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Author Topic: A Difficulty in Living back Home  (Read 1747 times) Average Rating: 0
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StGeorge
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« on: August 10, 2008, 03:41:02 PM »

I just moved back home.  I'm in my mid-twenties.  My parents overall enjoy having me back.  They wanted me to come back home.  But the only problem seems to be religion.  We all (mother, father, sister and me) used to be Latin Catholic, and used to attend Mass every Sunday.  Well, my mother several years ago returned to the Protestant faith, my sister is now Anglican, and I became Orthodox.  My father alone remains Latin Catholic.  I feel that he resents everyone in the family except him leaving the [Roman] Catholic faith.  I think he feels that we've abandoned him or something.  Anyway, he knows that I go to an Eastern church, but he still tries to get me and my sister to go to Mass with him.  He knows that I'm Eastern but I don't think he really understands what that means.   

I just feel somewhat bad for him, not knowing the best thing to do.  I still pray dinner prayers and everything, making the sign of the cross.  But he is very loyal to the local parish church (in which we grew up) and still wants us to go with him I feel.  I know I can't go back but I don't to get my dad feeling that he "failed" in raising us as good Catholics, if that makes sense. 

Any advice? 
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tuesdayschild
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2008, 04:30:42 PM »

I just moved back home.  I'm in my mid-twenties.  My parents overall enjoy having me back.  They wanted me to come back home.  But the only problem seems to be religion.  We all (mother, father, sister and me) used to be Latin Catholic, and used to attend Mass every Sunday.  Well, my mother several years ago returned to the Protestant faith, my sister is now Anglican, and I became Orthodox.  My father alone remains Latin Catholic.  I feel that he resents everyone in the family except him leaving the [Roman] Catholic faith.  I think he feels that we've abandoned him or something.  Anyway, he knows that I go to an Eastern church, but he still tries to get me and my sister to go to Mass with him.  He knows that I'm Eastern but I don't think he really understands what that means.   

I just feel somewhat bad for him, not knowing the best thing to do.  I still pray dinner prayers and everything, making the sign of the cross.  But he is very loyal to the local parish church (in which we grew up) and still wants us to go with him I feel.  I know I can't go back but I don't to get my dad feeling that he "failed" in raising us as good Catholics, if that makes sense. 

Any advice? 

Sounds like a wonderful opportunity for an honest, mutually respectful conversation.  Perhaps more than one.
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Paisius
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2008, 06:34:07 PM »

I just moved back home.  I'm in my mid-twenties.  My parents overall enjoy having me back.  They wanted me to come back home.  But the only problem seems to be religion.  We all (mother, father, sister and me) used to be Latin Catholic, and used to attend Mass every Sunday.  Well, my mother several years ago returned to the Protestant faith, my sister is now Anglican, and I became Orthodox.  My father alone remains Latin Catholic.  I feel that he resents everyone in the family except him leaving the [Roman] Catholic faith.  I think he feels that we've abandoned him or something.  Anyway, he knows that I go to an Eastern church, but he still tries to get me and my sister to go to Mass with him.  He knows that I'm Eastern but I don't think he really understands what that means.   

I just feel somewhat bad for him, not knowing the best thing to do.  I still pray dinner prayers and everything, making the sign of the cross.  But he is very loyal to the local parish church (in which we grew up) and still wants us to go with him I feel.  I know I can't go back but I don't to get my dad feeling that he "failed" in raising us as good Catholics, if that makes sense. 

Any advice? 

I don't have any advice but I will say this. The fact that you seem to be concerned about it speaks to your character and maturity.

Yours in Christ
Paisius
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StGeorge
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2008, 07:21:50 PM »

Thanks for your answers so far.

Tonight, at dinner, my father started asking me questions about the church I attend.  I tried to describe it in terms that he might understand (e.g. Liturgy of the Readings/Liturgy of the Eucharist, and so on).  It was really hard answering some of his questions though.  He asked me about the priest, and I said he went to seminary up near New York City.  He then asked me if Eastern priests go to Roman Catholic seminaries.  The most difficult question was "well, they're under Rome though, right?"  Undecided   
« Last Edit: August 10, 2008, 07:23:49 PM by StGeorge » Logged
Salpy
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2008, 09:42:58 PM »

Perhaps it would help to play up the similarities, like we both venerate the Mother of God and the saints, etc.
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2008, 12:24:22 AM »

I just moved back home.  I'm in my mid-twenties.  My parents overall enjoy having me back.  They wanted me to come back home.  But the only problem seems to be religion. 

Hmm....this sounds like a Dad who is struggling over the fact that his children have grown up and his wife is not sharing a common religion.  He's not sure where he fits in the "family" any more.  Thus this is less about religion than it is about family dynamics.

Are there any things that you and your Dad have in common that you could participate in together?  Play chess?  Get a rousing game going.  Baseball?  Go to a game.  Fish? Hunt?  Smoke cigars?  Garden?  Play cards? I am not suggesting that you become your Dad's social director.  But I am suggesting that perhaps a little fellowship may help.

Perhaps you could invite him to attend Vespers with you?  I think you did a good job answering his questions.

