What is the proper response when people say/do sacrilegious things near you?

I struggle with scrupulosity, and unfortunately some of my peers in school and other extracurricular activities enjoy making jokes that I find sacrilegious. I try to avoid participating in the joke or conversation, by embellishing it or laughing at it, but am unsure of what the proper response should be. Is it a sin of omission not to correct people for saying sacrilegious things? What if they’re not Catholic? Also, how does the context fit in: what if somebody says it specifically to me, or if I’m in a group conversation, and somebody says it, but not to me in particular? I struggle with social anxiety so I feel uncomfortable chastising or correcting someone (plus some people simply don’t care, or worse are argumentative), but I don’t want to be committing a sin against God either.

Offer a prayer for them that the Holy Spirit will help you to know your place, St. Paul to pray for God to give you boldness you desire, our Mother to grant you grace to handle it and Jesus to cover their irreverence. This is the priesthood of the believer.

It would be good to offer that prayer just after they do these things while they are there. Start quietly, to yourself, until you work up to do it publicly.

It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict.

Begin re-defining yourself to them - let them know you are Catholic and you love being Catholic and love your Lord.

How? When a friend asks me what I am going to do this weekend, I will tell him that Saturday morning I am going to a Bible study, then I will do some skiing. And Sunday, after Mass I will be going for a long drive, etc. If asked what I did last night, I might say that I spent a couple hours reading Thomas Aquinas (which I do every night, though normally only a half hour). You can do it in small talk like this. People are always wondering what you did or what you are planning - include your Catholic activities. No one will give it a second thought, unless they are also interested in it.

But, over time they will come to know you as “the Catholic”, without any uncomfortable confrontation. And some, if not many, will begin to look more closely at their humor and how it might come across to “the Catholic” - they will care about not offending your sensibilities.

Let them know you, the Catholic, in little everyday comments.

I have a big problem with people using the Lord’s name in vain, I just detest it. I always say a short “Jesus, please forgive them” prayer if I encounter it when I’m out in public, but when it started happening in my workplace due to a couple new employees, I had to speak up and tell the one(s) who were offensive that I wouldn’t tolerate hearing my Lord’s Name spoken in vain like that.

It worked, there was no resistance at all. They said they were sorry and for the most part it stopped. A few slip-ups afterwards, but it went well. I think most people don’t even realize that they are bothering someone (much less offending our Lord) with their words or behavior. Most people do not intend to be offensive and will make the effort to stop if you tell them how much it bothers you. Good luck.

My brother’s response to people who used the Lord’s name in vain was simply to say “Sorry, God” . Depending on the person, this could happen a dozen times in just a few minutes, which usually pointed out to the person how often the Lord was being offended. My brother never actually confronted the offender, but simply kept directing his apology to God. Eventually, most people caught on and stopped the behavior, or at least realized that it was going to be very difficult to have a conversation with him if the behavior continued.

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