(Quote) Elizabeth-942124 said:
One of the things that frustrates me the most about being a convert is how many Catholics see...
(Quote) Elizabeth-942124 said:
One of the things that frustrates me the most about being a convert is how many Catholics seem to try and pretend that they can blend in to the secular world. That our traditions and sacramentals are merely superstition, and that maybe all Jesus wanted us to do was to try and be nice people.
But it's not that easy, is it?
Here's a meditation I wrote on the subject. Please tell me your thoughts.
You've managed to broadcast your message about Catholicism to a wider audience. Oftentimes on CM we find posts relating to this very subject, although more briefly to accomodate space limitations here. To a large extent Catholics have lost their identity. We're supposed to evangelize -- that doesn't require us to go door-to-door as if to peddle our Faith, but evangelize in the sense of setting an example for others to see and notice. Ideally it's done in a way so that it's noticeable and noticed by others so that they say there's something special about that person because of how he/she treats and deals with others, practices high ethical and moral standards, along with outward signs. These don't have to be extraordinary achievements -- just simple, everyday things we get a chance to do. Open doors for someone; help them with their packages (if they are convinced you're not trying to steal them) and dozens of other little things we can do for others just by chance.
We don't have to wear tops, shirts or blouses that say "I'm a Catholic", but we can show it. There are some symbolic items that will point to our Faith also -- wearing a cross or small crucifix, pins from Catholic groups to which we belong; Right-to-Life items such as the famed tiny-feet. Small gestures, such as making the sign of the Cross in public, such as a restaurant. You mentioned several other things in your article as well. How about respect for a funeral procession? If you're driving, do you cut in because you can't wait a few seconds for the procession to pass?
A few years ago, I was touched by seeing a gentleman walking, then stopping as the funeral procession was close to him. He removed his hat and stood there until the procession had passed. Such respect!!! A small thing with an enormous impact.
We've been browbeaten by the media, and some other faith groups to the point where it seems we're embarrassed to let people know we are Catholics. An increasingly secular society puts additional pressure upon us -- it's more difficult for us. We either standfast or cave-in to such pressures.
Years ago, restaurants promoted Lenten specials, especially on Fridays. This practice is so limited now that it's almost non-existent. A couple of major fast-food change offer deals on fish sandwiches but nowhere is there a sign it is a Lenten special.
If we're to be a force to be reckoned with, we need to be more bold, more conscientious and more vocal.
I think a major part of this is our fast paced lives where we don't have the time to think. We're just dashing from place to place -- too occupied for enough downtime to get our bearings. It wears at us and in front of society, it shows.