Another Ugly Confession


I confess that I don’t believe my salvation depends on the Catholic Church. Today I walked out of Mass, after having listened to and lost patience with yet another rambling, pointless sermon from a retired bishop filling in for our priest. I got fed-up, and left, right in the middle of his 40-minute speech. As I walked out, I actually thought of Martin Luther, and his main argument: ONE’S SALVATION IS BETWEEN ONESELF AND GOD. Sorry. I’m Catholic by choice, not by obligation.


I think Martin Luther’s objections to what was happening in the Catholic Church at the time were a little more serious than your boredom and impatience over a 40 minute sermon. If you don’t like a retired bishop filling in at your parish, go to another parish. If you don’t like Catholicism…well, there are literally thousands of other denominations you could join. Oh, wait…most Protestant denominations have long sermons. Scratch that. Maybe you just need to learn patience.


Just because of the sermon…

yeah, right…

that’s not a confession, I’m sure that there is more to your story…


fess up.

It’s so much fun to go Protestant church shopping, oh, you can leave the whole church and just jump around because the sermon is not good, etc or you don’t like the preacher…oh, get involved and seperate and start a new church, after all it’s all between you and God… and God is totally guiding your salvation through the WORDS of a human and his sermon…:rolleyes: oh, has nothing to do with Tradition and Scripture…

Come on…


Sounds like you’re having a “bad church day” (the spiritual version of a bad hair day?).

You need the Catholic Church (Jesus told us so, when he gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven). You need the Mass. You need the Body and Blood of Christ (Jesus told us we need to eat His Body and drink His Blood to have eternal life). You need the rest of the sacraments.

You probably just did not need that homily.

Remember, the homily is not the Mass, and the Mass is not the homily. (A good homily can be a valuable part of the Mass.) Keep your focus on the fact that Christ makes Himself truly present on the altar at every Mass, and that He gives Himself to us as food! How awesome is that? That should make it a little easier to sit through a bad homily and look forward to the main event.

God bless you!


Did you return to mass at a different time of day? Remember, you can go to mass at whichever parish, even if you pick it for it having the shortest homilies. Perhaps there is a 7am mass that zips right along, skipping most of the singing, etc.

I sometimes find it easier to concentrate on the mass at a daily mass for that very reason. They are short enough so that I don’t start wandering and I can keep attention on each part and I don’t have to sing. Maybe you’d find that after going to a number of daily masses that your appreciation of mass would grow on account of how it might be easier there to focus and pray. Hopefully this would then transfer to the weekend mass.



Out of curiosity, what was the sermon about?


** Originally Posted by KingAlfred View Post
Today I walked out of Mass, after having listened to and lost patience with yet another rambling, pointless sermon from a retired bishop filling in for our priest.
Out of curiosity, what was the sermon about?**

**Bet you can’t tell us! :smiley:

I would point out that the guest homilist was filling in for a congregation he did NOT know.

Did you notice that in your disapproval of the homily, you denied yourself the Eucharist?**


Who was the bishop? At least a hint?


It could be a very fitting sermon, however, for others…never know.:o I have sat through some odd sermons over the years, but I am a little confused with your salvation senitiment. I’m confused as to why you are linking walking out during the Bishop’s sermon, with not needing the Church for salvation?:confused:


I guess I don’t understand why you left because of a bad homily. :shrug: We don’t go to Mass for the homily, we go for the Eucharist and to receive Jesus.

You missed the most important part of the Mass.:frowning:

I have been through a lot of bad and boring homilies,so I just pray about them and for the priest or bishop that gave it. We need to pray for patience and love towards others and their shortcomings, etc.

I will pray for you.


Hello KingAlfred,

You know, in the past you’ve been one of the few to respond on a regular basis to many of my threads where I despaired in my salvation and the authority of Christ and his Church. Whether this was intentional is not really important: you had something to say which could potentially help an ailing Catholic, and you said it. It need not be any deeper than that.

Now it’s my turn – except that I have nothing unique or even encouraging to say. It truly is a shame that you missed celebrating the Eucharist all for an elderly bishop who might just be showing his age a little too much. Since I attend a parish where one priest just recently turned 80 (God bless his soul), you can imagine how diverted he can get when it comes to discussing something relevant to the Scripture readings as he darts between personal experiences, lives of the saints, what the text says, etc. And he’s doing this all on the fly. Yes, it can become tiring, especially when you hear the same stories several times over, but I try to pay attention just to see if maybe there isn’t some lesson I could potentially learn. Most of the time there’s not, but I’m also amazed by how this aging man has affected my life through some of the strangest stories!

