You are fine with whatever choices the people in your life decide to make.
You look the other way when the people you love or care about make decisions that you think could put their soul in jeopardy, that way no one can claim you are on a high horse, or want to meddle in others' lives, or are doing the worst thing any "Good Christian" could EVER do... judging.
I, quite frankly am tired of it. I am a Catholic Christian. Sometimes I am not all that great at being a Christian, and then I feel as though I am failing. Sometimes I judge others. Sometimes I fail to judge others' actions. Sometimes I feel like arguing a point, and other times (okay, almost never), I just want to let it go.
I am also a Karcher. With that, as some of you know, will come a politically minded soul who will argue a point to the death if necessary. Sometimes making a point overshadows touching a heart. This is a mess I get myself into regularly. And I can argue, boy can I. As can any of my parents, brothers, sisters, cousins. It's a gift. Except when it's not. I know for a fact there are numerous friends who would slink away from our kitchen table whenever religion or politics was brought up, and that was often. There were a few who thought they could hold their own, sadly/proudly no one can shout down a Karcher when it comes to religion or politics. It might sound like this is a bad thing, or that I feel negatively about it. I don't. Really. It's a good thing. We've always been informed. We've always discussed current events and how they shape our lives. We know our issues - most especially Catholic teaching and the Right to Life issues, inside out and upside down. I kinda dare ya to start an argument with a Karcher over anything falling into one of these areas. A couple of times, with a few friends, we have had to learn new angles, leaving out religion when discussing the Right to Life issue, or learning the bible (tough for us Cradle Catholics, right?) to know what we were talking about with others, because boy o boy, you don't want to get into a theological discussion with a Protestant who knows his bible! He'll smoke you and have you for dinner! So, we've had to learn to accommodate for things here and there.
Lately the thing I have been working on the hardest is to "Keep Calm and Catholic On" (which I love and must have a sign made, by the way). I have had to remember to be charitable and kind in our discussions with those who disagree. Not surprisingly, that has been difficult for me. But, if I want to call myself a Christian, I need to behave as a Christian ought to behave. That means loving the other person, even if they are really ticking me off. Even if they are being unkind and uncharitable. Even if they seem so misguided that I don't know how to reach them, but they are acting as if I am the foolish one who is throwing judgement of others around.A great post on just what I mean from one of our Catholic Network Bloggers...
As a Christian, there are certain things we are taught are wrong right off the bat. Abortion, sex outside of marriage, homosexual acts....this list goes on, and I am sure there are those out there who will say that these are the reasons they cannot be a Christian. There are more who say that Jesus said "love everybody" and therefore, we cannot say that these acts are wrong. This one gets used A LOT. So frustrating. Jesus never said "love everybody" in the context that it means that no wrong is ever committed. I think "Love the sinner, Hate the sin" is a bit more in line with His teaching. So, in that spirit, I offer the following:
1. Abortion is wrong, it is killing. No, I will not tolerate the act, and I will judge it as a wrong act. I will love you, though. I will do ANYTHING I can to help. I will do ANYTHING that will help you keep your baby. If you do it anyway, I will find a way to help you heal. If you come with an open heart seeking love, I will offer it. If you come at me and say you are glad you had an abortion, and that you feel no remorse, then I will pray for you, even more.
2. I have been pondering a post called "I'm Christian, Unless You're Gay". This post basically called out Christians for being unkind to the gay people in their lives. This has caused a lot of discussion in our home. My daughters are more able to accept a person with homosexual tendencies. I think this has to do with media, the general world in which we now live. They have these messages pounded into them. It's my job to remind them that we love ALL people. In loving them, we want them to go to heaven. We are ALL called to be chaste. It's not a special commandment just for homosexual or heterosexual people. We are also called to recognize that God created a specific order for humanity. One man and one woman equals a marriage - the perfect place and situation in which to bring forth new life. Homosexuality is disordered. Now, here is where people get angry - we all have our crosses to bear. We all have tendencies that cannot be fulfilled. It is our calling, as the children of God, to live up to His call as best we are able. If one has homosexual feelings, that is not in and of itself a sin. It is only a sin to act on those tendencies. Christians need to remember this, and if confronted with homosexuality in a loved one, remember that this person is God's child. He or she is deserving of love, and will need to discern just what God is calling them to.
3. IVF, Contraception, and all the "reproductive rights" that people seem to think they have. This one pains me so much. So many women want to control their fertility, or lack thereof. There are good, wonderful ways to do this. Natural Family Planning, Napro Technology. These are gifts that we should be taking full advantage of before coming to the conclusion that poisoning our bodies against their natural functions and making and leaving children to die in petri dishes is even an option.If we can remain calm when discussing these issues, and really make sure the other party understands what is happening when they use IVF or contraception, that innocent lives are lost, and give the alternatives, we will win more hearts. I think the mamas who want babies so badly will truly see that destroying many for the slight possibility of having one is not what the Lord intended.
There are so many issues that get people's dander up. I get mine up pretty darn quickly. Any time people are bashing the Church, usually with incorrect assumptions, I get angry. I have to remember to keep my anger in check. Try and explain the Church's teaching on different matters. I honestly believe that if people would stop and consider the reasons the Church teaches what she does on certain matters, they might let their hearts open a crack or two and see the truth behind it all. But please, don't call me brainwashed, or a sheep. You might be looking for trouble, and I might be willing to give it to you. I have honestly had my own beefs with the Church. Some have taken me years to see the right of it. Mostly because of my own stubborn head or misunderstanding.
So, please in your discourse with others, please be kind. Be Christian. Keep Calm and Catholic On.