Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tired...

Sometimes I get really tired of having to correct all those typical misconceptions about Catholicism. I also get tired of being accused of trying to push my faith onto other people because I see that they have their facts wrong and dare to point it out. I don't care if you agree with Church teaching or not, but if you're spreading misinformation about those teachings, I'm not going to sit back and say nothing. I tend to think that non-Catholics don't understand the constant barrage of completely WRONG info about what we believe that we have to endure as Catholics. It can be extremely frustrating at times, especially because it is really a never ending problem. So yeah, you're tired of hearing me constantly correct misconceptions? Guess what, I'm even more tired of having to do it! I would be so happy never to have to correct a misconception again, to always see my beliefs accurately represented...but I know that isn't happening any time soon. The Father of Lies has done a good job of confusing people and spreading lies about Christ's Church, especially among our separated protestant brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes the constant untruths I hear about my faith really get me down...but I know I have to keep plugging along, and with the help of God's grace, I'll do just that.

Here is a relevant quote from Bishop Fulton Sheen that sums up the problem precisely.

"There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church—which is, of course, quite a different thing. These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics “adore statues;” because they “put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God;” because they “say indulgence is a permission to commit sin;” because the Pope “is a Fascist;” because the Church “is the defender of Capitalism.” If the Church taught or believed any one of these things, it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them. It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against truth. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do."

18 comments:

Flajuben said...

I get really tired in France too... more than I can say !!

Stephanie said...

I imagine so :-/

Sara said...

Stephanie,

I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your gentleness and knowledge when explaining Catholic beliefs. As one who is still in the process of converting, you've helped me understand some of the differences from the CoC. I hope one day to be as well versed as you are.

Keep up the good work!

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Hi Stephanie,

I think you and my friend Tiber Jumper do us Protestants a great service when you continue to clarify for us what you really do believe. I've said before that I prefer to "go to the source" for information. I've found that far too often other people's beliefs are not fairly represented in critiques of belief systems. I say don't get weary; sadly, you'll probably have to do this all of your life.

Tiber Jumper said...

What a suprise to go to your blog this AM and find my friend PA's comment! It's a small blogosphere.

My wife and I live daily what you are saying here Steph. As you, we have lost friends and family and continually get accused of shoving our beliefs in people's face. Some folks would call that "evangelism" if you were on the other side of this discussion.
My wife and I intend to never let anyone who is interested continue to believe the mis-information we accepted for so long. The saddest thing for me is that in 30 years, I met perhaps one or two Catholics who ever challenged my evangelical beliefs.
Other than my dear parents(RIP), whose only defense was "You were born a Catholic you should stay a Catholic and It's not up to you to interpet the Bible" I had no real opposition to leaving the Church of my youth.
We intend to spend the rest of our time here on earth making sure that we live lives that speak the truth and are able to give an answer to everyone that asks. I hope and pray that the "JP2 generation" of Catholics like yourself will continue to grow and overcome the stagnation that has occurred since V2. We have to remember, the Church has gone through much worse over the millenia and still remains.
God bless your apologetic work on the blog, We are new converts/reverts and have found your blog to be so helpful in knowing that "We Are Not Alone"

Prodigal Daughter said...

Tiber Jumper (my husband) and I often go to www.crossdaily.com and chat with Protestants about Catholicism. Last night after sharing my heart felt conversion story to what I assumed to be a sincerely interested/curious seeker, the barrage began. I spent about two hours refuting those same old misconceptions and after a while, it all sounded the same. I feel like I could push the play button on a pre-recorded apologetics tape and even when the tape is over, still be bombarded with "Why do Catholics pray to idols, blah blah blah."

One thing that made me happy as I woke up this morning after a fitful night of sleep was that the chatter's comments about Mary REALLY BOTHERED me. In fact I was tossing and turning all night defending Mary in my mind to all of this chatter's negative assumptions about Our Lady. That made me happy because I realized that my reaction was actually an answer to prayer. Since my re-version, I have asked the Lord Jesus to help me understand and love His mother the way that I should, the way that He does. So maybe these discussions we have with people (if not dispelling the myths) are helping us to get closer to heaven. Blessings and peace!

