Thoughts on bringing back an angry, lost sheep?


#1

Hi everyone,
I have a friend who was a Catholic as a kid, and apparently, hated it. She has been completely a-religious since attaining an age of reason.

We were really good friends in high school, and then we started to drift. I converted this year to Catholicism, and can’t even express my happiness with it. But I don’t know how to talk to her. When I told her I was converting, she told me what a bad idea it was, and that our kids would have so much guilt…

Part of the problem is that we are now on very, very different pages. I’m finishing law school, working at a law firm, going home to my wife every day… I’m really liking life, feeling very blessed, etc. She is drinking and partying a lot, and does not seem to care much for her current lot in life. I can’t even really see her much–my wife is not comfortable me spending time one on one with her (and frankly, I agree that its not appropriate for a married man to spend intimate time alone with a female). I could “hang out” with her at nights, but I don’t get to see my wife much, and don’t like to take nights away from her. My marriage comes first over anyone else. Plus, I don’t really want to even tag along with the kind of stuff she does–nothing really super illicit, just getting drunk and acting stupid. Plus, I don’t really see me having an opportunity to talk to her about anything real on those occasions. Plus, I’m at work every day by 7:30, and she’s often just getting to bed then…

I’ve briefly tried to talk to her about her drinking and partying, and she didn’t react well. I can’t even imagine how quickly she would reject any attempt to talk to her about the Church or God. So even if I did find some magical time to talk to her, not alone, I can’t see it going well. At a lunch with some people the other day, I was describing the Catholic views on sexual morality, and she said with disgust and disbelief that “sex is such a stress reliever” that she couldn’t imagine doing without it.

What is troubling me the most about this is that I’m starting not to care. I have half a mind to give up on it. She has changed so much over the years that, to tell the truth, I don’t at all value her friendship or even really want her in my life. But I know that God does not give up on us when we are total jerks…

Anyone have any thoughts on how to approach such a person? Or should I abandon it?


#2

You can’t force a conversion. This may not apply to you now, but the time will come when you have children. Are you going to want this person hanging around and influencing your children?

I can’t really tell you what to do. You have to figure that out. There is a time for trying to help someone come to Christ, but then there also comes a time when all we can do is shake the dust from our feet and move on. Certainly, your obligation to your family takes precedence (as it seems you fully recognize).

I would recommend Patrick Madrid’s book Search and Rescue if you’re looking for some useful tips.


#3

A few thoughts come to mind, I’ll simply post them and let you pick and choose any that might be useful.

  • You have a lifetime commitment to your wife, not this person. If you can take care of business at home and/or involve your wife in the friendship then you can actively undertake this. If not, keep the connection with the person and see if she initiates discussion.

  • Are you motivated to do this by a sense of guilt or to do what you “ought” to? I’ve been at both sides of the table during guilt-induced attempts at “helping” someone and they are never pleasant. They are especially awful for the target of the “help” as the self-interest of the “helper” clings to them like an unpleasant odour. After getting the marriage question settled, get this one settled, being brutally honest about your motives.

  • Have the two of you ever openly talked about what her Catholic childhood was like? You mention that she says it will create guilt in your kids, that should be a tip-off that something she experienced as a child wasn’t pleasant. If you haven’t had this conversation, you will need to do this before offering any “get back to church” advice-there may be issues that require counselling, or interactions with nice catholics in non-liturgical situations that may need to occur before she’ll consider going near the church doors.

  • Recognize that a friendship goes both ways. She tried her best to help you by warning you about catholicism, even if she was mistaken about the impact it would have on your life. She did that because she cared about you and your family. I’m sure over the years you supported each other and helped each other out and there was a certain balance between you. If you can’t see her trying to “be a friend” in her interactions with you, then the friendship has withered.

Keep in mind that if things become too one-sided and you begin to see your interactions with her only in terms of “offering help” with no positive benefit to you from spending time with her, then it will cease to be a friendship at some point. You’ve experienced this in part in the feelings you had about whether it was “worth it”.

Good luck. :slight_smile:


#4

Sounds like Our Lord is calling you to pray. You can do this “silently”. No one but you and Our Lord needs to know. Little quick interjections is all it takes. Prayers need not be long, just said.

comes a time when all we can do is shake the dust from our feet and move on.

The devil does not want you to pray for her, but this is bothering you for some reason, why? Just say a quick prayer to her Guardian Angel, and every time you come into contact with her say a quick prayer to St. Michael. Make her your “spiritual child” if you will. We tend to pray when we have a reason, well, you have one. You don’t have to have her in your life per say.

You take this on and you will find things may get worse from your point of view. This will be the devil whom does not want you to think that your prayers are doing any good. The battle is on. If it bothers you enough, pray, pray, pray. You do not need to know how they come out, just pray when ever she comes to mind.

With God’s graces…


#5

St Therese said that prayer and sacrifice changes hearts more than our words ever can.

Pray for her, offer a Mass for her, offer little sacrifices. God will do the rest :slight_smile:

“pray, hope, and don’t worry”

pray to Mary and Saints for her… ask St Padre Pio and St Anthony to intercede, I heard they really help with conversions :thumbsup:


#6

i don’t think a person should put his marriage above all else.

We are to put Christ first. Of course, putting Him 1st involves putting our vocation up there somewhere at the top also… but not first.

our first job is to save souls…

Maybe God wants you to do more praying than actually spedning time with this person… that’s something only you and He can figure out together… (He knows the perfect answer, ofcourse…but you don’t… I KNOW the feeling.):eek:

anyway, if you pray rosaries over the situation, the Holy Spirit will guide you… into the right course of action.

i know that feeling of not caring anymore.:frowning: it gets tiresome always trying to save people who dont think they want to be saved…

the fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom… Maybe you should just tel her she’s on her way to Hell… You could show her St Faustina’s Diary #741 :eek:

if that doesn’t do it… i’d say it is hopeless…except for prayer. but in any case, we should do everything in our power to help people find the narrow way, which Jesus said is not a path most people find…so it would appear that most people go to Hell…:eek:

if she could realize that hell is forever… That’s the scariest thing about it!!


closed #7

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