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Full Version: Am I a good example or am I an idiot?
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I have a whole group of people that I see often that are like family to me. I've really adopted them as family (and they me) especially because I don't really have much family myself. I've known them since I was an infant. They are all fallen away Catholics. A few years ago I started getting grief for being a Catholic. I think they see it as a sport. They began to bombard me with priest jokes (the really nasty ones) and they also started to really bust on Catholics as a whole. I stood my ground then, I defended the Church, had my say, and made it clear this was not cool. I stayed in the "family," I thought it had passed--gone and behind us. I've never, ever once gave these folks grief for the way they live their lives. I never once went around hollering "Sinners!" I had thought about limiting our contact, but I didn't do it for many reasons, including the fact that maybe I could be a good (well, an okay) representative of the Catholic faithful. They called us hypocrites too many times to count, maybe I wouldn't be such a hypocrite as they thought, right? (They never seemed to claim I was a "hypocrite" personally, just "Catholics" as a whole) Or maybe they would see that I was happy in my Faith and wonder why. If it was so bad, why would I be happy and mostly-not hypocritical? Maybe they would see that what they thought of the Church wasn't totally true.

Well...this weekend I got BEAT UP--verbally. I got it every way, backward and forward, flat out told what they thought of Catholics. Almost every one in the group we were with had their turn to say. And they were on a roll, let me tell you. We were %*#&&^# hypocrites. (Ain't everybody?) The priests are rapists. The pope is in trouble for covering it up. The curse words were flying. They let me know they absolutely hate the Church (or what they think is the Church) with a passion, and with their actions, also let me know they don't really give a rat's patootie about me. I parried each thing they were throwing at me VERY calmly. But what I did not do was get mad and say, To hell with this, I'm outta here. I did not yell (like I wanted to). I did not cry (which was hard, I was hurt) I defended the Church, but as for the disrespect for me personally for doing this I didn't say anything. Yet. I was getting ready to, when I calmed down, but then my friend, who has been one of the ringleaders in this for a few years and has always given me the hardest time for not believing in birth control, asked me for the first time about the "whys" of no birth control. And she listened all the way through the answer without telling me what crap it all is.

So the question is: Am I an idiot for staying (and should therefor ditch this situation) or should I try to stick it out, even though I get hurt?
That's a pretty awful situation - sorry you had to go through that.  Well done for keeping your composure though - there's no way I'd be able to do that; fists would be flying.

I'm not sure what you're asking though - are you asking if you did the right thing in staying until the end of their nonsense?  Or are you asking if you should stop seeing these people altogether?
When that sort of extreme behavior has occurred in my relationships in the past, I've broken them off. I have the advantage of living in a city and therefore being able to be pickier with my relationships, as it were.

But if they were actually using expletives and all that, I don't see the purpose of spending time with such folk. I think you'll be able to discern that eventually for yourself, but for me what you describe is a "pearls before swine" situation... and even though these fine folks were once like family to you, they're rejecting you and they don't seem to be "safe people" for you anymore. Also - "bad company corrupts good character".

On the other hand, maybe they just wanted to "get it out of their systems" and things will return to normal - a truce of sorts may occur. I've had some "close calls" with some friends. At a minimum, they need to understand that they have to respect your faith for the relationship to continue I think. Eventually you could confront them about that, and this will be the true test of their friendship. In other words, if they aren't willing to at least "live and let live" and not smear your beliefs, I'd question how close these people really are to you.

Just some thoughts, I think human relationships are very difficult to judge from afar. I pray you make the right decision.  Pray Certainly my own family had given me their share of pot shot towards Catholicism, but it's good-natured and we just agree to disagree.
Ask yourself why they want to remain friends with you if you're such an eeeeevil hypocrite Catholic. Are you their punching bag? Personally, I'd shake the dust from my feet and walk away.

Quote:and with their actions, also let me know they don't really give a rat's patootie about me.

That would be the deal breaker for me. I have non-Catholic friends, and we have opposite beliefs an many things but we like each other and we usually just avoid those conversations. I got to hand it to you RR, I would've gotten super mad, said some choice words and walked out, slamming the door. And maybe end up keying someones car to boot.
I had this happen, and the funny thing was, one of the people in the group was an ex Augustinian brother who hates this pope and anything remotely traditional.
Needless to say I broke off contact with them.
I am sure they would have done it as well, since i was told that I was a bigot for claiming the Catholic Church is the true Church.
I know. I get the same garbage from my luke-warm family, my heretical prot brother. (sigh!) And some of my friends. I never stop defending the Church of our Blessed Lord's.
I guess it depends on your personality.  If you like abuse, stay.  They have no respect for your beliefs and maybe none for you, shake the dust from your shoes and walk away.  At least , they might have respect then.  I suspect they wouldn't change their thinking even if the pope were to show up at their doorstep.  I highly doubt they will let up until you cave.
Sounds like you took their best shots and you're still standing.  They certainly can't call you a coward.  Whenever a Catholic confronts someone about non-Catholic views, that person usually bails out with a couple of insults. 

I suggest you pray on the situation about what to do.  If your faith is in danger, get away from them, if not, you may be an instrument of God for conversion. 
Good for you!  God Willing, in the next life, I think you will find that you earned great merit from this experience by sharing in Christ's persecution.  And by suffering through those "slings and arrows" you found your way to a teaching opportunity.  Don't expect an immediate and miraculous change of heart in any of these people but give that seed you planted time to grow.  On the other hand, you need not be a doormat for these people.  I'd suggest you withdraw for some time but give them the opportunity to apologize (i.e. let them come to you).

I hope I will be as strong as you if ever tested like that.  I'm sorry your feelings were hurt and I hope you'll find the strength to forgive them.  Aww, there now
I've found that ex-Catholics are the most embittered towards the Church and other Catholics. They have to be in order to justify their own apostasy. While Protestants are often ignorant and self-righteous in their views on the Church, ex-Catholics have known and rejected and it leaves them angry and twisted. In my own extended family, who are all fallen away/NO/nominal Catholics, we've endured more shunning and rumors at their hands, whereas my one Protestant aunt (can't remember denomination) has been most appreciative of our traditional bend and most open to the good that has come out of it. She still rejects Catholicism but she sees us as living our Faith and appreciates that whereas our mainly-fallen-away-Catholic family see us as religious freaks. But it's to be expected, they have to belittle us as freaks in order to justify their own depravity.   

These are tough situations to discern. The desire to be a good example and an instrument for conversion is a noble desire but be aware that Satan often uses that to put us in situations that will only bring us down in the end. There is so much truth to the "pearls before swine" idea, the problem is how do we know when to keep going and when to back away? I still don't know how to tell the difference very well but I have found that those good situations happened more "by accident" while the evil ones happened when being an instrument of conversion was my own idea. Be mentally prepared to possibly have to separate yourself. Sometimes that's the hardest Cross to bear, the loneliness of not being "of the world" and not having "normal" relationships with family and friends. However if they are like family and you think not only that you can withstand the abuse, but that some good is coming of it, just keep praying on it and hopefully it will turn out to be a situation that bears good fruit.

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