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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
Learn More: Tobias & Sarah as led by Saint Raphael

Oct 5th 2012 new

Dear Robin, most of my experiences with converts are that they are usually more aWare of the tesachings of the church than cradle Catholics They also had the courage and convicTion to take that leAp of faith the fact that a women was a convert would excite me and challenge my lazinees ghood luck dan

Oct 5th 2012 new

Hello Robyn,

Welcome home! We're very glad to have you join us, and it certainly sounds like you're off to a great start!

Please allow me to contradict, or at least add nuance, to what has gone before. I am a cradle Catholic on my mom's side. Her family is Irish with a Frenchman in the woodpile and no record of anything but Catholics for a dozen or more generations. There is every reason to expect that our ancestors have been practicing the Catholic religion for fifteen hundred years or more. That's pretty cradle!

In my experience, the stereotype is that converts are zealous and cradlers are ignorant. There's a lot to be said for that view. Many or most converts at some point come to a point where, after some resistance, feel like they are opening the best Christmas present ever and get the thrill of just keep opening it and finding more present, on and on, more opening and more present! Some of them bring their spouses along with them, and some of them tick their spouses off; some tick their spouses off, and THEN bring them along! Also, I've known folks, Catholic from the cradle, having attained twenty, forty, or sixty years of age who do not know their Hail Mary or do not know that the Immaculate Conception was of Mary, not of Jesus. Pretty basic stuff.

But there's also problems with that view. For starters, a lot of cradlers love our faith and do understand it very well. Others feel our faith a tremendous support even if it is one that we cannot articulate. Sometimes, one cradle spouse wakes up while his or her spouse still sleeps in faith, going through motions, but without much thought. This can lead to many of the same dynamics mentioned above. A good friend of mine lost her first child a few weeks after she was born, and the process of being with her child dying woke her heart up to something entirely new in Christ, something she had not seen in Him in the twenty five years the preceded. She went from bewildered to giving her child as a gift to God in only a matter of days in what can only be described as a powerful conversion.

We're all called to be turning toward Christ, to conversion, all the time. It is to be expected that we will do it at different rates and at different times of life with different degrees of consciousness and decision. And the thing is that a convert often expects they will come to a point where they are "done". One friend has told me - and she's Catholic five years now - she feels herself less Catholic than she did when she started, less Christian even. What she meant was that she realizes now that having read the Catechism isn't the graduation date. I spent three and a half years in seminary and have made reading, writing, and praying our life of faith a regular way of life for fifteen years, since my own "reversion" or "waking" back in college. We can never probe deeply enough into the heart of God, and the Church is nothing more or less than His Body. Conversion, St. Paul tells the Romans that they must not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of their minds. For Hindus, this means a lifelong process of changing from thinking like Hindus to thinking like Christ. For worldly or secularized or apathetic Catholics, this means a lifelong process of changing from not caring that much and thinking in very flat terms to taking in the world from a transcendent perspective. For Protestants, something of both kinds of change may be needed - unwrapping the gift of a faith they never knew they had or wanted, and letting it replace old ways of thinking. My friend, mentioned above, has commented that learning to be Catholic wasn't just memorizing seven sacraments, but learning to think sacramentally about everything. For me, the process has been one of learning to see all of reality - including myself and my own behavior - in light of the Paschal Mystery and Eternity and a Calling from God.

It's a bit different for everyone, but the same basic process is needed in each of us, isn't it?

Speaking as a cradle Catholic, I can agree with everyone that converts, conversion stories, and converts’ excitement totally thrill me and remind me in the beauty and splendor of Christ, His Church, and our religion. I can also say that in my experience, sometimes converts mistake their own individual self-righteousness, self-righteousness that any of us can have, and most of us do have, with zeal for the house of God. It is not. And there is nothing less attractive in any sense of the word than self-righteousness under the cover of religious devotion. That’s the crime of the Pharisees. I’ve been there and done that, and it’s not pretty. It turns people away from Christ and hasn’t any of the patient kindness that we are taught to infuse into our love. I remember being scolded once by a convert over the slovenly way that I made my sign of the cross and said my grace before meals. He tried hard to make it gentle and he was certainly sincere. He thought he was doing me a favor. I smiled and thanked him, but admit I was a bit rankled. Me and mine have been doing this for a thousand years, sir, I thought. It felt a little like a newlywed reproaching his uncle, married for forty years, on not having bought his wife enough flowers lately. Is the young man right? Quite probably. But is he right to be right? Well, maybe, if he can pull it off humbly. Otherwise, best not to quibble about little things.

