What are your struggles with living in a non-Catholic world?


#1

Hi everyone,

I am just curious about some of the challenges other's face in this secular world. I live in a town where I have no family (which considering my family is a good thing;)) And since I moved here as an adult, I don't have many friends. Also being 40, most people my age have kids and for a single woman without kids, it gets to be a drag at times to hang out with parents.

So..... And I am not complaining just trying to share, here are the things I find hard about trying to mix with non-Catholics and would love to hear other people's struggles

1-) At work, a lot of the girls like to talk about the Bachelor. I think that show is porn for women and try not to cave and watch it. It is hard when everyone else just wants to talk about it

2-) My manager sent a confidential email to a lot of people asking us not to tell she sent it. It was full of dirty jokes. I emailed her back saying I wasn't going to tell but to please never send me those emails again. (Now I am worried there goes my pay raise)

3-) People are forever trying to set me up with divorced men. I really have to repeat often I will not date a divorced man. I am constantly being made to feel I am judgemental for that

4-) I am not materialistic and prefer to brown bag it to lunch. That makes me not one of the gang at work when they go for lunch everyday

So what do others struggle with?

CM


#2

I am very easily influenced. But usually by people who are not trying to corrupt me. I was raised Roman Catholic in a very strict family. And sometimes I’ve very easily influenced by them and can become uptight about things that I normally wouldn’t if I’m with my friends. Sex is a biggg topic to me. I’m very easily swayed on the extremely conservative view as well as the moderately liberal view that its okay to have sex with someone you love as long as you are not being unfaithful to someone you are currently dating or married to.

Right now, I’m feeling more conservative because of the advice people have been giving me on my pre-marital sex thread.


#3

Two of the biggest struggles for me are:

  1. Being taken seriously as a female, conservative, Christian Catholic in a secular world. It doesn't seem to matter how logical you are, no matter how well-reasoned your thinking is, or how well backed up your information is, you aren't taken seriously. At least, I'm not:shrug: I'm usually looked at as "oh...it's that immigrant-raised, foreign-born (because for some reason, those two are already strikes against me), crazy conservative, Catholic girl spouting off her mouth again." And really, I don't even spout my mouth off that much IRL. I do more of that here:cool: However, if it's a subject that the secular worldview sees as unimportant, morally relativistic, etc. for instance marriage and divorce, I get eye rolls. I also tend to get similar responses from people who are Protestant too, from what I've noticed. I once mentioned to people that instead of running to a divorce lawyer, couples should seek counseling, priest intervention, go to Retrovaille or related retreats, etc. I get blasted as if I am all for the "down-trodden-ess" of women everywhere.

  2. Another struggle is how to approach people who are in the process of falling from the faith, or are going to make decisions that are contrary to the faith, and the secular worldview is "do whatever you feel is right." NO, I'm sorry-- but if you believe in God, have some inkling of Christian upbringing, and even admit that you think getting an abortion because you got pregnant by your boyfriend is wrong and sinful, then WHY WOULD YOU GET ONE???

Ugh.


#4

Being a follower of Christ at my age (16) is most difficult and a struggle sometimes.
-Mainly struggling with peer pressure and lust are the top ones for me.
-Also giving testimony to my faith in front of some of my peers.
And as I get older I face new challenges, and new trials, and tribulations. This I fear will get in the way with my relationship my Jesus and in some way drift me further away from him. Which is why I need to arrange my strategics and prepare myself for anything but most of all everything. As long as I have Jesus with me, and receive him in Holy Communion, as well as trust in his mercy I know that I will not be led astray.


