……. And You Can’t Sit With Us!
This is what I think non-Catholics and converts may believe we Traditional Catholics are silently thinking when they interact with us, online or offline.
So I decided to pen this open letter to all my new blog and social media followers, non-Catholics who are interested in Traditional Catholicism, converts and Novus Ordites who are switching over to Traditional Catholicism.
It can be easy to think that we Traditional Catholics are paragons of Catholic perfection when you read my articles on Traditional Catholicism, Biblical marriage and vocations, and Godly home-making.
You may assume that we are all happily married, homeschooling our 10+ children with 2 more on the way, and we live a life of daily bliss and contentment – a sort of Catholic Stepford wife.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
We don’t all come from ideal family backgrounds. We did not emerge from our mothers’ wombs, bathed in a halo of light, clutching the Missal in one hand and the Rosary in the other.
We are Traditional Catholics because we are wretched sinners from painful and broken pasts, and in dire need of a Saviour. We are Traditional Catholics because we cling to the Cross, immensely grateful that God has mercy on us when we are so very unworthy.
Many of us are battling very real problems in our daily lives.
Being a Traditional Catholic is not for the weak or feeble-minded.
Upholding Godly femininity, Biblical values and Traditional Catholicism is no easy feat in a world where we are constantly beset with an unrelenting tirade of hatred, not just from non-Catholics, but even from other Catholics are not “Rad Trads” as they like to label us.
Some of us are married, some of us are not.
Some of us have children, some of us are battling years, decades even, of infertility.
Some of us are in our 40s and yet to find a spouse, some of us are divorced, having escaped terribly abusive marriages that endangered our lives.
Some of us are widows; some of us are single mothers, bearing the entire cost and responsibility of raising our children alone.
Some of us are struggling with our vocations, struggling in our marriages, struggling with personality conflicts with the other sisters in our religious community.
Some of us are struggling with poverty, physical disabilities, depression or chronic illnesses.
Some of us are young, desiring a vocation to the religious life, but under immense pressure and persecution from our non-Catholic parents who want us to take a different path in life.
Some of us have been Catholic from childhood, some of us are converts to the faith, and some of us fell away from Catholicism in our youth, only to return to it again in adulthood.
Some of us come from broken or highly dysfunctional homes, or are a result of rape, adoption and so on.
Some of us had a happy childhood, and some of us came from abusive and neglectful families.
Sure, we don’t always put on a pity-party, make excuses for our broken backgrounds or whine about it.
Sure, you only get to see the highlight reel of our lives when we share on social media.
You do not see the painful burdens and crosses that we silently bear every single day, the nights we silently cried ourselves to sleep, the moments of helplessness and hopelessness when all we could do is clutch our crucifixes, heads bowed before our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration, longing for home, praying for courage and strength to carry on.
There is no such thing as a perfect Catholic. We Trads are certainly not perfect Catholics either.
As traditional Catholics, we probably face the most pains, temptations, ridicule and attacks.
The more we strive to be saints, to uphold Biblical femininity and Traditional Catholic values, the more we come under attack for it, it seems.
Be it from non-Trad Catholics mockingly calling us fundamentalists and Rad Trads, or be it from society attacking us for refusing the lgbtq indoctrination of our children, for being pro-life and defending the unborn, for practising chastity and modesty, for choosing to homeschool our kids or to be SAHMs.
Indeed, to be feminine and a Traditional Catholic is hardly a life of constant bliss, and it is definitely NOT for the weak either.
The only difference between us and others is that while we acknowledge that we are the most wretched sinners, from imperfect backgrounds, we don’t complain about it or whine about it. We did not know better before, but now we know better, we do better…..just like this amazing woman.
We are so immensely grateful for God’s mercy in giving us a second chance that we strive really hard, every single day, to be saints.
We see that outside of the Catholic Church, there is only pain, depravity, darkness, chaos, heartbreak and tears, and so we cling to the faith and to the Traditions passed down to us, for it is only through them that we find peace, hope, joy and eternal salvation.
This is why I write about the topics that I do, from practical tips like learning to spot and avoid predatory, abusive people that ruin our lives and endanger our souls, to topics on following Catholic traditions and God’s template for gender and Biblical living.
These traditions and templates are not there because God hates us and wants us to be miserable.
Just as a loving father would insist that his child wears a helmet when going riding in order to protect the child from hurt and pain, so too does our loving Father provide these guides, traditions and templates for Biblical living, femininity/masculinity and family in order to protect us from pain, loss and heartbreak of broken homes, broken marriages, diseases, abusive partners, eternal damnation and so on.
In a world as dark and as depraved as ours is, the Catholic church is a refuge for us.
This is why we look so happy and so perfect to you, and this is why we invite you to join our community, the Catholic faith, so that you too can find light in your darkness, strength in your weakness, and peace in your pain.
Don’t ever worry that you are not good enough, that you are unworthy of being a good Catholic or that the Biblical doctrines and Catholics traditions that I write about are impossible to follow because you are not “good enough”.
If someone as weak and wretched as I can do it, so can you!
I am definitely not perfect. Neither of us are.
We are all broken vessels, striving towards sainthood and helping each other to do the same, along the way. So you definitely CAN sit with us!
Maria, causa salutis, ora pro nobis.
Mary, Cause of our salvation, pray for us.
ad Jesum per Mariam