I guess the my short answer, following a long build up, is that most of the cradlers I know – and almost all of my friends are cradle Catholics – wouldn’t have any reason to avoid dating converts. Quite to the contrary. It does take a lot of patience and sympathy on both parts, and a willingness to accept that not everyone is where everyone else is, and not only believe that’s OK, but also believe – provided nobody is in a bad place – that it is GOOD. If we were all in the same place, it would be a very crowded little spot. The venerable old hand has something to offer the young whippersnapper, and the excited amateur has something to give his seniors. As long as we each love each other, each take care of each other’s consciences and foibles, and each keep going back to the Font of Life and let others find their own path, we can only grow together in holiness.

Again, welcome home, Robyn! We are very, very glad to have you.

Oct 5th 2012 new

(Quote) Celia-821539 said: Hey there! It's great to see another convert on this site. You are right - there seem to be m...
(Quote) Celia-821539 said:

Hey there! It's great to see another convert on this site. You are right - there seem to be more life long Catholics than converst, but I guess that's natural.
I know you asked the opinion from "cradle Catholics", but, I thought I would put in my 2 cents as a convert on dating "cradle Catholics"....Although it is nice to be around others who have been Catholic since childhood because they can answer many basic questions and can be encouraging, I have also found that it can be....far different from what I am USED to being around. The few guys I have actually met who are/have always been Catholic seem to be super serious about it. There is a zest, a passion that seems to be missing that I do find in other converts. Sure, the "lifers" seem to KNOW more - they can recite more prayers, tell you when every Holy day is, etc., but the passion for our Church is lacking....If I had a choice with all things being equal, I'd date another convert - we would both be excited about being up at 1:00AM for our time of Eucharistic Adoration. :)

--hide--


You are an inspiration. It's human nature to value something we worked hard to attain and take for granted something we've always had.


There, of course, plenty of exceptions all the way around. Many cradle Catholics are devout, loving people and shining examples of the faith full of an inexhaustable zeal. Some converts are lackluster or hesitant wonder whether they made the right decision. I taught RCIA for several years. Some converts became active leaders in parish activities. Some just chugged along. Others decided to leave when the aslightest little thing happened that they didn't like.


The one aspect of this topic which appalls me, is a rare but strident mindset among certain cradle Catholics that converts are somehow not genuine. I had a few aunts from the old country who felt this way. They thought converts should not be allowed to become ordained or to enter religious life. I'd ask her what about the Apostles? They were all converts. So is our Blessed Mother. Fortunately very few Catholics hold this opinion. As the years go by, fewer still. It seems to be a holdover from a different time and place.



Oct 5th 2012 new

(Quote) Ray-566531 said: (Quote) Robyn-861417 said: Hi Everyone. I am interested i...
(Quote) Ray-566531 said:
Quote:
Robyn-861417 said:

Hi Everyone.

I am interested in finding out how people who have been raised Catholic feel about dating converts to Catholicism. Do "cradle catholics" only want to date each other? Why or why not? I am currently in the process of going through RCIA after developing a deep intimate faith in Christ in various Protestant traditions over the last 20 years. ...

...

I have been most surprised to hear many tell me that often converts end up knowing more about Catholicism than many cradle catholics. I don't know if this, in fact, is or is not statistically true. ...

Robyn



... None of us will ever know everything about the Church, God and everything connected, but we do continue learning. You've been developing a deep faith for several years, and have continued to seek the truth.

Your question is certainly valid. There has been a lack of adequate catechesis among the "cradle Catholics". Another consideration is that a lot of what was learned has been forgotten. Attending Mass alone isn't enough to keep up our Faith skills. ...

Blessings upon your spiritual undertaking, and for successful dating

--hide--


Hi Robyn! wave

I'm a cradle Catholic, and although I can only share my opinion I believe there are a lot of cradle Catholics that agree with me.

To your question, Do "cradle catholics" only want to date each other?, I say certainly NOT; there're probably some that would have that view but I strongly believe they constitute a small and dwindling segment of the whole "cradle catholic" population. What's important to us--well, at least to this "cradle catholic"--is that we share the same Faith, the same precepts, core values & principles, the love and veneration to the Mother of God, Mary most holy!, and that we take the life journey together not lecturing one another or thinking that one is "better catholic" than the other due to their background but understand that we both need to entrust ourselves to Jesus through Mary, who always takes us to Jesus.

