Being Catholic in a Secular world


I can remember the first time I realized that everything I needed to know about life could be found in my church from birth.  I was one of the lucky ones to be born and raised in the fullness of Truth.  Yet, I think many cradle Catholics need to go through a re-version in order to fully understand what they were born into.  I know that when it finally dawned on me, the overwhelming peace and joy, I felt, was incredible.  Now, I had seen the light, I no longer needed the restraints and rules that the Catholic Church taught, because I had no desire to break them (at least the serious ones…still working on the many venial bad habits).  I was no longer a slave to sin, or this world, I was a free and loved child of God.

I never comprehended how hard it would be to hang out with your “old” friends, coworkers and even family, who are more in line with the secular way of thinking and view the Church as nothing but a set of rules.  For instance, after much research and reading different Facebook debates, I finally realized that the Church was right, on their teachings, about sex and contraception. I eagerly wanted to share my excited news abut Natural Family Planning with my friends, but I didn’t expect the backlash, the doubt and the  ridicule.  After that incident, I pretty much clammed up about the topic. I’ve even learned to bite my tongue when coming to the Church’s defence on controversial issues, like abortion, female ordination, and other scandals,  to avoid a heated debate. It’s not that I was afraid too, but rather my approach of “taking the other on” in a debate, didn’t seem to be working.  I will still engage in debate, but I try to meet them where they are, while recognizing it’s not me that is going to change their hearts, but the Holy Spirit.

It can also be hard living in a secular world when friends ask you to do things, that you find morally objectionable.  How do you say no without sounding judgmental? No, sorry I don’t want to see Magic Mike because I don’t think we should objectify people.  But, if you make some lame excuse about how you’re busy, isn’t that cowardly?  It’s like you’re afraid to share what you believe, but if you don’t share, how else will the Gospel be spread?

I’ve just come to realize how difficult it is to have truly strong friendships, when you cannot honestly share what is most important to you, and you’re left with superficial topics to keep the friendship alive.  On the other hand, I don’t think one should surround themselves with only like minded people, but it is also not healthy for you to be surrounded by people whose world views are so opposed to your own.  You need to have a strong community of believers in order to strengthen your faith

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5 Responses to Being Catholic in a Secular world

  1. Maybe if you have to resort to superficiality, the friendship isn’t strong to begin with. Over time, you may find that you gravitate towards people who support you and strengthen your faith while the people with whom conversation is superficial figure less and less in your life.

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  2. Love the post, and I totally know how you feel. For me I have discovered, that I am called to answer the questions I am asked. So say, “No I can’t go to the movie.” They ask why, you tell them; they don’t you move on.

    FYI it’s great to see a Catholic Teacher blogging honestly. Keep it up!

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    • Yea, I’ve been finding that only explaining if they press is the best way to handle it. If they think I’m being judgmental or think I’m better than them I can’t control that.

      Thanks for the encouragement it’s a lot easier to find time to blog during the summer 🙂

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  3. L. Guenther says:

    I can totally relate. Thank God I married my best friend, who shares my faith. Otherwise, I would be totally alone….the only “faithful” Catholic I know. It is very hard and I am always searching for others who understand my faith and how it shapes every aspect of my life.

    I work in the schools, too!

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