Being catholic sucks- Have faith, but no joy


#1

Where to begin on this rant?

I’m a revert, my wife a convert (back in '04). We’ve tried every parish within driving distance and have come to the same conclusion at all of them. It sucks to be Catholic.

We believe all that the Church teaches, but have found that the people in our diocese are completely uncaring. The laity don’t know their faith, and our diocese is dominated by liberals who teach BS in both RCIA & CCD.

Anyway, I’m sick of my diocese. When I go to Mass, I can’t see past the blatent disregard for the rubrics of the Mass…You know…Say the black, do the red? The disregard of the GIRM. The political (Edited)(liberal drivel) that gets spewed from the pulpit…the Archbishop isn’t quite as bad as some of the priests, but he lets them do & say what they want. God our mother and all that (Edited). But he seems to have plenty of time to write letters about why we can’t have a TLM in our diocese or why we have to stand instead of kneel after the Agnus Dei…

We’ve quickly lost all desire to go to Mass. We go now because we are obligated. I no longer receive the Eucharist except on Easter & Christmas, because I get so enraged by the (Edited) that goes on at Mass that I am no longer in a worthy state. My wife is tired of the people that ask for your money & your time, but don’t give a (Edited) about you if you’re hurt or sick.

My wife is from a predominantly Baptist background, and craves some form of fellowship…she has volunteered many, many times to help out in a variety of groups, and always gets the same treatment. As long as she is the one giving her time or money, she’s welcome…but the second that she needs help she gets the cold shoulder.

An example, she’s been helping with the youth group at our new parish, and broke her foot over this last weekend. When she let the head lady know that she couldn’t help she didn’t even get a ‘Hope you feel better’…nobody cares. Same thing has happened in the past at different parishes with different groups.

What can be done…? I’m about to tell my wife to start going to her old Baptist services, where at least people cared about you, and wanted to be there. Not this apathy that you encounter at Mass…we would, of course, still attend Mass as well, but there is just nothing there for either of us.

I don’t have the strength to endure bad 70’s music, apathetic parishoners, & liberal/progressive priests any longer. I can read the Church documents, the history, the writings of the Saint’s and believe it all…and then go to the local parish and see something that just doesn’t mesh with what I think should be there…

We want to leave, but can’t…we know that the Catholic Church is the True Church…I don’t really know what to do. The depression that hits us every weekend is unbearable. We’re so tired of it…my wife says she feels like her faith in God is slowly dying…why would His church be so miserable? She knows firsthand how much people in Protestant churches care about each other…its hard…:frowning:

…we just don’t know what to do anymore…:nope:

Thanks for listening.


#2

I hate to ask, but do you HAVE to go to mass on Sundays at the church that you are going to? Have you tried other catholic churches? Different mass times? There are some wonderful differences in masses even at different mass times. Also, eucemincal projects are wonderful groups to be involved with. They are community as well.

I hope you find some answers soon. It sounds like you need to look around a but more…trust that there is a parish that can be a better fit.

(By the way, it helps me to keep my eye on Christ and a little less on the faithful.)


#3

***Many times I think Christ gets lost in religion. Meaning, we get too caught up with religious politics, socializing and rules of the Church that we forget the deep spirituality that’s the core of the faith. I would say to focus on Christ and your spiritual health rather than finding friendly, caring people. Perhaps that focus will help you to see clearly, and you will draw towards others in your parish who feel the same way you do.

Blessings,
Nikki***


#4

Cabin4-
We’ve tried every parish within a reasonable distance, and most of the Masses (English language anyway). There’s not much variety where we are.

Nicoletta-
I’m sorry, but that advice sounds so very hollow. What do you think we’ve tried to do the last 4 years? I’ve tried to ignore the bad…but just can’t let it go.

We’re to the point where we really resent going to Church. I will continue to attend Mass, not because I want to, but only because I have to. My Wife is so miserable thinking about this weekend that she’s on the couch crying. The depression is killing me. If I could go back in time & do things differently, I wouldn’t have worked on converting my wife. She is miserable as a Catholic…

Is it a sin to hold membership with a protestant Church if you still attend mass on Sundays & Holy Days…?

…Oh, I just realized that some of my words above got bleeped…they weren’t all that bad. I didn’t realize the filters would get something that benign. NOT foul words…just excrement starting with a ‘C’…


#5

STOP…and remember just one thing. God wants you to pray to him when you need help. I hope that you both can find a spiritual director to talk with about this “jump” that you seem to be thinking about. I won’t sit here and rant about why you should not.

You need some serious assistance and you need to talk with a priest to find out some names of some spritual directors in yoru area. Call the Faith Department in your diocese if you feel uncomfortable talking with ANY of the priests.

Please, don’t think that making a jump will solve your dissalusionment with your church community. Lean on prayer…attend mass that is easiest for you to attend (later time, different church).

It sounds old but pray, pray, pray and get some assistance. We are not alone in all of this…reach out.


#6

(Don’t worry about the bl*****ing.)!!!

I just read the part about your wife…you need to work on you and your relationship with the Lord. This is a struggle that you need to look for His guidance and words.

Can you attend mass in the morning and allow your wife to work it out for herself. It is hard to take somene to mass that does not wich to be there. You need to know where you fit first.

I wish you the best. It sounds like a misserable time and that IS not what it is about. Please seek some help.

Ask God for help.


#7

I am so sorry. Your parish really sounds awful.