To your comment and question, I have been most surprised to hear many tell me that often converts end up knowing more about Catholicism than many cradle catholics. I don't know if this, in fact, is or is not statistically true. ..., I say that's often true but I wouldn't say that it is statistically true because, a) I don't know of any study (credible or not) that have attempted such "measure", and b) I don't think such measure would be relevant or even important. The fact is that many cradle catholics, in the USA and in the rest of the world, don't know their faith as much as they should, just like many non-catholic christians don't know their faith as they should. Is like Ray said: there've been a lack of adequate catechesis and may people have forgotten what they learned. I'll add that the Clergy (Bishops and priests) at lease here on the US mainland ('cause I grew up in Puerto Rico, that although is part of the USA has it's own Catholic Bishops Conference), have been kind of shy for decades in "telling it like is" from the pulpit (for whatever reason), resulting in people not even receiving good ongoing catechesis every Sunday.

Again, this is my opinion based on my observations and experiences. The important thing is that we all (cradle & convert catholics) need to continually grow in understanding and love of our Faith, and as a whole we are the mystical body of Christ. We need and should help each other to grow in our Faith, in all relationships--friendship, dating, courship, family, community. So don't wory and keep going on your RCIA preparation. Ask the Mother of God to assist you on your journey!

Blessings!! rose theheart rosary

Hilda

Oct 6th 2012 new

During mass when saying The Our Father, I was not taught to put both hands out to say the Our Father and I always think when I see that in church that is a sign of a convert catholic.

Oct 6th 2012 new

(Quote) Mary-251045 said: During mass when saying The Our Father, I was not taught to put both hands out to say the Our Fath...
(Quote) Mary-251045 said:

During mass when saying The Our Father, I was not taught to put both hands out to say the Our Father and I always think when I see that in church that is a sign of a convert catholic.

--hide--


Negative. That is a way that I think orginated in the aftermath of Vatican II. Not from Vatican II, but from the turmoil originating from what I perceived as repressed liberal mindsets, who saw Vatican II as some sort of declaration of freedom to re-structure the church in their own image. Having said that and hopefully not risking getting into an argument with a 'traditionalist', I would say that there were a number of good things that came out of this turmoil. There is nothing wrong with this way of praying, nor is it a more proper way of praying. I generally don't practice it, unless I am visiting with those that do. Go with the flow whenever the flow doesn't misdirect you from the desired destination.


I think its usage in modern days (I'm sure someone will tell me it is an ancient practice, which may be true, but I don't care) began with the Cursillo (spelling?) movement, with the Charismatics, or perhaps with portions of the Parish Renewal programs so popular about 20 years ago. Maybe elsewhere, but not with converts. Besides that implies it is the correct canon law way to pray, which is not true.


Despite what I wrote in an earlier post in this thread, not all converts come out of RCIA as solidly grouded in the catholic faith. Many of these diocesan formation programs are suspect in how well they adhere to the true faith, at least in this country.


Pray the Our Father in whatever way the spirit moves you. If the wrong spirit is moving you, a fellow member of the Mysticsl Body will be there to assist in discernment. Peace!!!!


theheart

Oct 6th 2012 new
(Quote) Mary-251045 said: During mass when saying The Our Father, I was not taught to put both hands out to say the Our Father and I alwa...
(Quote) Mary-251045 said:

During mass when saying The Our Father, I was not taught to put both hands out to say the Our Father and I always think when I see that in church that is a sign of a convert catholic.

--hide--


Convert here; from the first time I walked into a Catholic service, I've seen hands out for the "Our Father". Guess I always figured this to be a "cradle" thing until I read your comment.

Jerry, what sayeth thee?
Oct 6th 2012 new

Raising our hands out is relatively new, it was never done before. I still don't feel comfortable doing this. I fold my hands instead.

Oct 6th 2012 new

(Quote) Edward-512961 said: (Quote) Mary-251045 said: During mass when saying The Our Father, I was not taug...
(Quote) Edward-512961 said:
Quote:
Mary-251045 said:

During mass when saying The Our Father, I was not taught to put both hands out to say the Our Father and I always think when I see that in church that is a sign of a convert catholic.




Convert here; from the first time I walked into a Catholic service, I've seen hands out for the "Our Father". Guess I always figured this to be a "cradle" thing until I read your comment.

Jerry, what sayeth thee?
--hide--

This article provides a thorough explanation of the situation:

www.ewtn.com

Oct 6th 2012 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: This article provides a thorough explanation of the situation: http://www.ewtn.com...
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

This article provides a thorough explanation of the situation:

www.ewtn.com

--hide--


Thanks Jerry for filling in some holes in my memory. I thought this was the way it was, but since I couldn't remember some details for sure, I tried writing "around it".

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