Is the practice of Stoicism alongside Catholicism forbidden or allowed if not why ?
How do you define Stoicism, first of all?
There were two groups of Greeks in this regard: the Stoics, and the Epicureans. The Epicureans believed that every emotion was right. If you had an emotion, you had to follow it and give into it. The Stoics were the opposite. They suppressed all emotion.
The truth lies somewhere in the middle, I believe.
I am married with four kids, if I expressed every emotion I would be in serious trouble!!!
I think being stoic is a good thing. It is good to have a few trusted confidantes, but don’t need to let everyone know everything!!!
I think if you are stoic to the point of causing yourself harm, that is sinful and not in line with Catholic teaching. I have seen this in my nursing career regarding pain. People have actually caused themselves harm or delay in healing because of stoicism about pain.
There is nothing in Catholic teaching that says it is admirable or more holy for people to suffer pain unnecessarily or to the point of more harm to themselves.
There is nothing wrong with emotions provided that you do not rely on them to be the sole authority on truth. It is wise for us to practice prudence when it comes to emotions because we can quickly let them override our intellect. I’m sure we have all said at one point in time that “I was so angry I couldnt think straight!” Furthermore with the understanding that the “truth hurts” we should accept that what feels good is not always good for you and vice versa. Basically I dont think you should hate feelings or indulge in them but that you should understand that faith has nothing to do with “feelings.”
As far as stoicism goes I do not think that its healthy to deny or not show ones feelings. There is a proper time and place for everything so we should try our best to find when that time is. A time to cry, a time to laugh, a time to be angry (provided that its contructive). We must remember that God gave us our emotions and that in doing so He will give us the proper times for when we should use them.
I don’t know about the philosophical school of Stoicism, but I think all Catholics should be more stoic in their daily life.
Mind you, not completely stoic, just a little more mild.