To say something or not?


#1

"He who wants to win the world for Christ must have the courage
to come in conflict with it."
Titus Brandsma

I was wondering using the quote above and because of things I have read on this site how many people would go up to stranger or an acquaintance that was doing or saying something wrong and would tell them that it was wrong and why they were wrong. The exception is if it would put your life in danger. If you would say something why or if you would not say something why not? Those of you who would sit on the fence (Maybe) tell us why. Remember I am not asking you to judge the person but their action(s).


#2

I’ll gladly offer my opinion (Try and stop me!) if, and only if, asked. Period.

I have looked and said a word or two to unaccompanied yound kids who were misbehaving (I guess that’s the former police officer and current teacher in me…)

John


#3

Stopped at a resturant one day and in the parking lot were about 12 bikers that belonged to a bike group called Satan’s Den… there were a few girls with a few of the guys and they didn’t care where the guys were putting their hands… some of the worst language i ever heard including the Lord’s name being taken in vain… If i hadn’t been so busy i sure would have done my christian duty and admonished them all about how unchristian they were being… lucky for them i had more important things to do, right?.. :smiley:


#4

[quote=space ghost]Stopped at a resturant one day and in the parking lot were about 12 bikers that belonged to a bike group called Satan’s Den… there were a few girls with a few of the guys and they didn’t care where the guys were putting their hands… some of the worst language i ever heard including the Lord’s name being taken in vain… If i hadn’t been so busy i sure would have done my christian duty and admonished them all about how unchristian they were being… lucky for them i had more important things to do, right?.. :smiley:
[/quote]

remember I said not to put your life in danger


#5

In studying the Spiritual Works of Mercy, specifically, the one to admonish the sinner, I learned that there is no obligation to correct someone unless you are in a position to have some influence on him. There is no expectation that a perfect stranger will take your advice to straighten up and fly right. It is more likely that the person will commit an additional sin in the course of reacting to the correction. My usual course of action is to make an act of reparation and pray for the person.

Betsy


#6

I realise we all have the best of intentions, but put yourself in the place of the person you would confront. What would be your reaction to a total stranger coming up to you and criticising some aspect of your life with a view to getting you to change it? I’m not saying it’s unnecessary for people to wake up and live their lives right. I just doubt that this is quite the best method of getting them to do so. I’ve said elsewhere on these threads that I believe the most powerful tool for evangelising others is for us to live our own lives in as quietly strong and Catholic a way as possible, and I still believe that to be the case. We should be living examples to others, not nags and busybodies. Just going up to someone and starting to talk at them is not going to get us very far in our battle for the Faith.


#7

I am more likely so say something to a stranger because they are more likely to be caught off guard and not be defensive. If someone knows you well, they sometimes think “who do you think you are?” even when you try to be non-judgemental. Just my 2 cents!


#8

[quote=ATexasCatholic]"He who wants to win the world for Christ must have the courage
to come in conflict with it."
Titus Brandsma

[/quote]

Who is Titus Brandsma?

‘Coming in conflict with the world’ doesn’t necessarily mean walking up to anyone and saying something directly to the person. You come in conflict with the world when you change the TV channel when Sex in the City comes on, when you tell your kid to apologize, when you go back to the shop and pay for the item the clerk forgot to ring up, when you keep your mouth SHUT and don’t add that little tidbit of gossip that could swing the conversation in a negative direction…

You can come into conflict with the world in other ways, that involve speaking up: when you tell a friend why you’ve turned down their invitation to see a particular film; when you tell your boss whyyou won’t do overtime on a Sunday; when you explain to your neighbor why you have four children and are pregnant with the fifth…

We come in conflict with the world any time we live our faith and resist the lord of this world and all his lures and attractions (greed, lust, pride, etc.).

That said, no, I don’t go up to strangers or friends and comment on what they are doing. I get into enough trouble when I am directly ASKED by a friend about some situation and I tell them what I think. (I’m always baffled by them getting angry with me, because they also say that they know what I think about everything, so why ask, if you don’t want to hear a ‘religious’ point of view?). I figure prayer is more powerful than anything I could say.