#5

I work in an office that is FULL of Mormons. FULL-- the company is owned by one and most of the employees are one. One day, I got GRILLED by my LDS boss because I didn't go have BBQ for lunch on a Friday. I tried to not get into a discussion of religion-- with my boss, mind you-- but ended up in one any way because he WOULD NOT stop questioning me about my faith. I learned a lot about the LDS that day and I think I did a good job of defending my faith as well as clearing up misconceptions about Catholicism, but he's been a bit weird to me ever since. I'm deathly afraid that some day they are going to come into my cube and tell me I have to take down my Our Lady of Perpetual Help prayer card and Nuns Having Fun calendar. sigh

Also, I have a degree in History and Religious Studies and was usually the one known for doing research on stuff and having factoids about things. Now that I've come back to the Church and am really open about being Catholic, whenever I say anything, people think it's because of my being a "religious nut." I told someone the other day about the WHO ruling on the pill, and they actually rolled their eyes at me and said "oh, you're one of those anti-birth control Catholics?" As if there are any other kind, and as if that made scientific fact any less valid....


#6

Well, I am a recent convert and the only Catholic in my family - the rest of my family is largely fundamentalist or of the opinion that "so long as you believe in God, it doesn't matter.," both of which makes outward expressions of my faith difficult (I frequently get interrupted when praying the Rosary, so it is difficult for me to actually make a habit of it) as well as to express any moral opinion about anything, because then the "it doesn't matter" crowd of my family starts to attack me for trying to "push your religion down our throats" even if I am simply replying (I try not to proselytize, but do reserve the right to speak my opinion as much as everyone else). I am also in college, so there are added pressures there I don't need to go into. Also, my girlfriend is not Catholic and is from a very anti-Catholic family herself (we got together before my reception into the Church, but after I had started to attend Mass). It doesn't help that we've had a sort of "falling out" as I've been trying to discern a possible priestly vocation and she likes to be in constant physical contact with me, and so I've tried to put some distance between us for right now. It also doesn't help that as soon as non-Catholics find out I'm Catholic, they begin to ask questions. I did manage to make an arrangement with a classmate of mine: for every question, allow me 48 hrs (I have Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes with this person) to think the question over and to do research to make sure my initial reaction is appropriate. Fortunately, they agreed.

My mother, who has cancer, reports to feel at peace and has no pain (she is in almost constant pain) when she passes by a Catholic Church, but she refuses to go to Mass because she, like her mother, does not like the Faith. My brother, who has both a condition that produces muscular atrophy and a condition called mitochondrial myopathy, has reported the same sensation of physical peace when passing a Catholic Church, but has instead gone to, by pressure from my mother, a Presbyterian church right across the street from my home parish (I admittedly walk through their parking lot when I want to visit the Blessed Sacrament during the school day).

My biological father was raised Southern Baptist, but has since fallen into the "it doesn't matter crowd." And my mother's new boyfriend (if they get married it would be her third - once to my biological father, then my brother's late biological father -who was an Italian Catholic who taught me a great love for Scripture-, then him) and I, while we get along well enough, argue over God a lot. He lost his father to cancer and has been bitter towards God since. He cannot seem to conceive of a loving God, though he does believe in God.

There are days when I ask, "what's the point?" but then I look at a crucifix and understand.

Sorry for the rant, I think I needed to vent, and this thread was the perfect excuse.


#7

I do feel singled out, but it's just part of the cross of life. Since I'm in college, I've heard the usual anti-Catholic claims ("all priests are child molesters", "moms with kids are irresponsible b*tches", etc). I sometimes even get slammed by my own family :(. But thanks to Mass, adoration, and the rosary, God has helped me keep my integrity and never compromise my Catholic principles (that, and I can be as hard-headed as a mule).


#8

[quote="JackVk, post:7, topic:226033"]
I do feel singled out, but it's just part of the cross of life. Since I'm in college, I've heard the usual anti-Catholic claims ("all priests are child molesters", "moms with kids are irresponsible b*tches", etc). I sometimes even get slammed by my own family :(. But thanks to Mass, adoration, and the rosary, God has helped me keep my integrity and never compromise my Catholic principles (that, and I can be as hard-headed as a mule).

[/quote]

Hahaha, the hard-headed-ness reminds me of me! I think sometimes stubbornness is truly a blessing from God.


