Uneasiness with family members

I am a firm believer in moderation.
I am also a firm believer in the Catholic Church. I don’t disagree with anything in the Catechism and I will do my best, as long as I live, to be as faithful to the teachings of the Church as possible.

In recent times, some family members have veered away from a lifestyle of moderation… but not in a negative way. They have become saturated with religion and spirituality in a way that makes much of the family uneasy.

Now, again, reread my first paragraph.
I enjoy praying the Rosary, praying novenas, remembering feast days of saints… etc… in my own way… I find it to be a very private matter, for me. I feel the sense of community prayer at Mass.

However, when visiting these family members I feel like they are pushing their private spirituality onto us.
Every single miniscule aspect of their lives is “religious”. As soon as we walk into their house we have to say a group prayer.
Every single discussion is related to faith/spirituality.
Every single action they make is purposeful within the faith.

Now… as a lover of moderation… this just makes me very uneasy. Not that each of these individual aspects of their life are bad (of course not!), it all just seems very forced. It makes me want to limit my time with them.

Again, reread my feelings on the faith.
But being around them actually makes me QUESTION my level of faith!?! Holy ****, that’s WRONG… I don’t disagree with ONE ASPECT of the Church… but being around them is not fun for me. I want to be able to talk about the football game and enjoy a beer! (just a little moderation in my life, right! :wink: )…

ANY advice is appreciated!

EDITED to add… I didn’t know the word “c_r_a_p” deserved a “****”! LOL!

I don’t think you are wrong to limit your time with them. If you are already living your faith, there is no need to have it forced upon you.

Thank you for your response dulcissima. :slight_smile: I’m surprised over 100 have viewed this thread and haven’t commented. This is my first time on a catholic board so I’m not sure what’s normal.
I guess my situation isn’t very common. :frowning:

I had an immediate image of the Sanhedrin praying so that everyone else could see how holy they were!

Best to pray in a closet (or something like that!).

Do they subscribe to the philosophy that life is to be endured, not enjoyed?

Tough question.

I came from a family similiar to the one you describe.

My parents would ascribe every decision to “God’s Will”, no matter how disasterous the decision would be (they lost first their house, and then their business). Mom wouldn’t get a full time job b/c “God doesn’t want me too.”

You might want to do some searches on the internet about “religious addiction”. It might be eye opening.

Thank you for sharing your story! I have experienced similar feelings/situations.
Please don’t let those experiences degrade your own spiritual life. If it means limiting your time with them, then that’s okay…
God works through each of us uniquely!

Thank you guys. My wife and I want to do the right thing here. I hate the guilty feelings I have when we’re around them. Good to know there are others like this.

[quote=Catholic90]Do they subscribe to the philosophy that life is to be endured, not enjoyed?


HA! Probably. I know I do when we have family functions with them :wink:

I think you are just fine. No one has the right to push their spirituality onto others, no matter how excited they are about it. It’s one thing to share the faith with those interested and quite another to make others uncomfortable by insisting they give up their rights to their privacy and their own spirituality to try to please their host.

I think you should take the head of the family aside and talk to him/her and explain that although you are happy that they have found a new depth to their faith, it’s not appropriate for them to be insisting that everyone who enters their home take it on themselves, too. You might want to suggest s/he have talk with his/her priest about it. I’m sure he’d agree that this is imposing the faith, not sharing the faith.

I agree that “enough is enough”!! Going to a certain realtive’s home for a meal is a real pain…they say the Litany of the Saints before meals, followed up with three Hail Mary’s. The food is cold by the time we are through praying, even though the Litany is said at record breaking speed to the point that no one but the hosts could possibly keep up, we just listen. Besides it smacks of “we are much holier than youy are”. (We don’t go to their home often.)

Love and peace
Mom of 5

[quote=Della]I’m sure he’d agree that this is imposing the faith, not sharing the faith.


[quote=Mom of 5]Besides it smacks of “we are much holier than youy are”. (We don’t go to their home often.)


Thank you. You don’t know how much this has been bothering me. I don’t want to be judgemental in any way and I don’t want to look like I disapprove of their spiritual life, because I certainly don’t! I just need a more moderate lifestyle.
Thanks again, this is really helping me.

I completely agree. My dh and I like to pray one Hail Mary and a Glory be along with the usual blessing. But, when in public or if we have guests or are guests we keep it to the blessing only. It’s not right to impose personal preferences on others, no matter how pious it seems to us, is it? :wink:

My father is charismatic and everything begins and ends with a resounding “Praise the Lord!” Ugh! But I look to the fruits of his life: three marriages, estranged children, business failure, and just a very weird take on life, and realize that what he says matters very little because really, he seems very disconnected from what God might be trying to tell him, and from his own family. Also, people like him just don’t seem to think for themselves. I think it comes in part from a very poor theological formation, and also from avoiding accountability for ones actions. It’s complex and I don’t fully understand, but it’s enough to keep me away from him.

Our extended family also has people like this, dripping with a cushy sort of Catholicism, passing out saints cards, enormous statues of the saints and the Blessed Mother around the house, lots of religious stuff and all I can think of is: “Who are you trying to impress?” Now, I’m all for reminders of saints and Mary, I have statues in my home as well. But not a 36" statue on my television. I find it annoying and I feel that it sugar coats the truth of the gospel: that we all need to pick up our crosses and follow Christ. Those that impress me the most are those who work tirelessly to serve those around them and their parish and broader communities, not those who talk excessively about it. It’s a control issue, fundamentally, because those people think that the rest of us are inferior and that we should strive to be like them. Keep your distance, and you’ll be happier.

How could someone even watch most of what’s on TV with a huge statue like that sitting on top of it? :smiley: When we had the Our Lady of Fatima Pilgrim Statue come visit us for a week, we felt almost disrespectful watching movies with her in the same room!

By the way, we’ve since kicked the TV out of the living room and replaced it with an old desk that we use as an altar. Above that hangs our 4 foot Crucifix. I’m sure many people would be taken aback if they came to visit. But we’re very much hermits, and our home is *our *home to decorate the way *we *want to. We’re the ones who have to live there, and we’re not kicking the altar out in favor of the TV to make others feel at home :rolleyes: I spend so much time in the living room, and it’s just wonderful to pray with all our little holy reminders there (especially since our church doesn’t have a Crucifix in it :()

We just can’t wait for some Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons to come to *our *door :smiley:

As you walk into our front door, you see a beautiful canvas of The Prince of Peace", Thomas Kinkade. When Mormon missionaries come to our door, they are quite amazed. Some just look away, others stand and stare at the beautiful work of art that shows the suffering of Our Lord. Anyone who come into our home knows what faith we are immediately, there is no need to “push” the faith by any other means.

Love and peace,
Mom of 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.