April 23, 2008 at 4:12 am #2243
Okay, so we (me, hubby, son) go over to some friends’ house tonight for dinner. They are the parents of my husband’s best friend and are like grandparents to our son. Most importantly and pertinent to the story is….they are Protestant. I know, no biggie, I mean I used to be Protestant until 3 years ago. I always knew that they were not completely understanding of me being Catholic but still considered me to be “saved” and considered me to be a “spirit-filled” Catholic…whatever that is. I guess that is their way of seperating me from the regular Catholics that they believe to be lacking a “true relationship with Jesus Christ”. Whatever. So while the men are out of the room “Joyce” asks me, “Has your sister and her husband jsut stopped going to Church or have they found a new one?” My sister and her husband were going to her Evangelican church for a while where we would also go sometimes since my husband is still Protestant…ugh.
Well, after a biggo gulp I told her the truth, “Well “Joyce”, my sister and her husband have been going to St. Joe’s.” (Silence, and the dishes she is loading into the dishwasher suddenly become much louder) So I keep going, sensing like she is needing more of an explanation….”Before you think that I had anything to do with this, I am just as shocked as you probably are. Her husband was always so anti-Catholic but then one Sunday he said he wanted to go to Mass and they have been going every Sunday since, he says it feels like home. They are planning on becoming Catholic, they just really feel God calling them in that direction.”
I wait for the response and this is what I got, “Well at least they are going somewhere.” Even as I type this, I still cannot believe she said that to me. I have always respected her beliefs, never condemned her church or anything and she says that!?! Like, well at least thats better than nothing…that how I took it. For the last 5 yrs of our friendship I have respceted her enough to not “get into it” about the whole Catholic/Protestant thing but this was it!!! Time and time again I let stuff go but the Apologist in me was begging to come out. So in the most loving and understanding way possible I answered her questions like, “So whats the deal with the confession thing, havent you read Hebrews?” The funny thing is, I really do understand where she is coming from, I too once believed those same myths about the Church.
She threw alot at me, all lovingly of course, but I see now that I completely under-estimated how much Protestants (even the most sweetest and loving ones) really think we Catholics are lost. They use the only examples they have of Catholics in order to try and prove their point and of course they are the group of Catholics that we ourselves are saddened by…the ones that dont trully understand the truth and beauty of the Catholic Church. I hear, “Every Catholic I have known jsut thought that if they confessed to a priest then they could….” or “they just think that if they go to CHurch on Easter and Christmas then they’re saved”.
Do a little research my Proestant friends before you start casting stones.
So where do I go with this? I am so hurt and bothered by it all. I feel like I now know the truth about how they feel about my faith…MY FAITH!!! If someone was bad-mouthing my children and treating them like they were less than what they really are and said it right to my face, I would never talk to that person again…well, I feel the same way about my Church. Well, in all reality there is nothing I can do about it, I just ahve to get over it. They are going to be in our lives for a very LONG TIME no matter what and up unitl now I was happy about that. Im just so sick of all of this, not being able to talk about my faith in front of certian people because of the persecution.
I guess I should remember:
Rev 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.
1Th 3:7 Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?April 26, 2008 at 2:16 pm #3911
Been there! My husband’s a convert and all his family and lots of mine are Protestant, and the subject of faith is a sore one.I’ve even had my grandmother ask me if I believed all this “catholic indoctrination” (her words).The best thing to do is more of what you’ve been doing, respond calmly and with logic to their arguments. Come prepared for all the usual protestant arguments against the faith (Mary, the sacraments, the Pope, etc). It also might help to realize they’re not really thinking their faith through with reason, it’s all based on their emotions: in a sense, it almost doesn’t matter that you have a response to all their arguments against Catholicism, they will still “feel” it’s wrong.April 26, 2008 at 2:38 pm #3912
My husband’s family is very “emotional” when it comes to their faith. I can’t stand it when I hear things like, “I just didnt get anything out of it” or when his mom says things like, “I just really need to have contemporary music that moves me, then I really feel like I am in His prescence.” My husband is “church shopping” for a new Protestant church right now….fun, fun. With so many Protestants (and I was the same way) the question is never asked, “how does God want me to worship and praise him?” It’s always about “getting something” from the church….which is important but Sunday is not all about us, it’s about HIM!! I explain it like this:
Probably every king that has ever lived has had a protocol. When subjects came before the king there were expectations; a bow, a courtsey, not turning your back until the king/queen has left the room. Queen Elizebeth still expects this of her subjects, why wouldn’t the KIng of Kings?? Yes, He is our heavenly Father and we can always go to him just like a child does when loving her father BUT when we are worshiping, there should be protocol.
