I’m not sure if this is the appropriate board for this question, but here goes… I was called back to the faith after many years of what I would call spiritual searching. To make a long story short, I had a powerful conversion a few months ago that completely changed my attitude towards faith. I was led back to the Catholic church of my childhood after nearly two decades. However, since my conversion I have been dealing with negativity and doubt from some family members and friends. Even though they see the change in me, they still don’t fully believe. How can I stay strong in my new path and still have a positive relationship with my family and friends? Is it possible? I hope so, but sometimes it is very difficult.
If there is a "Returning Catholic " program in your area , go to it. It will give you an opportunity to ask questions and remove any doubts you may have. Ask your self “What is standing between you and God” Challenge your faith, answer the questions you have. You need to move your faith from your head down to your heart. Don’t be too concerned with sin. Were human and we all have failings, repent, ask for forgiveness, try to do better and move on. The question to ask yourself is not have I sinned. Ask yourself instead have I loved enough. One of the most important parts of life is Love and sharing the Love Christ taught, with all those you meet. It can be challenging. Also the Church is a filling station where we go to refresh and reconnect with Christ each week but the mission of the church is in the world, sharing Gods love.
I have been felt persecuted or made fun of or at the very least outcasted at times by family because of my coming back to the Church…none of this is new to Catholicism Christianity however… its simply the “light” within you contrasting with “darkness”…
Its a difficult battle… its often one of solititude… remember though what jesus said… he who loves his mother or father more than me is not worthy of me, he who looks back is not worthy of me, that he has come with a sword and that mother and father will be at odds…
he doesnt want them to be at odds with you, but unfortnately if their not in the light they are not… all you can do is hold your own, stay strong in your faith… follow the LORD…
i just broke up with my girlfriend which was painful but it was because I rather follow the LORD… when you know you follow the LORD everything is ok , and when you pray in his name you recieve what you want (or better)…
you are putting up the good fight, i wish i had more practical solutions but that is what i can offer for advice at the moment
I feel your hurt. My brothers call me a ‘Bible Thumper’ or a ‘God Botherer’ if I say the smallest thing referring to my faith. I deflect by saying ‘Aw, hush! I was in the front row the day you were Christened!’ then pray, pray, pray for God to guide them home.
It hurts, but it needn’t divide you. Choose your battles wisely and - above all - live and love and work so as to be the finest advertisement for the Catholic life that you can possibly be.
Imagine how our Lord felt during his public life, death, and crucifixion! He is with you!
It is important to find like-minded friends that are supportive. Find out what groups are available in parishes in your neighborhood that you may like to join. Good spiritual reading, and meditating on our Lord’s life while saying the Rosary helps much.
I can relate to you. I am praying for my siblings because I know that they desire the gifts that God has given to me. One of my sisters whom I was closest to, has told me repeatedly that I have changed and said she wishes I hadn’t gone back to Church. She said 'we will talk one day, after the “newness” of your new found faith has diminished." It really saddens me.
We all were raised Catholic by devout Catholic parents. But sadly none of us (7 children) liked going to Mass growing up, and we stopped going when we turned of age and went out on our own. Now this has given me great remorse, as I, most of my life, lived an immoral life. I’ve talked to my parish priest, and confessor, and know that I’ve been forgiven. I’m 54 now with a 29 yr. old daughter and I wish that I brought her up in the faith and taught her to pray and prayed together. It’s not too late, and I’m talking with her about faith pretty regularly, but tiny bits at a time, not wanting to preach to her or be a nuisance, because I certainly don’t want to push her away. I also pray daily for her.
So now I’m faced with sisters who have stopped talking to me. One said she wishes I would have come back to the faith 20 years ago when she had - but she now wants nothing to do with going to Mass nor to receive any of the sacraments. It confuses me, because I want her to come back, and her response is it’s not for her. She begged me to go back to the person I was, and I refused which made her even more mad. She is single, and lives with my Mom. The other sister, the youngest in the family, I think has taken the path of Jehovah Witness, after years of attending protestant churches. We haven’t talked in about a year. She also holds resentment for me and I feel so badly for her.
My returning to the Catholic church was Oct. 2009. I attend weekly Mass, and at Lent I went to daily Mass with special permission from my job to come in late and stay later to make up my time. When my sister found out I was going to daily Mass, she became furious, and we exchanged texts, a phone call, and now haven’t spoken since. It’s very confusing to me, we were so close, and it hurts to have this upset between us. I could understand it better if we were another denomination and I decided to become Catholic - but we were all baptized Catholic.
So I know praying is the best thing for me to do, and I hope my siblings hearts change and they all come home to the true faith, the holy Catholic Church, with the fervor that God has blessed me with.
Thank you very much for your replies and I do appreciate your advice and support. It’s reassuring to know that I’m not alone in feeling like this, but at the same time I’m sad to learn that many of you are also criticized and even rejected by your own families for going back to the church… I don’t think I preach to anyone, but maybe I shouldn’t talk about my experience as much. I just so want my family and close friends to feel the joy and sense of peace I’m experiencing now since I accepted the Lord in my life. However, if they’re not ready, I can’t force them to accept it. I have to understand that, at this time, this is where they are in their spiritual journey.
Like some of you mentioned, I should try my best to let my actions speak for me. If they actually witness this new, positive change in me, in time they might come to me with questions themselves. I had no idea that this would be such a difficult path, but this is exactly where I want to be.
Thank you so much for the welcome, and God Bless.