How we view others : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

Sometimes it is with great sadness that I read responses on the forum regarding those who have fallen away from the faith. There appears to be a lack of charity and concern for them which is disturbing. Having been "one of the fallen away" for many years myself, I wince a great deal when I come across such tones of dismissiveness and what appears to be a "them vs us" abrasive remark. Now, I know that some would say, AH, Lesley, you are new to the don't understand how these folks have posted time and time again the SAME topics and we have answered again and again..they don't WANT to hear civil answers, etc. etc. etc..Yet,I am reminded of a C.S. Lewis quote in which he said that "everyone whom you shall ever meet is an eternal being." hmmmmmm..I like to ponder that when I am fortunate enough to be able to go somewhere and to see people around me..." eternal being." wow. We are ALL going to live forever..the question is "where"??? Personally, that makes me experience a nearly physical anguish for those who are fallen away from God. Will my adopting a castigating harsh dismissive tone with them bring them closer to Him? Will they see God's love in me by my unkind words and want to hear more about the Church through me? Or will they listen to my critical cold remarks and feel justified in staying far away from the Church and "people like me"? "Everyone whom you shall ever meet is an eternal being." My goodness, that's a humbling thought for me. I know that I need to remind myself of this more often as I go about my days. Please take this in the spirit that it has been offered.."Love one another, as I have loved you."

-- lesley (, January 24, 2003


Lesley, very well said.

A lot more would be done here, if every time someone posted here, who did not agree with the Church, we would ask others to pray a novena for these people. A lot of people are set in their ways, and no amount of arguments are going to set them straight, but God can soften their heart, and so much can be done by prayer. We ourselves would gain so much in grace also in praying for these people.

Now I'm not saying that people should not be corrected, they should, but it should be done in a gentle way, and if they persist in their ways, then we should pray for them.

They will always be those who hate our Church, and God's truth that exists in that Church, but let us show pity on them, and pray for them, for God loves them also.

-- Gordon (, January 25, 2003.

Lesley I too dont believe much in the myth of the "other". There is a great book by Sister Pauline O Reagan, "There is hope for a tree" which deals with this issue in some depth. She uses her reflections on time spent in Northern Ireland and how she manages to get the local protestant ministers and the catholic priest to dinner together. Even though they lived very close they had never even spoken to one another such was the division, fear and hatred. Needless to say they all got along great and found essentially they had so much in common and so little apart. Progress was made through discourse. ANyway my rambling away from the issue you raise...

To me its simple- treat everyone with respect even if they hold oppposite views to your own. HOWEVER if they dont respect the right for you to hold your view and denigrate your beliefs we can respond in two ways:

-- Kiwi (, January 25, 2003.

By rolling over and saying "I love you as an eternal being" or you can stand up for immutable (I learnt this word from Emerald the other day I like it very much!) truths. By all means do it in a civil manner but we are all not cut from same cloth, some of us like Eugene and John are not so lukewarm about their faith. They are devoted Catholics who dont lack for charity and love but do not suffer fools gladly.

All my friends are athiests, I dont place myself as superior by slagging them off but they dont pretend to be Catholic. People who are so delusional and in denial they pretend to be something they are not do need help for sure, and not just of the spiritual kind, but to allow them to spread their message on a Catholic forum AS CATHOLICS. NO WAY. NEVER. NOT A CHANCE. So yeah we all need more charity tolerance and love for others but at the cost of ending up standing for nothing. Sorry not for me! If Im wrong to believe this then pray for me cause I cant see it changing any time soon.

I think we ALL need to keep things in perspective this is not the 3rd Vatican Council its a tiny internet forum of lay people whom I personally have grown very fond of, probably too fond of. Please Chris can you ask John and Eugene to return! God Bless

-- Kiwi (, January 25, 2003.

Actually I havent always been that keen on this forum! Perhaps Ive become my own worst nightmare! See ya.

"Im in my mid 20's and feel at a crossroads in my own faith development but as I search for answers I feel as though I dont want to end up like a number of the regulars who post here(Not you Mateo I think youre wonderful!). I dont feel much tolerance or love at all from some,(unhappy moral fundamentalist bigots blinded with prejudice and self rightenous, etc etc yep all the cliches ring true here) which if that is what Catholicism is really about, then maybe John was right and I should look else where. I dont know maybe there is a lot more tension between rival factions (liberals and conservatives) in the US Catholicism, (Im presuming thats where most people are from) than I appreciate and people are just banded as one or another." -- kiwi (, May 06, 2002.

-- Kiwi (, January 25, 2003.

About a year ago,I met a young convert who worked in health care. She said she had become Catholic because of one elderly nun she cared for who told her that the Catholic Church is the One, True Church! Many today would say the sister was being self-righteous, bigotted, prejudice, etc., but there is something about the Truth. The Truth hurts...when we are not living it, and we have to face up to it. Just as Kiwi pointed out, presenting the Truth will not drive someone away who is honestly looking for answers. It is a big turn off to those who are just looking for an argument or wish to remain in error. Like many on this forum, I'm looking for Truth in various aspects of my life. But I know where to find it: always, in the teachings of the Church Christ founded. And thankfully, there are many Catholics on this forum who demonstrate the gift of wisdom often and have a vast knowledge of what the Church teaches! I only recently found this forum, but I think it is a real blessing. Don't shoot the messengers! Pax Christi.

