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Our readers asked:

How Do I Handle Family Members Who Try to Shove Their Beliefs Down My Throat?

Richard G. Malloy, SJ Answers:

Question: I have family members who are very into the Latin form of the Mass. These family members, every time they get a chance, try to shove their beliefs on my husband and I. They try to show us how the Novus Ordo form of Mass is wrong and not legitimate and that we shouldn’t still be a part of it. My question is, do you have any suggestions as to how to just make them SHUT UP! It is getting to the point that I am tempted to start making excuses to not go to family events.

You have heard the old adage, when spouses fight, they often aren’t really fighting about the thing over which they seem to be fighting.

First, ask yourself if you really want to fight with your family members over the Latin Mass. When they talk about how they love the Latin Mass, just agree and then go to Mass where your soul is fed. If they challenge you, just say you are cooperating with the local church by attending the Mass provided by the Bishop.

Often, those who try and impose their ideological readings of things religious, political or social on others have an inordinate need to run the world, or be in charge. In other words, they enjoy playing God. The good news is that God is God and we don’t have to be God.

And always remember that great philosophy from the old country song: “Beer is good, God is great… people are crazy.” I like to remind myself of that third part when I’m around my family. It’s better to love them, because ain’t no way I’m changing them. I learned early on to let someone else be a priest for my family. The day my brother and I agree on anything will be when the Eagles will have won the Super Bowl (and that will also be a certain sign that Jesus’ return is imminent!)

The Author : Richard G. Malloy, SJ
Richard G. Malloy, S.J., Ph.D., is Vice President for University Ministries, the University of Scranton, Scranton, PA, and author of A Faith That Frees (Orbis Books).
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  • Mike

    How Do I Handle Family Members Who Try to Shove Their Beliefs Down My Throat?

    Jesus didn’t even do that, Instead he just gave them a stern warning.

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