to go to Mass regularly.

My husband and I have been open to life since were wed two years ago and have not yet been blessed and to see my siblings who have perfect fertility cut it off is SO very depressing.

Does anyone else get their spirits down because of these kinds of family problems? How do you deal with this? There are times I just want to strangle my siblings!

I turn it over to prayer, but it’s times like Easter Sunday, when we should be thinking God and praising Him for saving us, they want to sit around and bash His church, that I just get so upset and feel like it’s a lost cause.

Any advice for my disfunctional family?


#2

I think we will have to form a support group, talk to gianawannabee, I think she feels the same way. Hey are they all in M/F relationships? count your blessings. My aunt once said her grandmother was pleased if her Irish Catholic children married other Irish Catholics, her mother was content if they married Catholics at all, she was happy if they got married someone of any background instead of just living together, and I should be content if they marry someone of the opposite sex.

You have correctly described the real reason Catholics don’t come to Mass, do not believe in the Real Presence and other doctrines, the reason for the priest shortage, decline in Catholic schools and other problems faced by the Church. You have also described the reason those bent on perverting the culture have enjoyed such a huge political and social success in such a short time–even the people who claim a religion do not believe it or live it out in their own lives.

As far as relating to your own family, Patrick Madrid’s Search and Rescue is the best book by far on the topic.


#3

Well, your parents seem to have done a wonderful job of instilling the Faith in you :slight_smile: Now it’s your job to pray for the conversion of your siblings.

Pick one of your siblings’ family and invite them to Mass with you next Sunday and then over for coffee and cake afterwards (or lunch or dinner depending on the time of day). If you hear them say something negative, you could counter with “Well, you should really come to Mass with us sometime. We just love the community at our parish.” Or something like that. We are in a similar situation with some of our siblings/siblings-in-law and friends, and this has worked for us in the past. I even got a friend who had been away from the Church for many years to go to Confession and then Mass with us :slight_smile:

I think if you get too defensive, they may tune you out. If they bash the Church, agree with them that no person currently on Earth is perfect and sinless, and even Catholics make big mistakes sometimes. And then add what you enjoy about going to Mass and invite them to come with you. I hope you find some peace in this situation.


#4

Kind of like being a martyr in your own family, huh?
—KCT


#5

Hello Sue, I am no. 9 in a family of 10. 4 of us attend mass and the rest don’t care one way or another. some outright hate the church.
But every morning when I say morning prayers with my children we ‘pray for all those in our family that don’t believe in God and who don’t practise their faith’, we have done for years.
Last friday it was my father’s anniversary of death. 22 years and my mother had a mass said for him. A latin mass at that and three of the ones who don’t believe in the church, came.
And my one brother that has openly said for years how much he hates the catholic church is now saying ‘God bless’ at the end of his text messages and also given up drugs and alcohol.
Thats because the three of the four of us who are practising show him love and attention and charity as best we can.
(funny me saying that, as I have started another thread with how I do not do the same for my husband… but its easier with a brother you see only once every couple of months!)
But my point is, I see things changing in my family. So don’t give up. Like wonderfully wise people on here tell me, be the best example you can be of a good catholic. ( i know, I know… easier said than done)
But I will pray for you. God bless


#6

sometimes it seems that way. I wish I had the courage of the martyr’s, though. I don’t do well in arguments/debates. The knowlage is there, but the information flees from my brain when I try and talk about it with my family.

What makes me mad, too is that they see what a great church St. Joseph’s is. The parish communitity took great care of my family when my dad died several years ago. They admit that, but it’s the whole big church thing. Oh and all those peskey rules.

They sit around and critasize mom and dad for having so many kids (I guess each one thinks they should have stopped with them) and use that as the platform to launch their campaign of self starolization. It makes me sick to my stomach and when I’m with my sister in law at 7:30pm and her birth controle alarm goes off on her cell phone, I want to run to the bathroom and thow up. (I guess you have to take those things at the exact same time every day or something). I’ve wanted to secretly send her some liturature from the CCL so she can know that she may be distroying life everytimes she does that. But she’s got herself convinced that the kind she takes doesn’t do that.

It’s like every time I try and address a family member’s problem with a curch rule, they come up with an excuse why that does not apply to them. They sit and come up wth a million justifications for their behavior. How do you argue with someone who is in a deep state of denial about the truth? They think I’m nuts and I honestly don’t think they take my example seriously because I’m poor, my husband doesn’t have a great job, and they think I’m too extream.

to draw an analogy, it would be like Hitler trying to explain the doctren of his “religion” to me, it would all go in one ear and out the other because I have no respect for his opinion.

anyway, I’m just ranting, sorry. Thanks for listening to me :slight_smile:


#7

This past Sunday, the EWTN “Sunday Night with Fr. Groeschel” was about dealing with fallen away Catholics, or “cafeteria” Catholics - maybe you can catch it on line?? He gave wise advice… as he always does.


#8

My initial reaction is to suggest you limit your social contact with these folks with whom you share blood but not values. I’m not suggesting you excommunicate them from your life, but perhaps pull back on some of the time you commit to them.

The other obvious idea is to avoid these controversial topics. I have taken this approach to political debates when with my family when it became clear we couldn’t have a discussion about policy without someone taking it personally and getting mad. As much as I wanted to think you should be able to discuss anything with your family–it isn’t worth it. Now, if it starts up, I simply sit silently and do not participate. Our challenge is slightly different–we’re “blessed” with a know-it-all who turns what should be casual discussions into debates that must be “won” at all costs. I eventually learned if there’s no one with whom to argue, it’s harder to have that debate. :wink:

The other thing I notice is that unlike political debates, you seem to possess an inordinate amount of very intimate information about your siblings. I’m baffled as to why you are discussing their birth control choices at family dinners–do you also cover what sex position they each prefer?! I would avoid this topic entirely–they are out of line to be volunteering this much private information.

