Trying to be devout!


#1

Over the past 8 or 9 years I have done a lot of self-study about the Catholic faith and have tried to apply the principles to my life and how I raise my boys. My New Years resolution for my faith life was to pray the rosary daily and be a more “Christian” person altogether (i.e. clean up my language, be kinder, calm my temper) etc…

Last night I’m at a function at the Catholic high school that my son attends. I go out afterwards with some Moms and some of them were talking about a particularly devout Catholic mother who is not in attendance. I felt the need to defend this woman and am absolutely shocked at some of the things that come out of these seemingly Catholic women who are paying big bucks to send their kids to Catholic school. We were talking about Sunday mass and the difficulty with teenagers and getting them motivated to go. One of them actually spoke up and said that the Catholic religion is the only religion that taught that it is a mortal sin if you miss mass! I kindly told her that is part of our Catholic faith. She went on to say that pushing religion down a kids throat will only worsen the problem and that since I have all boys unless they marry Catholics, they will likely leave the church for whatever faith their wives are! I again kindly told her that my own mother converted to the Catholic faith when she married my father (a boy!). The discussion eventually went to birth control and the archaic (sp?) views of the Catholic church. Also, the fact that the Catholic church changed it’s views (I’m assuming Vatican II) due to the numbers that were leaving. I told her that I don’t think our Faith should be compromised or changed based on what feels good to some!

I have to defend myself to those outside the church but why those that are supposedly Catholic? I feel that if I were to just sit by in this whole conversation and said nothing they all would have felt that I agreed with their views! I just can’t do this! Why is it so hard for some to accept the fact that some of us do follow the teaching of the Church? It’s as if they are trying to defend themselves against those of us who have chosen a more devout way! They don’t have to defend themselves to me because I have 3 people (my boys) and myself to answer for in the end.

I guess I just needed to vent.


#2

Unfortunately, you were with a group of Cafeteria Catholics. But I am proud of you defending our faith. That’s what we are all called to do. Ask the same women if they have to force their kids to get out of bed to do anything…especially go to school. I can guarantee you they would not hesitate to get them to go to school and feel guilty that it would make some horrible impression on them in the future. The first commandment is to put God first…above all things. And if we don’t, then we are sinning against this commandment. God is first in our family, and my sons who are now college age recognize that. And even though they now go to college away from home, they still attend mass because we instilled good habits in them at an early age.

As human beings we need to make good habits, just as surely as bad ones. If we fall out of attending mass regularly, we are hurting ourselves as much if not more by taking up some bad habit like procrastination. Keep defending your faith. You will find that sending your kids to Catholic school is not keeping your baptismal promises to God alone. We need to live our faith and set good examples to them above all, In the way we treat our neighbor too…Raising your children as Catholics means keeping all the commandments including attending mass!
God bless you! Pray for these parents! On this feast of the Epiphany, may they feel your prayers for their own “epiphany of heart”


#3

It’s obvious that these women have been poorly catechized and are taking their views more from society than from the Church.

People will always make excuses for what they don’t want to do or believe. It’s a sad reality of life in any church, I’m afraid.

You are a light to these women, and even if they seemed to blow off what you had to say, at least they heard it from someone and it may prick their consciences enough to want to look into conforming their ideas and behavior to that of the Church.

So, don’t despair. Jesus told us there’d be tares among the wheat. But, we can pray for them and be a witness to the truth, in love, just as you were and are. There is hope in people like you who are faithful to the Church.

Also, you may want to have a little discussion with your priest to let him know the kinds of things these women think is all right and still be Catholic. Not to snitch on them, of course, but just in general terms, as you told us here. It might or might not be an eye-opener for him, as well. :wink:

God bless you and your family. As long as you teach the faith to your boys with love and understanding, they will remain faithful to it as they become adults. If you prepare them for what they will encounter in the world and amongst their own fellow Catholics at each stage of their lives that would draw them away from Christ and his Church, you will be arming them for whatever comes their way. No matter what their age, if they know their faith and love the Lord, nothing will be able to pull them away from him or the Church.


#4

What a great example regarding getting your kids to go to school. Another thought that comes to mind is all of our sons are involved in a high school sport on the same team - I know for a fact that missing practice or a competition would NEVER happen!

Thanks for the encouragement!


#5

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.