As a teacher of young adults, though, sometimes I do voice my values. I ‘save’ these remarks for times when I really feel inspired to say something - I talk to my students so much as it is, I think if I was always speaking my mind about moral matters, etc., my authority would lose force. Once they already respect my authority on other matters, coming out with something more ‘personal’ - my moral convictiosn - tends to carry more weight than if I commented on everything from the beginning.

Someone here said that we should live our faith sincerely and deeply, and I think that’s bang-on. Do that first, show yourself to be a person of character in ordinary situations, and then, when you do speak up, even if people don’t like what you have to say, they’ll respect it and may be influenced it because they respect you already.

I almost never comment on things that go on at work - my superiors are superb at what they do, I trust them completely and submit to their authority. Strangely enough, the colleagues who are always arguing, proposing, suggesting, beating a dead horse…their ideas never get much attention. I say nothing and find myself being asked for my input on things that I don’t have any particular expertise on. People take you more seriously - and give more weight to your words - when you say little and act with integrity.

So I voted ‘No.’


#9

[quote=Nel] People take you more seriously - and give more weight to your words - when you say little and act with integrity.

[/quote]

Bravo! I couldn’t agree more. This sentiment(or something like it)has been my motto for as long as I can remember. Thanks for sharing it!


#10

[quote=Nel]Who is Titus Brandsma?

.’
[/quote]

Titus Brandsma, 0. Carm. was declared Blessed by Pope John Paul, II on November 1985. Since then, the promotion of his cause for sainthood has been in progress. An Interprovincial Committee of Carmelites exists, here in the United States, to educate and inform the Body of Christ as to its progress.

Titus Brandsma, Dutch priest, educator, journalist and modern mystic, has much to say to Twenty-first Century Christians. His joyful countenance in the face of chronic illness and finally, at the torturous hands of the Nazi’s, is a study in humankind’s sharing of its portion of the Cross of Christ. The frail, bookishlooking clergyman with the big cigar, labeled “That dangerous little friar” by his enemies, was able to perform heroic acts of suffering, followed by forgiveness, because his faith and trust in God was so firmly rooted in prayer. Unlike Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, who made a deliberate commitment of her life as an atonement for sin, Father Brandsma did not seek martyrdom, yet when he was thoroughly convinced it was God’s Will, he was able to accept humiliation and even death.

It is the Committee’s hope that the following web pages will serve as an educational instrument in enlightening our readers to the life and contributions of this extraordinary human being. carmelnet.org/titus/titus.htm

I am not with this group, but it is a good web site


#11

My vote was no because when telling people how they should act we show our superiority, telling them: I know what’s right and you are wrong. And in fact it may all turn visa versa. Besides, even if you think you are 200% right nobody likes to be taught how to act and in any case you will just irritate them. IMHO


charity-fund.org


#12

Fergal http://forums.catholic.com/images/statusicon_cad/user_offline.gif vbmenu_register(“postmenu_104502”, true);
Regular Member
Join Date: June 30, 2004
Location: Naas, County Kildare, Ireland
Posts: 105 http://forums.catholic.com/images/reputation/reputation_pos.gif

http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon1.gif Enough is enough
Enough is enough.I am gob-smacked at the amount of folk who post here and remain unhappy with the Liturgy presented to them Sunday after Sunday. I am one of you folks!!
Time to do something now. I have witnessed our Holy Thursday ceremony turn into a coctail party since the Liturgical coordinator prepared far to many chalices and therefore was left with way too much Precious Blood. In fact I witnessed the Precious Blood being ‘pushed’ on the young Altar Servers who were busy tidying up the sanctuary. People gathered and had a great chat as they drunk the ‘wine’ Oh my.
For God’s sake people!! Stand up to this nonsense…

I found this on another thread and I think it is a perfect example of what we should stand up and say something


#13

I voted maybe, not because I am hedging but because it depends. As someone pointed out earlier, it would probably be counterproductive if not dangerous to confront a group of people who are not Christians for not behaving like Christians.

