Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Letter

“You already know my feelings... I can only pray that you find your way back to the truth...”

“You may be intelligent in some things, but you still have a lot to learn. Have you forgotten that the ROMANS persecuted the Christians? They sent lions in to eat them alive & burned them.”

These are a couple quotes from a letter a family member sent recently. I wonder which of the many persecutions she could have been referring to- and if she was aware that the “Romans” who persecuted the Christians in the Coliseum (to which I'm assuming she's making her reference to) were part of the political pagan Roman empire, not the Roman Catholic Church.

After my conversion, I sent her some books containing the basics of the Catholic expression of faith. I asked her to take a look at them because I wanted to know what she thought. I was hoping she would at least concede that Catholics are Christians. She told me how she had friends who grew up Catholic or converted- when she was a kid. She said she'd been to a Mass (pre-Vatican II) & was raised Episcopal, which, she asserted, is similar to Catholic. Then she told me about her own supernatural conversion experience in the Assemblies of God & how she began to see many things wrong with so many other churches after that. Of course she did. That's what I grew up learning too. Only the Assemblies & the other Charismatic / Pentecostal denominations had the fullness of truth. Baptists came in a close second & all the rest of em' were woefully deceived. As for the Catholic Church, we always considered it a cult of idol worshipers & the seat of the coming Anti-Christ. It was certainly NOT Christian. At least that's what I thought till I undertook my own study of the faith.

I was sad to find that the majority of her letter was very bitter, very combative, demanding respect & demeaning my limited experiential knowledge of life & the Catholic faith. There wasn't a lick of compassion nor a smidgeon of humility on her part. She's not interested in knowing why I converted & I am clearly some kind of idiot as far as she's concerned. Contrary to her perceptions, I wasn't trying to assert my beliefs as truth. I just wanted her to know what I've come to believe because its an important part of my life. She wanted to know why I didn't come to my family with my questions. Little did she know that my family inadvertently helped steer me toward the Catholic Church... But she sees my conversion as an assault, a betrayal. I've crossed over enemy lines. She said she still loves me & always will, but she views this whole experience as a personal failure on her part. I don't intend to try & convince her otherwise. Its just not worth the time & effort. All I can do is try & live my life as well as I can.




2 comments:

  1. You deserve to be happy and to pursue the things that matter to you, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Claiming independence is hard, hard work. It sounds like you are no stranger to putting out the effort needed; the hard part is feeling like you're doing the right thing. Congratulations on finding a place in the Catholic faith! Keep plodding on and know that you are right where you need to be.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your experience with this. You are living with your own process, which is clearly a thorough one! You can stand tall with what you have found to be true. I am sorry that you were challenged so harshly yet you also got the spirit of the letter. It is lacking the very love that Christ wants us to live out and live from. I am sorry as well for your relative. Stand in your own dignity. The dignity of being a child of God who is loved.

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