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31 Things Catholics Struggle with in the World Today

31 Things Catholics Struggle with in the World Today

The Church consists of the Church Triumphant {those who have made it to heaven}, the Church Suffering {the souls in Purgatory} and the Church Militant {those of us here in this world, but not of this world}. While the history of our world has been plagued with times that often seem filled with despair, we always take comfort in knowing that the ultimate battle has been won when Christ died on the Cross for you, for me, for our friends and family, and even the people who we struggle to get along with. 

That isn’t to say that Catholics in the trenches of everyday life don’t have moments where we feel frustrated at what’s going on. Right now, social media, which has been hailed to be an incredible evangelizing tool, has also been the doorway to seeing and hearing far more than we ever did from those we disagree with, even peaceably. In this election year, and in particular, in this year of Mercy, it has been even far more difficult to balance what we are called to do to witness to others, especially in moments when we are faced with extremely polarizing opinions about our faith and our political leanings. 

Even harder is the internal struggle we face with what the Faith requires of us. Not because we don’t understand, necessarily, but because these struggles, though sanctifying and a source of real grace, reflect the hard work we have yet to accomplish in ourselves if we want to become better disciples. 

I decided to ask some local and national friends their thoughts on what they were struggling with in the world today and the answers were so diverse, I thought it was worth sharing. 


1. Oh my! Just moral standards all messed up! It makes me sick! But mostly, traditional family not being respected. ~Alisha E.

2. Trying to show people that the Church is a Church of love and not a Church of judgment. ~Carolyn M.

3. The complete disregard for objective moral truths. ~ Kelsey M.

4. Trying to focus on pursuing things that are truly good and not falling into the mentality where I feel like I always have to be angry at someone or something and trying to prove that my faith is right. ~ Elisa L.

5. Trying to be an Evangelist in a world where people expect me to be a cultural Catholic. I often find myself saying, “no, no. I’m like ACTUALLY Catholic.” ~ Donna S.

6. Not coming across like a bigot for not wanting a transgender “girl” using the same school bathroom as my daughter. Or being told that the transgender issue is no different than segregation in schools ~ Allison G.

7. Religious persecution legally allowed and enforced by the government. ~ Patty S.

8. All of the above. And what to do come election time. ~ Renee F.

9. The Christian way of life is hard enough already. Trying to live it in a culture that hates Christianity, evil prospers, and morality: even harder. And then add the cultural Catholics like Joe Biden, Gov. Jerry Brown, and Nancy Pelosi who give us a bad time. ~ Kristy T.

10. “Being Catholic as a college aged young man is unpopular. At a time when your peers are becoming more liberal, it is difficult to avoid social tensions. They are experimenting with liberalism and exploring hedonistic behaviors.” ~ Garrett S., 19

11. “Society loves Satan right now and he has made a lot of strides in the last couple of decades. Normally decent people have unchecked personal impulses.” ~ Mike S.

12. Raising and teaching children in this day is contradictory to Catholic morality. Once young people seem to understand the way to Christ, they are bombarded with images of pleasure and selfishness. It’s really hard to sacrifice and be be Catholic when the world tells you life should be pleasurable and easy. ~ Charla S.

13. Probably the lack of support for traditional gender roles and living with humility. Because people just do not stop openly judging folks who adhere to gender roles and sacrifice luxuries for a larger family and/or staying home. ~ Margaret P.

14. I think the hardest thing is maintaining the balance of interacting with love with those who make life choices contrary to our Faith’s moral teachings (e.g. Homosexuality, IVF, etc.) without ever compromising our firmly held beliefs. I also sometimes find it a challenge to defend the teachings of the Church to people who don’t have the same basic beliefs. E.g. I don’t feel like I have any problem explaining or defending the teachings of the Church to a fellow Catholic or another Christian… But you take faith out of it, and it’s TOUGH! (So, for example, moral teachings as they apply to the law, such as end of life issues). ~ anonymous