You should also consider that your sensitivity is heightened–perhaps to the point of being unable to be dispassionate about others’ choices over which you have no control–because of your desire to become pregnant. If this is something they toss out in the midst of church bashing, I would simply get up and leave the room. Don’t argue. Go help clear dishes, have a conversation with someone in a another room, ask the hostess to show you her garden/new couch/…whatever, ask any kids present about their favorite field trip this year at school, check your voice mail, return a phone call, go the the bathroom…whatever. Stay cheerful. You are not likely to convert anyone by arguing, but there’s also no reason to sit still and get mad, hurt, disgusted by them. It will likely become apparent that you won’t take their bait and these situations will happen less freqently.


#9

I am lucky in that my family may be full of fallen away Catholics except for my favorite uncle (who is really more of a brother) they do not have anything against the Church. I pray that one day they will realize the Sacraments they are missing out on. My biggest problem is my aunt, who married (well they signed the legal papers at their dinner table) someone who is non-religious and is currently on the pill at 39. She was living with this person for 5+ years out of wedlock. She is an extremely kind person, so I hope she returns to the Faith.

My grandfather is a Knight and a former altar server but he currently does not attend Mass (sitting in the pews for an hour really takes a toll on his back since his back surgeries, and so my Lutheran convert grandmother doesn’t attend anymore) and my other grandfather is in a nursing home and it is too far for me to drive to take him to Mass and my schedule barely allows me to be able to attend. His parish’s associate pastor does come to the nursing home once a month to say Mass and they do have EMCH’s which come pray the rosary and give out communion, but I wish the Mass was available to these people more.

On the other hand there is my very liberal aunt, who is a product of the university system. She is now a United Methodist, and a religious education teacher at her Methodist parish. No doubt she bashes the church… she considers Pope Benedict to be a Nazi. Our family gatherings are very interesting at times… since they mostly happen on religious holidays.

I try to set an example by attending church functions as often as I can with my girlfriend and her family, and her family is VERY orthodox… and they attend Mass weekly. :slight_smile:

Last year my liberal aunt got reading material from Father Corapi and Scott Hahn for Xmas. At one point she had claimed she was thinking about returning to the Church but she wasn’t going to now since we elected a Nazi as pope. :eek:

Pray for my family and me as well.


#10

Just a quick comment. We are called to evangelize. I would surmise it has been proven that limiting contact with sinners and avoiding religious topics makes it difficult to evangelize. If we have not figured out how to do something, does that mean we give up? I suggest it means that we have not yet figured out how.

Dan


#11

The best method to evangelize is to set the example. It’s probably the toughest method as well.


#12

:thumbsup: And if you set the example, when a family member is having a personal issue you’ll more than likely be the person they confide in because you’re calm and loving. In my family (immediate and extended) it is not said so much, but is understood that I am the “go to” girl when needing someone to confide in and not be a loud mouth (literally loud tone of voice) and demeaning like everyone else in my family. And my family Knows all my past sins and still don’t see me as a hypocrite. I have God and my mom to thank for teaching me to bite my tounge more often than I’d like


#13

Island Oak,
I know what you are saying about certain topics. My sister in law considers the fact that she’s on the pill no different than if she were taking blood pressure medacation, or any other prescription drug. Once while hanging out, her phone started making a wierd noise and I asked her “oh who’s calling?” and she simply said, “Oh that’s my alarm to take my birth controle pill” and than went into a ten minute lecture on how it works. Yes, I am probably a little more upset about this stuff than the average person. I admit it.

As far as trying to not have these discussions, when ever my oldest brother is there, he starts up a conversation right at the dinner table and dominates it and it’s almost impossible to keep him away from it. no matter how you try and steer the conversation in a different direction, he’ll steer it back. I’ve thought of getting together with everyone else and saying “hey when Jim starts talking about religion, let’s all make a trip to the ladies room.” It’s just frustrating because for the most part, when people in my family talk about something, they just want to be heard, they don’t want to listen. It’s annoying and often, insulting.

and I do limit contact with my oldest brother. I only see him when I HAVE to. And if he’s there, my husband and I are usually the first to leave a family gathering. It’s just sad because so many folks I know have great family parties and mine always seem to get spoiled.

I appriciate the advice and the prayers :slight_smile:


#14

The legimimate purpose of drugs are to heal. In most cases, the ‘pill’ is taken to damage normal bodily function. Big difference between blood pressure medication and the pill.

Dan


#15

I’m from a big family. I’m divorced, go to Mass and am a faithful Catholic. One sister married - faithful Catholic. Another sister divorced, married outside the Church. One sister single won’t go to Mass. Single brother, faithful Catholic. Married brother, faithful Catholic. Married brother, sometimes misses Mass. Single brother sometimes misses Mass. We span the spectrum. Luckily, none of us bashes the Church, not even my grumpy non-church going sister.


#16

I would only have advice for you, and not your family. The best way you can help them is by the witness of your life. As St. Francis said “evangelize always, and when necessary, use words”. You can also be one of the most powerful intercessors for them, because your heart is pierced over their fallen ways. Pray for them, offer up your sufferings for the reparation of their souls.


#17

You are definitely not alone. I have long considered writing such a post in the forums. If you truly feel that you are not making any ground by discussing the faith openly, take it to prayer, “for nothing will be impossible for God”. Continue to stand your ground when this happens. I think it is a very powerful way to witness to the faith when you refuse to accept their bashings.


#18

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