Wednesday, April 14, 2010

If I'm not real then what am I?

I was talking to one of my best friends last night and catching up on the past five or six weeks.  While I was talking to my friend we were discussing her daughter's upcoming First Holy Communion.  I'm not sure how it happened, but a comment slipped out of my friends mouth that left me speechless.  She told me that I'm not a "real" Catholic.  Wow.  I was stunned and offended at the same time.  That led me to ponder the question of how I should respond to her.  What exactly does one say to the person who was their sponsor when such a comment is made?  Am I artificial?  Am I imitation?  Perhaps I'm just imaginary.  Yes, I'm the imaginary Catholic. I took the charitable road and decided to pretend I didn't hear her comment.  I don't see why I should have to explain to her that I am, in fact, Catholic.  She did, after all, attend every R.C.I.A. meeting with me, and went to Mass with me nearly every week for the better part of a year.  Maybe she missed the whole point in that exercise.  

This wasn't the first time I've had cradle Catholics make comments like that to me.  Another friend said something similar to me last year, and I think for the most part, Bryan's family members regard me as the heretic Protestant he married.  He has aunts who talk to me like Catholicism is totally foreign to me.  They, however, understand that I joined the Church but they think I have subpar knowledge of the faith. Clearly they confused me with their nephew and his siblings. It's annoying to say the least.  

Of my friends and family I'm one of only a few who are actually practicing Catholics [that is, I follow the precepts of the Church], and yet, I'm apparently not a real Catholic.  I wonder sometimes if maybe they just don't know what a real Catholic looks like.  I on the other hand, know what a Protestant looks like and I recognize the Protestant in many of those "real" Catholics.


  1. I am sorry she made such a comment to you. I think it's wonderful that you have found your home in the Catholic Church. That is a hurtful thing to say, and maybe you can ask her the meaning of it sometime? I think, especially if she was your sponsor (?) that she needs to be guiding you, and not hurting you.

  2. What a hurtful thing to say. I would've asked her what a "real Catholic" is, since last I checked those who converted later in life were just as real as those who grew up in the Catholic Church.

  3. so sorry your friend said that; I wonder if she realized what she said and how it would hurt you. Its like someone telling me I'm not a real mother because I didn't give birth to my kids but adopted them. Actually you seem like a real genuine Catholic to me

    (but I do wonder what a Protestant looks like......)


  4. I'm a real Catholic convert too. I don't think they realize what it sounds like to use "real" the way they do. The funny thing is that my husband is NOT converted, officially, but he is more super-Catholic than I am! He has gotten too annoyed with every RCIA he's tried...too "touchy-feely" for him. Still, he is devoted to the faith. What do we call THAT? Anyway, all this to say, I'm sorry they hurt your feelings.

  5. I'm SO sorry about this comment. Sometimes converts are more Catholic than cradle ones. It takes a rebirth so often to make us really know and love our Church.

    I'm thankful for your charity. Many hugs, and great post!


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