#9

That it is :slight_smile:


#10

I struggle with always being the one who goes to church service and no one else bothers.
But lately, i don't see the value in it, so I struggle with THAT too!

I also struggle with seeing so many catholics think that marrying divorced people is ok as long as they have received an annulment. The lack of permancey of marriage in today's society (ANY religion) really bothers me.


#11

[quote="ChrisCrop, post:10, topic:226033"]
I struggle with always being the one who goes to church service and no one else bothers.
But lately, i don't see the value in it, so I struggle with THAT too!

I also struggle with seeing so many catholics think that marrying divorced people is ok as long as they have received an annulment. The lack of permancey of marriage in today's society (ANY religion) really bothers me.

[/quote]

Ditto on that. My mother and I were watching some of The Farmer's Wife on DVD tonight.
It is about Darrel and Juanita Buschkoetter and their three daughters in rural Nebraska.
I hadn't seen this documentary in quite some time, and to learn that after all the hard work they did to keep their farm and their marriage together, they are now married to other people.
Divorce strikes a personal nerve for me from a adult child's point of view.

I hate hearing about divorce and the utter disregard for the institution (and sacrament) of marriage. Some great insight on this topic and its relevance to the same-sex "marriage" issue is here


#12

Ugh, the sex! The sex! It's everywhere!

And don't get me wrong, in the right and proper place it can be beautiful, wonderful, wholesome...I'm (fairly) sure.

But it's not. Slapped on posters, shoved through the airwaves. Station after station, channel after channel. Website, website, website!

Y'know what I plan to do? Ha, ha! You know what I'm going to do?

:rotfl:

I'm going to **beat **them at their own game, oh yes!

Statues.

And icons and posters and billboards, I'll inundate my environment with heavenly images. They'll have no choice but to look at them. To see them. I won't suffer a shadow to creep in, so many torches I'll light!

One day!

One day...


#13

Oh boy do I have a list. And seeing as I've been suppressing the desire to complain for the past few weeks now, I can only be glad to find an outlet.

  1. I hang around the most green-minded people on the planet. And by green, I don't mean environment-friendly.

  2. As much as I respect and love my friends for being friends, I just cannot respect the philosophies some of them live by. From hedonism to nihilism, nothing tells me more about the rise of secular infestation than what it has done to their minds.

  3. My siblings are closer friends with the people in #1. And while I'm the eldest, they listen to them more than they do me. Go figure. The worst part is, the most obnoxious, anti-religious of them all (and one I actually have true enmity with) is the one who's got the most influence in their local hang out spot. I mean seriously, this guy takes all his views on religion from 4chan. What an idiot...

  4. My family (parents in particular) have bought in to The Secret and the whole positive-thinking movement. What makes it harder for me is the fact that, overall, it's what kept them striving hard in their business venture (and keeps our family fed).

  5. I guess the saddest thing of all is I can't say anything about it. Once I open my mouth, people see me as the villain. That's just how my life's been rigged and I can't do anything about it. People like me better as the guy who doesn't open his mouth and plays the open ear. Then again, not like expressing my views is going to change them (especially since I've got a lot of failings on my part as well with the only difference being I'm not proud of them).

When I think about it though, I suppose there's a good reason. It's through them I learned how secular world thinks and I can at least come and "report back" to religious people here with what they're dealing with. (Seriously, a lot of traditional folk here really like to oversimplify them and think they can just water it all down with a return to Latin and hellfire preaching. :rolleyes:)


#14
  1. The secular world's self-imposed ignorance. I got into a discussion with someone RE: contraception vs. NFP and I provided strong edvience for NFP and why condoms weren't stopping the HIV problem, instead of refuting my information or offering a counter, this chap replied with "you really are brainwashed". People seem to think if the Church teaches it there's no science or logic behind it, and they're too scared, lazy or stupid to go looking for the truth.

