You Are Your Neighbor's Catechism

| | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (1)

I've been reading Mrs. Dashwood's advice on how to handle insults from family. Her post of Jan 15th offers Elinor's Strategies for Dealing with Relatives. As usual, she offers excellent advice, but I wonder when (if ever) it is appropriate to defend your choices. Mrs. Dashwood?

Of course, when my hubby and I got up enough nerve to tell our families (both sides umpteenth generation Pentecostal/Assemblies of God) that we were becoming Catholic, both sides came a hair away from divorcing and disowning us. And while the smockmomma may be prone to exaggeration, please believe there is none here. For years we tried to explain, but it usually ended in frustration or tears.

The ninth anniversary of our Confirmation will take place this Easter. What we have finally learned is that (to use a good ol' Assemblies phrase) lifestyle evangelization is the best ecumenism. My beloved grandmother, Nonny, always taught me, "You are your neighbor's Bible. You must live your life as if you are the only Bible your neighbor will ever read." It finally dawned on me that I am also my family's Catechism. For years we tried to debunk the myriad anti-Catholic myths (we ourselves had grown up with) for our families by arguing with them. Eventually, we realized that the best way to debunk the myths was to live our lives as faithfully as possible to God and His Church and let our families see for themselves what a load of hooey they'd been fed by anti-Catholic propaganda. For the most part, they've come to respect, if not accept, our Catholicism.

That is not to say that we don't defend our choices when we feel compelled; but after almost nine years, our families realize that, spiritually speaking, we're doing pretty well. As far as they are concerned, our and our children's relationships with Jesus are practically Protestant. High praise that! At any rate, they feel freer to simply ask questions (rather than accuse) if they don't understand something. Their mere curiosity is much easier to handle...and answer.

1 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: You Are Your Neighbor's Catechism.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Over at Sancta Sanctis. And while you are there, scroll down and read her wonderful comments on one of my favorite history books, Crocker's Triumph. Meanwhile, the Summa Mammas point out that, as we may be the only Bible some... Read More


Oh, absolutely. Your gran was perfectly right: the best explanation you can give of your conversion is living decent, generous, contented lives. People are fascinated by contentment: they want to know how you got it, and if they can have some, and what they need to do for it. You'll know a serious, respectful question about Catholicism (or large families, or home schooling) when you hear one, because it will start with "Tell me," or "I want to know more about," or "I've always wondered". It won't start with "How come you Catholics" or "Another? Don't you folks have a TV, ha ha?" or "I guess you think you're better than we are because we have cable," or anything of that nature. Be of good cheer, you're doing fine.

That's so true. Kindness and affability are such harbingers of LOVE, the hallmark of Christianity!

thank you, ladies.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by smockmomma published on January 17, 2004 10:51 PM.

This is what I went to see this afternoon was the previous entry in this blog.

Today's Sunday Thought is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.