Kasia said...

Prodigal Daughter, I'd love to talk Mary with you - I'm in RCIA, and I'm having a terrible time with Catholic teaching on Mary, particularly the Immaculate Conception. If it wouldn't be too repetitive or stressful for you, I'd love to hear about your experience and your deeper understanding of Mary since your re-version.

Stephanie said...

Thanks Sara!

PA, see I LOVE talking to protestants like you who are willing to listen. The ones that drive me crazy are the ones who think they know what I believe better than I do (and I'm sad to say I used to be one of those!!)

Thanks for the encouragement, TJ and PD!

Keep plugging along, Kasia, it took me a while to get past the Mary stuff too.

Kasia said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Stephanie!

As for your situation, I can only echo PA, and also cite one of my favorite verses, Galatians 6:9. "And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart." :-)

Stephanie said...

Great verse, thanks! :-D

Prodigal Daughter said...

Kasia,

It's so cool that you brought this up because I am always wanting to talk to other converts about Mary. Please feel free to e-mail me prodigal_daughtr@yahoo.com I have also appreciated the Coming Home Network forum in helping in my understanding of and appreciation for Mary. www.chnetwork.org
God Bless, Deborah (PD)

Cheryl said...

Well spoken, Stephanie. My mom and I had a huuuuge conversation in the car when she was visiting here about misperceptions of the Catholic Church (she was raised Catholic). She almost seemed relieved to be able to talk about it - a "finally, someone understands!" kind of thing (perhaps because it *can be* difficult to find a non-Catholic who is not knee-jerk *ANTI*-Catholic -- note difficult, not impossible). The aftershocks of the Reformation still linger, it seems, and sometimes it almost looks like people are either angry at or afraid of the Catholic Church, neither of which is helpful to coming to a correct understanding of Her.

Stephanie said...

Why can't all non-Catholics be like you, Cheryl? ;-)

Kasia said...

Deborah, I'll e-mail you this weekend! :-)

Stephanie, I've tagged you (for two memes, actually) - go check 'em out on my blog! :-)

Stephanie said...

Will do! :-)

NotMyOpinion30 said...

Hi Stephanie,

I'm right there with you. I was confirmed last November. I come from a pretty anti-Catholic background (not my parents doing, but by the teaching of many pastors, ministers, preachers, and Bible camps). Now that I've converted I have constantly been on the defense. It wasn't a popular move amongst my extended family. I have even been told that I was joining a cult, that it isn't Christian, and heard calumnous remarks about me that I was going to hell if I believed the teachings of the Church. All by my beloved family members! My friends are a bit more willing to listen when I discuss the Church, but even they don't seem to understand.

I can see where they are coming from though. I was exactly the same way two years ago. Thank God for the grace He gave me to come to understand the Church and rid myself of all of those misperceptions. I pray constantly for the conversion of my friends and family members, but at the least, that they will just be willing to put aside their instilled prejudice and try to make an effort to understand the Church's teachings... if anything to at least recognize the Church as Christian! But I have to pray for their conversion instead of the bare minimum then pray for the faith to trust in the Lord's Providence.

Believe me, I know where you're coming from. I feel like I'm getting better at handling it every day, by the grace of God. Hopefully I continue to accept that grace.

Keep defending the faith. That is one of the requirements of being Catholic!

Tiber Jumper said...

Hey Steph:
It's been awhile sicne I posted on your blog, this is an old post but I wrote a song after yet another barrage of dealing with misconceptions about the Catholic Church. I recorded it as a lark and put it on Catholic U tube and has become a popular little tune.
If you have a chance check out Nicene Blues on my blog. God bless

Stephanie said...

Tiber Jumper!!!! That was YOU!!! Lol, I saw it on Mark Shea's blog and LOVED it, great job!