  2. Friends trying to set me up with completely inappropriate guys, such as the OP said, divorced men, and even seperated men, still legally married!!! O_O Not to mention, one guy a work accquitence is trying to set me up, the first thing she said when I asked about why I should "date" him... her response "he has a monster sized [male appendage]" -_-'

  3. I work with a former abortion nurse, so I sometimes have to be very tactful in expressing the truth of abortion when the conversation when it comes up. She's a lovely woman though, but has a lot of all kinds of family and emotional problems.

  4. Rude jokes and inappropirate things. Jokes, images, et al.

  5. Trying to guide and inform friends of a "better" way to relationships. ie., not lustful thinking.

Of course, Christ warned us that this is not meant to be an easy road for us.


#15

my struggles are many and deep. Its been a tough road trying to raise 3 kids in a world surrounded by sex, drugs and filthy language. Its everywhere! tv, radio, coworkers, even family members who are also catholic! Satan is at work and his work is getting easier and easier for him in the world we live in. I had 4yr olds ask me "who's Jesus?" Never heard his name before! Its heartbreaking! As far as struggles with non-catholics and anti-catholics over Catholic ways.. thats been a tougher road. They won't even take time to listen to anything you have to say. If its a Catholic view, its wrong before they even hear it and to them, they MUST "save" us Catholics! I've had one person, as much as I prayed with him, talked about God with him, read the bible together, the Godly morals and values I have, had the nerve to add my name to his church's prayer list asking people to pray that I be saved!!! Tell me I wasn't floored!!! and so hurt!!! All because I'm Catholic. All I can do when I come across people like this is pray, "forgive them Lord, for they do not know what they are doing."


#16
  1. People who hear you're religious and suddenly start attacking your beliefs. This always annoys me because I'm not an argumentative person and not good at explaining my beliefs even when I personally understand them perfectly. I don't attack people for their beliefs or try force my opinions on other people so it bugs me when people don't show me the same respect. No-one takes you seriously.

  2. People who make rude jokes. Such as those who make jokes about abusive priests. Some friends of mine did this recently and I was so upset because it's not funny and totally disrespectful. Another person made a comment about Pope Benedict being a Nazi (due to having been forced to join Hitler Youth as a child) and I got so angry because it was such pure ignorance.

  3. I'm in college and the culture revolves so much around drinking and sex that it was easy to fall into and much harder to pull away from. The expectation of people is that you will want those things and if you don't it's hard not to care about that judgement.

  4. Trying to find someone who share your values and wants the same things as you.


#17

I feel that most things are a struggle these days. I feel like a weirdo because my beliefs and morals are so different. I find it difficult to communicate with people, especially when they are atheists. I'm sick and tired of ignorance and bigotry. For so many years I was very intimidated by all of that and was very quiet about my faith. I have friends that only recently realised I was a practicing Catholic. Of course, it is my fault that my fears caused such walls between me and friends, but I simply couldn't bring up my faith, knowing how they felt about religion and religious people (that we are strange, at least.).

I think the most difficult thing now is that I am a mother and am so concerned about how my children will grow up with so much filth around, considered completely normal by this society. I've distanced myself from many people and feel much better for that. I don't want to conform all the time, and worry whether they will judge me. I've been seeking the company of other Catholics and that makes such a difference in my life.

I understand now what Jesus said about the servant not being greater than the master, and how our faith will separate us from other people, even from family members and those we love. It is difficult to be a Christian but he is with us, so that gives me courage.


#18

I just want ot thank everyone for their great responses


#19

quote="Lost_Wanderer, post:13, topic:226033"

[/quote]

Could you explain this part a bit more, or give an example? I'm not really sure what you're talking about here.


#20

[quote="exoflare, post:19, topic:226033"]
Could you explain this part a bit more, or give an example? I'm not really sure what you're talking about here.

[/quote]

It's just my allusion to some Traditionalist here who think they can solve problems like pornography or the rise of 'immodesty' by simply scaring people with hell or somehow making an obscure conspiracy connection between the rise of secularism (or what they call 'modernism') and the rejection of the Latin mass. :P


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.