OTOH, if someone we know to be a Christian is getting off track, we are obligated out of charity to speak up to that person.

Pax,

Jim


#14

This is one of the best posts I have read on this forum. Just because it challenges me personally… I often think I will think of a tactful way to admonish someone who is doing wrong and still come out looking like a good guy. I guess if I were John the Baptist I would have died of old age.
Mike


#15

In studying the Spiritual Works of Mercy, specifically, the one to admonish the sinner, I learned that there is no obligation to correct someone unless you are in a position to have some influence on him. There is no expectation that a perfect stranger will take your advice to straighten up and fly right. It is more likely that the person will commit an additional sin in the course of reacting to the correction. My usual course of action is to make an act of reparation and pray for the person.

I agree.

If the matter is grave and especially if they’re leading others into sin, I will opine. When I reprimand, I really try to reprimand the ACT, the SIN, not the person. I also guage my reprimand on how I think they’ll respond. If the matter is REALLY bad, I’ll be more severe, while if it’s less serious, I’ll go easy. If I KNOW they will not respond, even if the matter is grave, I’ll keep silent and simply pray for them

I’m still a relatively new Catholic, and am still learning. I’ve had more than a few dismal failures, where I’ve REALLY ticked people off. Usually the fault has been my tendency to be overly severe … Cure of Ars style. LOL! However, God, knowing I’m a dufus who lives with her foot in her mouth has made good come of all my dismal failures.

I am now having more success, now that I’ve toned things down.

My change in “tone of voice” can be likened to this metaphor. In the earliest episodes of Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy played Mr. Spock in a very severe and angry manner, uncharacteristic of a Vulcan. It took about 5 episodes for Mr. Spock to be a calm and unemotional Vulcan. I see myself like this. I started out very severe and vigilant, and now I’m less emotional in my evangelizatoin techniques.

Now, when I reprimand people, I really try to not point fingers and I try to present rational unemotional and seemingly disattached arguments.

An example:

The girls at work were using the Lord’s name in Vain saying “Oh my G-d,” all the time. It was driving me nuts, and I asked God how to stop it. The answer came quickly. After attending Daily Mass one morning, I later went to work and approached one of them, their leader, and said to her, “Did you know that today is Holy Name day?” She asked what it was. I said, “The Pope says that people misuse the Lord’s name all the time. He’s trying to crack down on it. Pope John Paul says that the word ‘God’ should be reserved for prayer and evangelization, but people say it all the time so casually, especially on TV.” That’s all I said.

I wanted them to hear the Truth and I wanted them to accuse themselves of the sin after knowing the Truth.

Now, at first, the response was an INCREASE of using the Lord’s name in vain. Two months passed, and I didn’t say anything more. I just prayed for them. Now, I don’t hear ANY of them saying “Oh my G-d.” I consider this a success.

All we can do is present the Truth as it is and hope that people will respond to it.

NOW …

I have a friend who vocally and harshly criticises our lectors for accidentally transposing words when reading from the Scriptures during Mass. I told her that the people weren’t doing it on purpose, that we’re only human, and that we should be reading along in our Missal books anyway. She then told me, “Don’t start softening up now. What’s the matter with you? I was once a lector, and if you’re going to read Scripture you must do it right!”

I thought she was being totally unreasonable and uncharitable and blowing simple human errors that aren’t offensive to God into grave sins. I would NOT reprimand someone for such a thing. She has even done this loudly and within earshot of the lectors, so they’d hear her. Personally, I think it takes guts to be a lector, and quite frankly, I’d be scared to death to read anything from the Bible with her sitting in the crowd!

The Deacon gave the homily one day during Daily Mass (this is allowed on Daily Masses according to GIRM) and he accidentally mispronounced Kateri Tekakwitha’s name. This same friend went up to him after Mass and corrected him on the pronunciation, rather haughtily, I might add. I thought this, too, was totally unreasonable and not a sin and why even bother??? Who cares? This is another example of an act I’d just let go.

I then corrected HER on both these things, and I was somewhat severe, only because she treats other people like dirt and I felt like she needed a small dose of her own medicine. I told her her actions were like that of a Pharisee.

