I need a little help in identifying what to call my actions, and am looking for some assistance please. I examine my conscience daily and what has been weighing on my heart is the fact that in public (not church, but work or restaurants, or out with most friends) I don’t demonstratively say grace (I do so to myself, but w/o the sign of the cross), nor will I usually get into a conversation about faith and take issue with things (someone’s view about our faith, sometimes falsehoods, etc) as I don’t always know what to say.
I love our God, but the above behaviors are not consistent with such love. I think about all of the people who are killed for their expression of faith and yet I don’t give thanks to God for all of the blessings and graces and sacrifices?
You have identified what you do (or do not do). If you ask yourself the question “why do I not show my love for God in public?” you may find that the answer is “I am afraid of what other people will think of me.” That is usually the answer - it’s called Human Respect. You care more about what other people think about you than what God thinks. This is very, very common. It seems to be a part of the human psyche, as a result of Original sin. Most of us suffer from it in some way and we have to actively work at overcoming it.
Try not to think about it and just do what is comfortable for you and if you continue to feel bad about it then when you are next in confession mention it not as a sin specifically but to seek clarification if it is wrong or not? I am not Catholic so don’t do Sign of the Cross, though many in our church do in the service, but not necessarily out and about. I don’t in church either, only when as an altar server so it don’t like Im being obnoxious or anything but it not something I do. Some of us don’t and some of us do. Is it a sin in the Catholic Church not to do so? If it isn’t, just be comfortable that you don’t.
It is true you do not have to make the Sign of the Cross publicly but the all important question is why? Why do you not want to do so?.
You have to be completely honest with yourself. Is it because you want to hide the fact that you are Catholic? Are you embarrassed? If so why? Every time I see a sportsman publicly make the Sign of the Cross during a match I feel happy.
Recently I read an article from EWTN on the significance of the Sign of the Cross. Among other things I learnt the Sign of the Cross is a mark of discipleship, a declaration that we belong to Christ.
First off, this is fairly normal. Unfortunately we live in a society where mocking adherence to religious beliefs and practices is accepted but expressing support for religious beliefs is not. (In fact I believe most people actually admire those who stand up for their beliefs although most would never admit it.) Secondly, it is possible you do not yet possess the means to effectively stand up for your beliefs in the way you think you should.
My suggestion is to try to change your actions one step at a time. While standing up for your beliefs is never a bad thing, it is probably better if you actually influence your friends and acquaintances to see the truth behind your beliefs. You will probably have more of a long term positive impact on your associates if you don’t seem like a crazy religious zealot.
If it is permitted in your workplace you might have a small crucifix, rosary, or other religious item discretely displayed. (If it’s not permitted then that is a problem that is too big to address in this thread.)
When you are with group of people make sure you don’t mock the religious beliefs of those with whom you don’t agree. If you express disagreement with those beliefs, do so respectfully so that it doesn’t seem you have a problem with religion in general.
Make the sign of the cross often during your day before doing ordinary things like brushing your teeth, getting a drink of water, starting your car, turning on your computer… You don’t want to be superstitious about it. It’s more like you are thanking God for the ability to so what you do and offering what you do for his greater glory. My guess is that you will begin to feel the strength to do so in a more public manner.
Learn more about your Faith and work on your own relationship with Christ. The young often have great enthusiasm for their Faith but that enthusiasm can be dangerous since it lacks experience and wisdom.
I also have this issue. To some extent I guess I am embarrassed BUT NOT OF GOD and of being a Catholic but of people staring at me. I am also naturally a shy person and I also dont want to make the people Im with uncomfortable.
Then again…if they are truly my friends they should not have a problem with it and I need to get over being stared at because maybe I will influence someone else to do the same thing!