-- Anna <>< (, January 25, 2003.

Youve nailed it Anna "presenting the Truth will not drive someone away who is honestly looking for answers. It is a big turn off to those who are just looking for an argument or wish to remain in error."

This is what Eugene and John do, selflessly everyday they fought for the the truth. Sure they can be a pain in the **** at times but they are sorley missed here not only for their knoweldge but their humour and wit. Theyre both as stubborn and immutable :-) as each other which can drive people around the bend- But youve got to respect them and their FAITH, its really something amazing, inspirational even.

Punish specific crimes Moderator- set your boundaries at a reasonable level and enforce them fairly and consistently. Please ! We can all live with that but your designs here have failed miserably to benefit the forum IMHO.I do wish you well if you dont change your policy but I cant go and let this place go without one last ditch attempt at sanity! I love it here its great! Its very easy to fix this problem Frank, it goes something like this :-).

"Sorry everyone I made a mistake, I picked on John and Eugene to make an example of them that I meant business. This was unfair and unnecssary. I over reacted and wish to apologise gentlemen.

We need then here- to lose them because of a long running personality clash between Chris and John. Crazy. Absolute maddness! They should take that issue outseide the forum! Go on say sorry- who knows they might even apologise themselves!

-- Kiwi (, January 25, 2003.

So much of what seems love in this age is hatred and so much of what seems hatred is love. So much of what seems bigotry and rejection is truth and acceptance, and so much of what passes for love and acceptance is hatred and evil.

Darkness has fallen upon all humanity, and the light of Truth is an ember deeply buried unseen beneath the ashes, at least for the time. If we stand, we really do stand on a razor's edge. We are all at each other's throats not just because we have a soreness which arises from a well deep within our fallen natures, but even moreso because the time in which we live is the Availing Time, and the engine behind all of the dynamics we see at work is found in the last gasps of evil entities whose time is very short and who are committed to using the worst of what they have in their arsenals against us.

The evil one himself stands before God as the accuser, pointing out to Him night and day all of our failures, our sins, such that he might lay claim to us with justification based on rules... real rules; inflexible rules about damnation which, to his chagrin, are fully addressed by the inflexible rule of the blood of Christ for those who wish to partake in His cross.

-- Emerald (, January 25, 2003.

We are, every last one of us, incapable of yeilding any good fruit, any tangible achievements apart from the grace procured by The Cross. No strategy of the human mind can withstand the forces of Hell. Without Christ and all he equips us with for battle, we do not deserve one molecule of oxygen we breathe. Not one iota of any action of goodwill merits us anything apart from Christ.

If this is fully understand, not one man can ever, ever justify holding a grudge against his brother... "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us". But we all do it, and some repent and move on. That last action, of repentence and moving on, even that itself is only possible, again, by the blood of Christ.

-- Emerald (, January 25, 2003.

I don't know that it is necessary to term being charitable as "rolling over" can certainly present truth without compromise and still maintain gentleness and compassion for the individual.Wasn't it Jesus who said to turn the other cheek? There are two alternatives given to is to continue to turn the other cheek without rancor..the other is to shake off the dust from our sandals and walk away from those who will not hear the truth..nowhere do we hear that we are to belittle or castigate those who are fallen away. Whom do we serve if we opt for that kind of behavior? Yes, this is just an internet forum..yet how many people's lives are touched by it? I wonder. A person finding it for the first time posts a question and is answered, "Go ask your priest"..period..there is no warm "Hello, glad you found us, hope you hang around, etc.."..why is that? Very cold IMHO. So what IS the purpose of this place anyway? To educate folks about the Catholic Church? To help Catholics be stronger in their faith? How many folks MAY be turned off by the chilliness here and the lack of apparent charity? Is anyone else concerned, or perhaps I am in the wrong place myself?

-- lesley (, January 25, 2003.

This is a Catholic forum, Emerald and who would love to see this forum fall apart? Who loves division and discord? We all know who..Satan. He doesn't want those in darkness to be enlightened, he doesn't want intelligent, well-informed people like yourself, John, Eugene spreading the word about the Catholic Church. He hates Jesus and will do anything to win. We must not let him win.

John, Chris, Eugene...come back and do the work the Lord has blessed you to do. Don't give in to the enemy. Jesus would not want you to walk away. He wants you to stay and stand up to the enemy. You must come back.

Are you going to leave Emerald to work alone?

The forum and everyone who enters here will be in my prayers. Emerald that was such a great post, and Lesley I enjoy what you have to say too - lots to offer.

Bye for now; hope it all works out!


-- MaryLu (, January 25, 2003.

Hi Lesley my reply to your last post was deleted- though Im unsure why????? From memory the message was that such blunt terse replies are unfortunate and that personally I found the forum a very welcoming open place to debate and discuss issues.

God Bless

-- Kiwi (, January 26, 2003.


I believe the first half of it was a response to David, and was deleting his post, so yours wouldn't make sense without it. I do not feel I should edit someone's posts (although I will occasionally take someone's name off something at their request, such as an annullment request) so I either leave or delete a whole reply to something that will obviously be deleted.


-- moderator (""), January 26, 2003.

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