Dear Sarah —
Just to add to Bob's answer. Fraternal correction not done in charity and love is not Fraternal correction. We have to discern the best way to correct in charity so the listener will know we just have the best of intentions in mind for them and their eternal soul.
Sometimes it's best to correct (if done properly); other times it is best just to be a good witness. You have to pray about it then discern each situation case by case.
If you do decide to go the Fraternal correction route, make sure:
- it is done in charity and
- done only once.
If unsure which way to go, just be a good witness; it can be more powerful than you think.
Remember a quote attributed to St. Francis on Evangelization:
Go and evangelize the world, and when necessary,
It's that slow and steady
- being kind
- doing charitable things out of love and for no other
- helping and assisting people
that will turn your family members toward listening
When people start saying,
She is such a nice person; she gets along with everyone and always
does nice things.
they will then start to say to themselves,
I want to be like that person. Let me learn more about that person
and what is important in her life.
The key: The
non-verbal witness that has to come first.
When I run into situations like this, I ask the Lord (in my private prayers) to send other people into the person's life who will show (him/her) what
I am trying to say in a manner in which (he/she) will understand.
you could ask something similar in your prayers for your family members.
Hope this helps,