I never had to “church shop” when we moved here. There were 3 Catholic Churches and I of course picked the most contemporary (has a teen Mass, thinking ahead w/ kids) and it has a great school; decision made. I don’t think God ever intended for all this chaos and hopping around from church to church, faith to faith. It makes my head spin when I think of all the Protestant churches we’ve visited and I would say 80% of them have had some condemning thing to say in their sermon about Catholics. It shocks me everytime. Why are we a part of their sermons? My priest was making a quick comparison last week about Catholics and Protestants and he did it with so much love and respect, even calling them cousins of our faith.
It helps for me to get some of this out, I need to find a more constructive way though…pray, pray, pray. Sometimes I let it start eating at me when it is so much a part of my everyday life. I tell others it’s not too hard being of different faiths (he really does love and respects me for converting) but if I’m not careful, I could give Saten too much room in our marriage by being angry and resentful…which I feel he is sometimes doing. May peace be with you, GinaApril 27, 2008 at 12:47 am #3913
I was raised Baptist, now Catholic. I married a Catholic but didn’t convert for 10 years. It took me THAT long to get all my questions answered and actually see that Catholicism is based on Scripture. Just remember, they may not be questioning YOUR beliefs as much as questioning their own. They may be asking themselves…”If she (you) is such a smart, nice, friendly, gal and SHE (you) believes in this stuff, maybe it’s worth checking out… you never know, someday they may convert. I prayed for years that God would show my husband how “wrong” he was and I tried to find many arguments against Catholicism. In doing so, I discovered that I believed in what the Church believes and couldn’t wait to convert.
Good luck and keep your chin up!May 12, 2008 at 11:19 pm #3914
I am so sorry Gina. You are really a strong woman to have converted and live in a family such as this….it shows just how much you love the Church and her teachings.
Witness like a Catholic…quiet and humble and with your actions.
I feel so sorry for people who have to look for God’s presence in music, or any feelings…when all they have to do is come Home to the Catholic Church where Jesus is in the Blessed Sacrament.
Something that always come to my mind is that, people, a lot of times, have to make someone or something look bad in order for them to feel good.
Just makes you want to stand up and shout..”why can’t we all just feed the poor and save the unborn and set aside these theological differences!”
Think about St. Monica. She converted her husband and mean ‘ol mother in law..how? By her actions. They saw her peace and wanted some of THAT!
Let it roll over you like water off a duck!
Something else comes to mind. Do you think they (DH and in-laws) believe that you are unsure of your Faith because you attend their church?
God bless! DanaJuly 17, 2008 at 5:34 am #3915
I know this is late in coming, I haven’t been online for awhile but I had to respond…
You know your faith very well, ALWAYS, ALWAYS respond to her with your passion and love for the Church in your voice! Respond to her queries as clearly and of course as gently and kindly as possible. Be very careful to never appear to put down the beliefs that she has always held so dear. She may very well be questioning her own beliefs, even if she doesn’t know it and you have a responsibility to possibly guide her to conversion. Gina, Go over to her house welcoming another chance to answer her questions on Catholicism. Think to yourself, how wonderful that she actually does question you and gives you the oppurtunity to inform her! You would not have a chance to talk to her about Catholicism at all (without sounding like you are trying to convert her and offending her) if she wasn’t asking you the questions.
Thank God for this wonderful opportunity that you have!
CarolAugust 23, 2008 at 2:53 am #3916
I always tell people like this that they must have some faith in the Catholic church as well because CATHOLICS FORMED THE BIBLE!January 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm #3917
Archbishop Fulton Sheen said that there are 3 reasons people are against the Catholic Faith:
3. PrejudiceFebruary 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm #3918
I too am a convert to the Catholic church and I feel like I am the bridge between. I have had numerous talks with my parents (my dad being a protestant pastor) about why I love the Catholic church. I have also talked about the misconceptions between the 2 churches. I have found that it stems from my family not really knowing why the church believes what it believes.
What have you found is the biggest point of tension with your family?
The biggest point of tension in mine is the Eucharist. Through prayer and Bible study I have discovered for myself that what the Catholic Church believes is true and have brought it to light to my parents. Jesus preaches in John 6:22-53 all about the bread of life.
This is only one example.
What I can suggest to you is to keep studying your Bible, back up your beliefs with scripture and you have a sound base. Do you have a copy of the Chatechism of the Catholic Church? It is a great tool the church has given us to strength our beliefs and to talk to others about why the church believes as it does.May 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm #3919
I grew up as a protestant and am now a Catholic. I feel that people criticize other religions out of ignorance. I’ve never criticized any religion that I don’t understand. Jesus taught us to love thy neighbor and that’s how I treat my protestant friends, my Muslim friends, and my Jewish friends. I actually find it fascinating to study other religions. I would love to study other religions in sunday school. While I may not agree with many religions, I understand there beliefs and I respect their beliefs. I just wish everyone was as respectful and tolerant of those that are different than them.
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