As a Mom to 27 and 23 year olds, it has been challenging for me to "see" them as adults and learn to relate to them peer-to-peer.  I am having a bit more success on my part and to my kids credit, they are VERY patient with their dear Mother who seems to always stick her foot in her mouth!   Smiley

Above all, pray for him.  He'll get there.  For me it is hard when I look in the mirror and see an older face when inside I still feel like I did when I was 18.  The heart is willing but the muscles just ain't there any more!!! 

Athanasia (Trudy) Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2008, 01:51:43 AM »

Continue attending Orthodox Church and pray that the rest of your family will follow you.  Resist the temptation to proselytize and answer all questions honestly and truthfully, which you're already doing.  Your father may feel that he's lost control over his family and you have to remind him in a gentle way that God is enlightening his family and perhaps he needs to allow God to point his family in the right direction.  If I contradicted myself, please forgive me other than to say that the last sentence can be said without proselytizing.

Lord, have mercy!
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Thomas
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2008, 09:04:04 AM »

My wife dealt with this with her mother and father who were Roman Catholics. She shared with them early on after converting what we have in common and then spoke about her returning to the Church as it was before the Reformation and going back to its earliest roots.  She said that here she felt the most comfortable , before papal supremacy and political intrigue.  It worked for her, Her parents are happy she is back in the Apostolic Faith of the early Church and being Orthodox even not under the Pope is OK to them because she too the time to talk about why she is Orthodox and not a Roman Catholic. She did not try to proselytize them just talk with them about why she was were she was.

Thomas

edited for spelling
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 08:51:05 AM by Thomas » Logged

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Thomas
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2008, 10:44:39 AM »

Lots of good advice here. I can imagine how it must be rather difficult for your father to be the only one in your family left in the RCC. May God bless you and grant you wisdom!
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2008, 09:25:32 PM »

So, tonight I told my mom about how I was going to visit a monastery soon, as well as a skete to meet a hermit.  When I mentioned meeting a hermit, my mom starting wondering if I had joined a cult.  She joked about the hermit sounding like the Dali Lama.   Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2008, 07:57:54 AM »

Related to this thread, may I add a bit about my own visit home, to Ukraine, one month ago. My previous visit was in 2006 - at that time, I was not a chrismated and practicing Orthodox yet; this time, however, I was, and I tried to behave like one. Honestly, my mother, and to some extent my sister-in-law were puzzled. In Ukraine, according to the official statistics, only about 2% of the people who consider themselves "Orthodox" are actually living like Orthodox Christians, following the rules of the "Orthopraxis" (coming to church services regularly, partaking in the Eucharist, venerating icons, praying at home in the morning and in the evening, etc.). So, when my relatives saw me standing in the corner of a room with my little prayer book and whispering the words of prayer, they, too, thought that I probably went nuts or joined a cult.Smiley Also, they noticed that I lost weight compared with my 2006 visit (back then, I weighed about 230-240 lbs, and now it's about 204-205), and asked, what happened. I said, my wife and I started to exercise in a gym, and also now, since I became Orthodox, I fast on Wednesdays and Fridays and during the prescribed church fasts like the Great Lent, the Dormition, etc. That was an astonishing news to my relatives! They would never imagine that REAL people REALLY do that...

Also, I tried to "evangelize" my mom and sister-in-law: when Lesya and I went to church services in Ukraine, I bought little Orthodox booklets about the Orthopraxis and the ones explaining the Orthodox doctrine and terminology, and brought them to my mom's and my sister-in-law's homes. I also brought little icons there. Can't say that this impressed my relatives much. What is written in those booklets, - for example, that if you have been baptised Orthodox, you must attend Divine Liturgies every Sunday, etc. - does not sound "real" to them. Again, their recurrent response to all this is the same, "REAL people don't do it, they - the REAL people - just can't come to church every Sunday, because, you know, there are so many things to do!" - etc. On one Saturday evening, my sister-in-law saw me with my prayer book and asked, would I allow her to copy one prayer into her notebook, "you know, this one, the MAIN one, about, whaddayacallit, this Father thing in Heaven."Smiley I said, of course, and wrote down the words of the Lord's Prayer for her. While I was doing it, we had a little conversation about faith and the Church, and I told her that tomorrow morning, Lesya and I will go to the DL. She became very interested and asked a number of questions. Yet, next morning when she saw us going to church, she said that she had so many things to do, so many things to do... Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2008, 08:55:08 AM »

Heorhij

You have hit the nail on the head. We who have so much "free time" given to us by labor saving devices, shortened work weeks from our ancestors are "too busy" and "have too much to do" to go to Church and participate in the Divine Liturgy. It is not just an Old world issue. Perhaps we have become to leisure oriented  for God who asks us to work for Him.

Thomas
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2008, 09:53:19 PM »

Hey George!


I know where you're coming from. My biological mother and my brother are RCC, my father is Muslim, and I'm on my way to Orthodoxy. Perhaps it'd be a good idea for you two to go out to dinner (your treat) and talk about all that's on both your minds. However, whatever he says, just don't get mad and disown him or something. Things like this become touchy when people let their feelings get out of control.  Smiley
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