15. Trying to be selfless in a selfish world….. trying to raise my boys to respect women, and their own bodies…… to love the Church and the priesthood when everyone is screaming how horrible they are…. trying to be open to life, when the world and my husband’s work place are telling him three is already WAY too many…. I could go on and on…. basically, we are salmon and having to swim upstream, but there is a waterfall and hungry bears everywhere…. that’s how I feel…. ~ Kristin B

16. The many definitions of Catholic that are out there. Friends who tell me they are Catholic, when they are pro abortion, etc. Major media and political who say they are Catholic while totally not holding up canon. Priests who are redefining it in their own style as well…altar dances, being fine with gay marriage, etc. ~ Tina R.

17. Having family who isn’t supportive of us following all church teaching even though they themselves ARE CATHOLIC – biggest problem for us right now. ~ Christina D.

I have struggled with this, as well! I’ve never been confronted outright but the undertone is definitely there and if I do say something more “traditional” I often feel dismissed. As if they were saying “oh, that’s just Amy being strict again”. ~ Amy M.

18. Trying daily to fight the battle that belief in any religion is borderline psychotic. ~ Melanie M.

19. The idea that sex and babies are totally separate. People look at you funny when you say two people have no business having sex unless they are ready to have a child together (which includes being married, but I’m not a big fan of pitch forks being thrown in my direction so I typically leave that bit out). Kelsey M.

20. Trying to avoid the subtle brainwashing of “me” society. All this self love movement seems so good but at the end of the day they want you to put yourself above all else and do what makes you happy. You read those messages enough and it begins to effect your inner dialogue. ~ Jessica A.

21. For me, the difficult part of being Catholic in society today are the liberal “anything goes” Christians. We’re dismissed as hateful for sticking to traditional teachings. Christianity wasn’t meant to be easy. What part of “whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me” don’t they get? They roll their eyes at the idea of papal infallibility, yet they imply the claim of individual infallibility. ~ Jessica G.

22. One of the hardest things is the cell phone culture. It’s so hard to lock and make that safe for young ones and even if you do it right you have to worry about some nine year old at the library, in the park, at the family gathering showing your children smut. ~ Brigitte G.

23. Having friends with a different lifestyle or who make choices that are against Church teaching. Friends who are actively living as homosexuals, or are in polyamorous relationships – how we interact to show love and yet not approving of their choices when asked. Having friends with different beliefs on abortion in cases of rape or incest I have found to be very, very hard. It’s emotional. It’s difficult to say that a baby is a baby, no matter how small, to the face of a woman who has been raped and is still so lost in it, has so much fury, that it doesn’t matter what you say. There are big strains on friendships, because everyone thinks since you are a REAL Catholic, you are a fuddy duddy, will be uptight, disapproving of everything, and people don’t act like themselves. ~ Lucinda M.

24. Finding real-life practicing Catholic friends. Sometimes I feel like an army of one. My protestant friends are very godly women, but some things we don’t agree on– bible as the only full truth, no need for tradition, scandal in the church (why some left). No one has ever bad mouthed the Catholic Church in front of me, but the feeling of anger is there. Speaking the Truth lovingly and always being welcome is my goal, but sometimes I just want a friend that I don’t have to be defending Church teaching to. ~ Celeste B.

I have “Catholic” friends. They go to Mass, do the sacraments, but they still support gay and transgender issues. I don’t understand if they don’t believe what the Church teaches, then why remain Catholic? And if I ask that question, I’m an a-hole! …charitably of course. I’m genuinely curious as to why more people don’t leave the Church– if that doesn’t sound too rotten. I would never join a club whose rules I didn’t like or agree with. ~ anonymous

25. NFP is a hard aspect for me now. Explaining it and trying to remain true to it. ~ Kayla P.

26. How to build commUNITY within our communities..there seems to be such a line between our cities, country, and world, the rich and poor, and among many other differences. Some may say there’s a diversity that has some competing for attention to entitlement, to survival, to power, to hate, to greed, and so forth. ~ Jessica M. 