We all get fed up with the Church and her Rules and her Reasons sometimes. Sometimes she can seem like a loving mother who loves her children so much that it seems suffocating and like a prison – and we wonder, “When do I get to leave home?” – but you never get to leave home because home is home. Just ask Bruce Springsteen, of all people. Here is a former Catholic who, for all we know, hasn’t yet returned to the Church in full, but writes songs based around Catholic-influenced themes of light, darkness, water, love, and “the rising” (resurrection) and wears Catholic medals (as jewelry). Choice or obedience or not, it’s where you’ll likely always come to even if one particular “father” seems a bit rambling.

I apologize if this didn’t help any at all, but only wanted to offer you what you’ve offered me.

God bless.


Salvation is not private.
Yes, we’re to have a personal relationship with Jesus. But we are to walk with each other and love each other in the Church that He established.
Loving includes a decision to bear each others’ imperfections – including the ramblings of a retired bishop who is doing his best in his role as celebrant of the Mass.


This guy is a good man, no doubt. I respect him, but he has completely lost control of himself and the Mass. He rambles on and on, absolutely ignoring the Mass schedule, the obvious impatience of the audience, brings a small stack of books for the sermon, as if we’re a classroom of seminarians, and quite frankly, is ruining what was a great tradition of local Masses at our parish. I don’t know where he came from, who he is, or why he now gives all the high-noon Masses, but I’m not returning to listen to him ever again. He has lost touch with reality. Being in charge is just as much about leadership as it is possessing expert knowledge and spiritual authority. A good leader understands and can connect to his followers.


I appreciate it, friend. And yes…I’m ailing right now. My job is super-demanding and at times, leaves me totally spent – emotionally and physically. I live by my faith while at work. It sustains me. When I attend Mass, I feed upon it, to gather strength to the return to the ‘front lines’ on Monday. When I don’t get any nourishment, I grow impatient, and at times, even angry. I started this thread rather impulsively. Thanks for hearing me out.


Your salvation is not between simply yourself and God, since salvation itself is communal first, individual second. We are redeemed as a community, individually through our union and communion with this larger community.

Salvation depends soley on Christ, but since Christ’s presence is mediated in and through the Church, the Body of Christ, your salvation depends on your unity with the Body by virtue of your Baptism. If you cut yourself off from the body, you cut yourself off from the life of the head, which is Christ.

In any case, I fail to see where this is comming from. You complain the bishop was “rambling on and on about a pointless sermon” so you walked out. Then you move to Martin Luther and salvation being between you and God, not some Church. I fail to see how that is related to a long pointless sermon. I grant bishops for some reason seem to think that part of being a bishop is rambling on and on, and not knowing when to shut it, but what does that have to do with Martin Luther and the Reformation? How do you get from long pointless boring bishop rambling to Martin Luther, the Reformation, and salvation being personal such that it denies the role of the Church? Help me see this connection. Help me to see what it is you want to discuss here: The theological issue of the nature of salvation/justification and the role of the Church, OR long boring pointless sermons by old bishops.

The essence of my questino is this in short: What does a long boring pointless sermon have to do with Martin Luther?

I am no Psycologist, and I don’t pretend to be one. Allow me however to just go out on a limb here and suggest that perhaps you have some baggage? Perhaps there is more going on here then simple bordom with a “Long, pointless, boring sermon?” I mean I have been through my fair share of rambling bishops, but I don’t then jump from that to Martin Luther.


Dear friend, you haven’t said what he said. It is more for you to work on your patience. When you mentioned about him losing touch with reality, you need to re-examine yourself how you are to the reality.

You expect to have a good sermon, then you should’ve stayed in the mass and pray for the priest. :slight_smile: Leaving the church does nogood not only for you and also for those whom God wants you to pray for.



One thing I forgot to add: The statement “I am Catholic by choice, not by obligation” is correct. However it is misleading. Such a statement places the emphasis on the person rather then God’s work in the person. Catholics are “God Centered” not “Man Centered.” This means we ALWAYS and EVERYWHERE begin with God and end with God.

Hence the statement should more accurately read “I am Catholic becasue the Father has drawn me and given me to Christ His Son by virtue of my Baptism. Through the Grace of God I respond in love becasue God has first loved me.” Translation: “I am Catholic by Choice-” but the statement is not as misleading when we fill in the details. We see that the origin of our “choice” for Catholocism lies not with our own initiative, but God’s. We see that our “choice” for remaining Catholic lies with God’s initiative, not ours. Indeed we are “Catholic by choice” but only through God’s work within us.

I am sorry I realize I should have posted this in reply to the original post. I do not intend to reply to what you have said above. I did so by mistake.


It’s not misleading to me. I said it about myself. I’m qualified to speak to and about myself.


Yes…I shouldn’t have left. That being said, I won’t go back there as long as he’s running Mass. I find his disregard for effective communication on such important issues as Christian faith and action in this crumbling civilization borderline irresponsible.



Thanks!! Couldn’t have said it better!!!

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