Now, if the priest was not saying “This is my body,” or not saying, “This is … my blood,” I WOULD intervene and I’d do so immediately, but I would do so privately, not publically. I’d intervene because this is grave. Haven’t encounted this yet, but if I do, I’ll do an act of Spiritual Mercy out of love for the Church.


#16

YES to my Catholic friends if it is grave: sterilization or artificial birth control, skipping Mass, not taking the Eucharist seriously, etc… I am the loud-mouthed know-it-all in the group and they still come back for more! haha.

Once in a while I will even ask strangers or co-workers not to use the Lord’s name in vain as it offends me. I figure, in this Politically Correct country I can use PC to my advantage.

I especially love to tease my partner, who is Jewish and often uses the Lord’s name. When she does, I look at her with a twinkle in my eye and say, “Moses!” She laughs, gets the point and tries to curb her language next time. We get a kick out of comparing each other’s faiths. Very fun. We sometimes have fun “ganging up” on our Baptist co-worker whom we get along with well enough to tease. :smiley:

The point is, I believe more people would love to talk about theirs or others’ faiths, but everyone is too dern-nabbed scared to offend anyone. We are getting soft! Once someone makes the first move, it always amazes me how much people really do want to talk about religion.

Gee, it’s like people are starving for direction…


#17

[quote=GoldenArrow]I agree.

NOW …

I have a friend who vocally and harshly criticises our lectors for accidentally transposing words when reading from the Scriptures during Mass. I told her that the people weren’t doing it on purpose, that we’re only human, and that we should be reading along in our Missal books anyway. She then told me, “Don’t start softening up now. What’s the matter with you? I was once a lector, and if you’re going to read Scripture you must do it right!”

[END]

i guess my answer is, i’d say something in certain cases, like
this one… i don’t think you should be ‘reading along in your
Missal’ during Mass, i think you should study the reading before
Mass, then listen to the lector during Mass… you can get the
reading from the National Conference of Catholic Bishops site
if you don’t have a daily reading guide…

nccbuscc.org/nab/index.htm

:slight_smile:

and i bet you will be … gratified when one of the lectors looks
up and sees you listening attentively, rather than flipping pages
in the Missal… thanks
[/quote]


#18

I said maybe, it depends on the situation and it depends on how the person in question is associated with you.

IF the situation involves potential danger and we are basically strangers, (as when a person is being abused). I think we have a duty to report such a thing to the proper authorities. We should not put ourselves in jeopardy unless it is absolutely necessary to save a life.

If it is a stranger and not a danger to anyone else, it probably falls into the none of our business category. If it is a friend or relative then I think we have some responsibility to help out with whatever advice, action or prayer that we can.


#19

I voted an absolute solid definite “maybe”.

My experience has been that the most successful things I have said were silent prayers to the Holy Spirit. Only takes a couple of seconds. One of two things will happen: My mouth will open and the MOST REMARKABLE brief words will emerge…“Hey, those were not MY words…!!!” is the thought that runs through my head as the words come out…

Happens all the time…

The other thing that happens is that the other person opens his or her mouth and THE MOST REMARKABLE BRIEF WORDS come out…

Pray to the Holy Spirit… for direction and guidance. For the right words.

And then, when the incident is over, say a prayer of thanksgiving. Gratitude. [and maybe of relief !!! ] :thumbsup:


#20

First of all, I’d like to shout out to the fellow Texas Catholic who started this thread!!!

Second of all, not only do I speak up (when the situation is right, ie- it won’t make me seem all “holier than thou” and thus hurt the cause instead of help it), but I like to do things that make people bring up the topics I like to speak up about. I’ve got pro-life t-shirts and a “Proud to be Catholic” shirt that I proudly strut around my liberal campus. Even though most of the time strangers won’t come talk to me about it, it makes them think about important moral issues.

I highly recommend wearing such “controvertial” statements out shopping or at parties or anywhere. Just as long as you can take the weird looks you get ( :mad: :frowning: :eek: :ehh: , etc)


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.