27. Listening to pop music. Oh my goodness. I love pop music but I can’t listen to it because it’s terrible! And no offense to Christian performers but most of them are somewhat lacking in the zeal of modern pop music. Someone needs to make a Christian pop genre with lyrics rewritten to secular pop songs! Haha. But that’s not the hardest part. Just a lighter side tangent. ~ Denise N.

28. In my opinion, the hardest part is having family members who are not only self proclaimed pagans but who outright hate the Church. They constantly shove their beliefs in my face to “test” me. They try to catch me being discriminatory or less than loving to those with differing lifestyles, particularly those in the LGQTB community. As if my actions will somehow prove that I’m a fraud and the whole Church is just a sham of hypocrites. It’s painful, and honestly I know some of it is preplanned but sometimes I don’t think they even realize they are doing it anymore. But I love them so much, and as much as their lifestyles offend me and hurt my heart I don’t ever throw it in their faces them way they do to me. I’d never want to hurt them that way. I think people assume we have no feelings or something.  ~ Denise N.

29. Bearing witness to the Truth to family members who are supposed to be Catholic. ~ Bill N.

30. My two younger sons (16, 13) were having this discussion tonight. It stemmed from a commercial for a concert being advertised. It’s being promoted as “addressing racism, the biggest social issue in America.” My 16 year old said as a Catholic he thinks that abortion is the biggest issue we face. My younger son feels that race is not even close to the biggest issue. He was really put off by the ad. He agreed with his brother, and was just lost in thinking that there are so many other issues. He really was stuck on the fact that the ad was trying to form opinions for society. ~ Abi W.

31. Facing discouragement and holding onto hope and trust in God. Between all the horrible stuff going on in the world and “little” things like people having all sorts of misunderstandings about Catholic teaching (especially when the misunderstandings are promoted by Catholic Priests and Bishops!), it has been hard for me to hold onto hope and not just feel discouraged that everything is too big and too bad for me to do anything about. And it’s so easy to forget that it’s not my responsibility to fix it all, but just to do my part in God’s plan and trust that His plan is best. ~ Mary S.

What is the biggest struggle you face as a Catholic?

Can you think of any solutions to these struggles?

How does one remain a faithful disciple of the Church while addressing these issues?

 

 

 

 

 

By Martina Kreitzer

Martina is a cradle Catholic, wife to Neil, and mother to eight kiddos here {and three in heaven}– 4/96-12/19. She decided to homeschool the kiddos in 2010 after many years in public schools and is currently transitioning out of homeschooling. She is the creator of Catholic Sistas which focuses on a feminine perspective of the Catholic Faith. The website was the result of an existing camaraderie by the contributors in a Catholic women’s group she created. She is also a Seal of Approval evaluator for the Catholic Writers Guild. Lest you think she spends all her time online, Martina has enjoyed getting out into the community by serving on the Pastoral Council from 2010-2013. She is constantly on the lookout to make her parish as welcoming as the small town she grew up in East Texas. This task is not easy given that St. William is the largest parish in the Austin diocese, serving well over twenty thousand parishioners. She loves Jesus, coffee, bacon, chocolate, photography, more bacon, evangelizing, and the company of those unafraid to use their sense of humor.

2 replies on “31 Things Catholics Struggle with in the World Today”

To Celeste in #24 – I soooo relate! I live in “Baptist country” and have some wonderful protestant friends but would love a “real life” Catholic mom friend.

This has been a very enlightening post for me to read. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching as a “cradle” Catholic lately (married 26 years, have 6 kids). I’m struck by this comment especially:

I’m genuinely curious as to why more people don’t leave the Church– if that doesn’t sound too rotten. I would never join a club whose rules I didn’t like or agree with

I feel like I didn’t “join” the club – I was raised in it. I’ve rarely gone a Sunday without going to Mass. But as I’ve aged, the world has become a much more grey place. I honestly feel like I’m Catholic, but not in the same way these women seem to feel. Reading these women’s struggles – they aren’t my struggles. Maybe we should just leave.

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