05 July 2009

On my heart...

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.


Nancy said...

I couldn't agree more! I think I've been "defriended" on FB for this very reason. However,I have a terrible problem with judging others. It's the #1 thing for me...every time in confession. Sigh....It's not just being judgemental...as much as my "righteous" attitude. I'm working on it. But, with all that being said.....I can not stand it when people complain about the church...or call themselves Catholic but then live and make choices that is the opposite. I recently posted an article on FB that is AWESOME...called "Are You Really Catholic". It's worth a read.
Anyway...I know how you feel. Hang in there...you're doing God's work.

Homeschoolmum4Christ said...

Hi Therese,
You (I) can't have one foot in the world, and one foot in Christianity, for invariably there is at least one person that you're (I'm) going to upset.

The verse that I keep close is:
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

I suggest that those criticising you are not comfortable in their own beliefs, and that it is their way of coping with their inadequacies.

Too Catholic - no way! If you are following the teachings in God's Word, you will be blessed indeed.

Sarah said...

Well, for Petes'sake! How I get by with this is more prayer. If the person is confrontational or cuts me off, life goes on. I pray more. There is much in this life that must needs be left to God, yeah? Some former friendships are among the many things. Besides, Christ did say something along the lines of as He was hated, so will you be if you live as He lived.

Live as He lived. The benefits are out of this world!

Nikki said...

I know exactly how you feel. Sadly, these situations occur too frequently, sometimes even within our families.

We all have a natural desire to be liked. We want to please those around us (especially us slightly OCD'ers). I think it is important to remember that a true frien is not someone who is likable, but someone who truly has the other's best interest at heart.

I also think the advice to pray more is good. I especially like to pray the litany of humility to remind myself it is not my job to convert (that is up to God), it is my responsibility to put aside my own human desires for friendship and affection and be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.

I will say a prayer for you and your friend today. Thank you for being strong enough to be a beacon of the truth.

Jamie said...

It is so hard to live in the real world, isn't it? I love to put myself in my little blog and homeschool bubble but then it makes the real world people much harder to be "Christ like" to.

Prayers coming your way!

Dawn Farias said...

Bless your heart. That's hard. I have been in a few similar situations. Sometimes, time works it out and other times nothing gets worked out and I realized my life is better for it.


Aussie Therese said...

oh Therese,

So many times I have felt like you. I think when people say don't judge me they are saying I really don't like you telling me that you don't agree with my decisions. As humans we want others approval and when we don't get it we need to come up with reasons why. The she is way too judgmental is a classic reason for some people who really don't want to look and see what the truth is.

Anne said...

It is so hard to lose a friend! I think it is the most painful thing there is! But, God has His reasons for allowing us to go through that pain and it is obvious from your post that you put God first in everything, which you know is the right thing to do. Too Catholic? There is no such thing! Maybe it is your friend who is being judgmental of you!