The Traditional Connection

Hi everyone,

It seems to me that people tend to connect better with those who are of the same mind. This applies especially with religion as far as I can tell. I often find myself more relaxed in conversation and company of people I do not know that well, who I know share my traditional views on religion, than even neighbours and friends who don’t. There is something about knowing we are on the same side, as it were, which lets us talk freely.

There is something in this also, which was reflected in the Church’s position on mixed marriages. People of different faiths cannot share a most important part of the other person’s life. I have seen the effect this has on mixed marriages where this has been the root of the problem. Of course there are exceptions.

Does anyone else find this? Particularly “traditionalists”.

I know what you mean.I agree, and I think it’s that same interest: that commonality of faith, which makes us connect better. We’re not afraid of the other person thinking that we’re strange, though that shoudn’t be a concern to begin with, but it’s true!

This is absolutely true and it is also part of being human. We naturally gravitate towards those who are not like us. That is not to say we shouldn’t leave our comfort zones sometimes.

Speaking of marriage, I think this is especially true when it comes to dating. That’s why traditional people should look for traditional spouses. You want to make sure you’re on the same page as it regards, courtship, NFP, children, etc.

I agree with you completely. My parish is one of the worst in our diocese. It has been very, and I do mean very, hard for me to persevere without returning to the traditional chapel from whence I came and at which I was very happy. When things have gotten especially bad in my parish, I have asked either one or both of our priests at different times whether I would lose my soul if I returned to the chapel that I came from. When they would ask me why I wanted to go back, one of the reasons I gave was so that I could be with like-minded people.

As for mixed marriages, I would not advise ever marrying anyone outside the faith. I speak from experience.

What do you mean by “mixed marriage” - Catholic and non-Catholic, or Christian and non-Christian?

I have been very happily married for nearly 20 years to a woman raised in the Methodist Church. While she cannot see herself converting (a discussion in progress), we have faithfully raised our children as [Byzantine] Catholics, as we had committed prior to marriage.

She attends Divine Liturgy every week, and frankly has a better attendance record than many other Catholics I know …

Thats good to hear - I wish nothing but the best for your marriage. Thats why I added that there are exceptions. I too have family who married non Catholics and they still practice their faith. However, unfortunately, the majority I have seen do not work - either in terms of the Catholic partner keeping their faith, or the Children being brought up in the faith. I am glad to hear that yours are. I suppose if we have strong enough faith there are no insurmountable barriers, but I think we can all understand why the Church held the position it did. Also the issue of separation comes up. Good Catholics will not divorce and remarry, and yet it seems most non-Catholics will not rule out the possibility.

It is also worthy of note that many converts from other faiths tend to be better Catholics than most. I know a priest whose mother was a methodist. She converted in the 1940’s on entering a Catholic Church and seeing a High Mass with Gregorian chant - that family went on to produce many good priests.

(Also, just to clear it up - by mixed marriages I meant marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic - baptized of course)

If you have to interact with a new person do you feel more comfortable with someone of your race or from a different race? You do not have any other information to base your decision upon.

Did you just typed a “not” that does not belong there, or am I totally missing your point?

Thank you for your kind wishes. I’m sure I got the better end of the deal! :smiley:

I thought that’s what you meant, so I’ll stand as an “exception” if you wish. FWIW - my wife’s only brother married a good Byzantine Catholic girl (whom I have known all her life, as our families were in the same home parish), and they are in a similar position - happy with two Byzantine Catholic kids, married 17 years. My wife’s brother has not consider conversion.

I too know many a devout convert, and there are many good ones here on CAF!

If I may, the common thread in my family is that this was proactively addressed in marriage preparation. Both spouses were mutually committed from the beginning. Both my wife and my brother-in-law respected that the Catholic faith (and our Byzantine Church and traditions) were part of our very being, and everything flowed from there successfully. Neither family has any significant history of divorce (but for one most unfortunate abusive husband incident), and all entered into the bond of marriage understanding exactly what that meant.

Frankly, without those ingredients, any marriage is bound to fail - between Catholics or otherwise.

I would therefore suggest that the problem is not so much mixed marriage, but the lack of commitment inherent in the bond from the start. If religion is important to both parties, and neither are willing to yield for the good of the marriage from the onset, then it will inevitably become a wedge between them. A shame when Christ should be at the heart of every marriage.

I don’t really understand the question, but race makes no difference to me. I would feel more comfortable talking with a black or asian person who was on the same level as me spiritually than I would a fellow white man or women who I knew held hostile views towards the Church - if that answers your question. When I know nothing of someone I withhold judgment as far as I am able.

That is true. I have never understood how a Catholic partner in a mixed marriage would not try to convert their spouse or at least discuss their faith. The problem is with lukewarm Catholics who do not really care what their partner believes. I have never understood this.

I accidentally typed “not”.

You are clearly avoiding the answer. You are adding qualifiers to avoid a response. I did not ask if a person of a specific race makes you uncomfortable, I asked which one would make you more comfortable. It sounds like PC is pervasive.

Now, forget about race and tell my if you feel more comfortable with someone that speaks your language or someone that speaks a different language? You do not have any other information to base your decision upon.

To their collective great credit, the priests, ministers and deacons involved in our preparation were absolutely wonderful and utterly respectful on (and of) both sides. They helped us through a process of discernment that has indeed borne fruit in a happy marriage. They are to be commended for their service to God’s holy people, as that was their first and only concern throughout (not the Church of final destination …).

Thanks, now I feel better. :slight_smile:
I think that what you say makes perfect sense. It is very important to notice that when we meet someone for the first time (e.g. a party) the best way to make a connection is to mirror what the other person says instead of starting a debate. The more we see our image in them the more we feel comfortable (unless we really hate ourselves :D).

I am not avoiding any questions - as I said before I did not understand your question fully. I was trying to answer in the context of the thread. Regarding languages, if it is my native language or another language I speak well enough, I am comfortable. Of course, not being used to mingling with those of a certain race, or language will make an encounter with a person who fits these criteria more unusual and most people will probably be be less comfortable at a surface level. However, common connections like religion - I feel - run a lot deeper than these aspects and on the whole; yes, I would feel more comfortable with someone I know shares my world-view and religious convictions, even if their race or language was unknown to me. Yes, it may be difficult to have a conversation, but this is not the sort of comfort I was referring to.

Oh, and one thing I am not is PC. Maybe to follow the rules I bite my tongue sometimes, but I am certainly not PC.

Fair enough. Thanks for the clarification.

Unrelated to Catholic tradition


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