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How To Deal With Negative Reactions To Your Catholic Conversion
Am I alone?
Have you had to deal with a negative reaction to your faith?
Negative Reaction Can Be Common
If you are experiencing family members who are less than enthusiastic about your new faith, rest assured that you aren't alone in your struggles to follow your faith. I've had my share of struggles as I've attempted to practice my faith, too.
Unfortunately, I haven't really been able to find a 101 on how to react to this in a way that would work suitably well for me... so I've decided to share with you the tips and tricks that I have used that worked for me.
Respect Their Beliefs
This isn't always the easiest thing to do when your family and friends aren't being respectful of you and your faith, but it's important to not become resentful and stoop to the levels of treating others in the same way as they treat you.
Unfortunately, one way of respecting others' beliefs and avoiding conflict is to simply not speak of your faith to those who are likely to be hostile or create conflict. Of course, it's not easy to bite your tongue if you have just attended a Mass that has had such an impact on you that you want to tell the whole world about it.
My workaround for these moments was to create a blog on Tumblr, where I post the updates that I want to share with others. The beauty of doing this is that you can follow other Catholics and rest assured that those that choose to read what you have written are doing so because they want to as opposed to doing so because they want to cause strife.
Try not to be rude
As someone who endured others asking me questions to be rude about the answers that I gave, it would have been easy for me to reduce myself to ignoring the questions, given the likelihood that I could be laughed at as a result of my answers.
I had to turn to the Scriptures for the resolve to face up to this challenge. Fortunately, there is no shortage of passages in the Bible that will give you the strength to endure this. The passage that comes most easily to my mind is below.
If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.— Matthew 5:39
Plan Your Own Way To Access Mass
If you have to rely on someone else to enable you to attend Mass each week, it can be a good advantage to plan how you would get to church if they are unwilling or unable to take you to church.
I've had the misfortune of having family members decide that they don't want to take me to church because they don't believe in God... and, therefore, you shouldn't, either.
Talk it through
If you can get to the root of the problem, then you can address it in a way that is effective... and, hopefully, put an end to it once and for all.
If you are converting to the Catholic faith and your spouse is resisting you every step of the way, it could be because s/he needs reassurance that you aren't going to come home and attempt to force him/her to attend Mass with you or keep talking about the faith constantly.
In my case, I found it tricky to get the balance of this right with my husband at first - especially when he was taking an interest and asking questions about my newfound beliefs. I was eventually able to discern that he wasn't particularly interested and was asking more out of politeness than a true desire to know about what I was experiencing.
To that end, I found that it worked best to provide brief answers to faith-based questions, brushing over them in favor of sharing more in-depth conversations about my new found friendships.
An alternate way of talking it through could be to explain that they don't have to agree with what you are doing or agree with it, but it would be a huge help if they could support you with what you have decided to do.
No matter how dark the night, the Lord's Will be done!
Simply Ignore Them
In some cases, it's just not possible to get others to see things from your angle and trying to evangelize them is going to be a waste of time and energy.
These are the people who I chose to ignore for the most part, while continuing to do what I'm going to do.
This isn't necessarily the easiest of steps to take when the ignored person is a spouse, a parent or (in my case, both).
© 2017 Ice cold princess