There have been some thoughts weighing on me for a while. I am hoping in writing about this, I can gain some clarity.
Some of you know that when I was 10 years old, my Dad was ordained a Deacon in the Catholic Church. Unlike the rest of my siblings who were adults or nearly adults, I lived many years being called the Deacon's daughter. Friends would often claim that I wouldn't do this or that because of my Dad being a deacon. There were many things I chose not to participate in as a tween or teen, but it was mainly because if it was wrong in the eyes of the Church, well then, it was just wrong. I was far from perfect, but my slightly OCD self just liked to play by the rules (I still do).
Anyway, there were times growing up and even now when I have been asked why the Church teaches a certain issue a certain way. Birth control is the one that comes to mind. I think that I had friends who felt that with my Dad being a Deacon, I must know the answer. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't. If I did, I was always careful to say that the Church teaches such and such, and as I got older, I found the need to add, "Look, I practice what the Church teaches, you asked for the teaching, HOWEVER, there is no value judgement in this statement." I am far from perfect, and I would never judge someone for their life choices. I might be saddened, but I am not the judge. I leave that up to God.
Earlier this year, I had a blow out with a friend. The exact circumstances don't matter. She left the Church a long time ago. She also made some life choices that sadden me, but all I could do was pray for her. Long story short, she cut me out of her life, because she said I was too judgemental. Truly, I am OK about this. I had a priest tell me in Confession that I needed to cut ties with her. I still pray that one day she will rejoin the Church, but I also know that I am a much more peaceful person now than I was when she was in my life.
This wasn't the first time I have heard this. I have also been called too Catholic. I don't feel that is the case. I feel like I could do and be so much more. I have changed a lot over the past few years. Having children, real life practicing Catholic friends and quite honestly, meeting such wonderful Catholic women in the blogging community have made me desire to be closer to Jesus. I am just trying to figure out how to handle these situations. I never want to come off as judgemental. I just love the Church and all of her teachings, and I want to follow those teachings without being criticized for my beliefs.