Do not conform

Have you ever felt resentful because of all the Catholic things you "have to do"?

Me too.

I didn't quite understand that being Catholic isn't a to-do list to be completed, so I was shocked when, after years of checking off the list (and beating myself up when I didn't), I was Catholic and miserable. This didn't make sense to me. Unsurprisingly, I started to question the faith and the purpose of being part of it. It seemed as though people outside of the faith were happier than I was and this really confused me. And so there I sat, questioning why in the world I was Catholic.

The problem was that I wanted to "live differently" while still "thinking like everyone else". I was so focused on the head piece of the equation (doing stuff) that there was 'no time' for the most important component (the heart piece): having a relationship with God. In other words, the problem was how I was approaching life.

What we do may very well start with our actions, but our hearts and minds must follow suit otherwise you have a resentful Catholic that has no idea why they are Catholic and secretly wishes that they could be doing things that the world encourages.

If this is where you are, shame won't help, so if these kinds of thoughts come up you can gently decline them. Acknowledge where you are, share with someone you trust, find a good spiritual director, and don't stop seeking.

You don't have to be intimidated by the questions that you have. Instead, allow them to deepen your faith through seeking for answering and believing that you will find them :)

Remember the following verse, that Fr. Mike Schmitz mentioned in his most recent online homily: "Do not conform yourself to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind" (Romans 12:2).

PS - Listen to the Fr. Mike's entire homily from last weekend for more guidance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zudU2IqHpIM

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