I don’t think you’d be happy in a Protestant Church though - not if you know in your heart the Catholic Church is True.

So you’re in a pickle.

My advice would be to offer up your suffering. And yes, I believe it is suffering, especially for your poor wife who had fellowship at her old church to now have to put up with uncaring people at your parish. :frowning:

I would pray for a few good friends for her. I don’t think it takes an entire parish to make people feel loved, just a few kind souls. I really pray some come along to show her some real friendship.

What else can you do? Like Peter said, “Where would I go Lord?”

I hope her foot heals quickly.


#8

Having faith without no joy? what kind of joy are you seeking?

You shouldn’t complain about your parish by using this kind of language ***** to indicate the kind of words you wanted to say; it isn’t nice.


#9

I struggled with similar feelings like this for a long time … even now at times. It is sometimes the fact that non-christians are more loving and kind that sanctimonious catholics. and some catholics ANNOY me and i DISLIKE them greatly.

But, the one thing I have learnt is that these people are not GOD and thank God for that!
God is good even when people are less than impressive


#10

Dear Isidore:

I am sorry you and your wife feel so isolated. I have been there at times with a too-liberal parish, as well as a more conservative one. It felt empty, lonely, devoid of Christ. I started going to the Traditional Latin Mass 50 miles from my home. I do not go every weekend due to the price of gasoline but I get a good “jumpstart” from the priest who is a good homilist, the traditional Gregorian music, the people who are bright and devout, and the mass itself which is more solemn and prayerful. Some people mock these masses but the prayers are powerful and protective.

I continue to go to the other churches at times and I pray for the entire congregation before or after mass. I have heard some insane “Made-up” prayers from a priest at times; I have seen strange practices by some of the parishioners. We live in strange times. The music can be flat, corny, or outright distracting at times. I lose my focus on the mass when I see these aberrations. The devil wants us to lose our calm. My friend reminded me to offer it up. Any suffering offered up to God becomes a powerful prayer…a sacrifice. Surround yourselves with the sacraments and the sacramentals. God is present above all the noise and God is greater than all the noise. Please pray for the Church. We need to pray more. Some things indeed have gone awry in some parishes.

Learn Latin, learn Gregorian chant, learn your catechism, keep holy water in your home and sprinkle it in your church (if it’s neglected). Find any Perpetual Adoration chapels. Join a Legion of Mary. Volunteer in an RCIA or catechism and help set the children and converts straight on the path. Visit senior homes and share your woes with older Catholics. They feel this loss too and would enjoy your outlook and presence. Say a rosary with them or read scripture.

I am not sure how painful this is for you. You sound depressed and helpless. I will pray for you and your wife. There are many who feel as you do. They talk, gather, support TLM communities, publish newspapers, magazines, websites to bring each other together, away from this isolation. Perhaps you could connect with some traditionalists and work on bringing a Latin mass to your diocese. I know what you are thinking: “No way. The bishop will never allow it” but I am from such a liberal diocese and the bishop did indeed allow it. And now the Pope has lit the way.

God bless you and protect you and your wife.


#11

Isidore,

Luckily, where I live, there are probably 50 parishes within 20 miles so I was able to find one that is orthodox and where the people are caring.

However, I suggest the following and let me know if it helps.

  1. Arrive at Mass early and spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, asking Jesus to come to you in the Mass, even though Mass may be illicit and filled with liberal drivel.

  2. Meditate on a crucifix and realize that dealing with a parish that is not too welcoming or orthodox is a great cross to bear, but with Jesus’ help we can bear it.

  3. Realize that we go to Mass for Christ in the Eucharist, rather than to be entertained or comforted by the people there. The comforter is Christ, and there is no entertainer.

  4. Pray for priests and bishops daily. Make holy hours for them.

  5. Remember that Christ ordained Peter the first pope, and he was far from perfect … Christ even called him Satan. The human elements of the church will always be imperfect, but the only way to improve them is to pray.

We all deserve an abuse-free Mass, but we must realize that Christ is truly present even in an abuse-filled Mass at an unfriendly church. I take great solace in this fact especially when I am out of town. A miracle still happens at every Mass, and we should look forward to that every time we enter the church.

I hope this was helpful and I hope my prayers are too! You will be in them.

Have a Great Easter!

JD


#12

My heart goes out to you both. Could it be that the Holy Spirit might be calling you to make some change happen in your parish? Maybe some small step like a welcoming ministry for newcomers to the parish, or a call ministry to check on people who are ill? You have found a weakness, maybe your parish has not found the right people to fill the need.

I know this doesn’t help your situation, but be assured that not all Catholic parishes have the same problems you’re finding there. :frowning:


#13

While you may think your heart is in the right place and your search is sincere, and it is the Church and her stumbling ministers that have failed you, in fact it sounds as if you have turned the practice of your faith on its head and made it all about you instead of selflessly giving of yourself, your talents and your will over to God’s purposes.

You are not in church to be patted on the back, entertained, fulfilled or “made” joyful by virtue of participation in a technically perfect rendition of the mass–Latin or NO. You are there to give praise, thanks, seek forgiveness and grace and to share in the great sacrifice and ritual that is the eucharist. If the church you attend provides an environment that unreasonably distracts you from your purpose of worship, you are free to try another. But if *every *parish you try is a “failure” perhaps the problem lies elsewhere.

The focus, spirituality and connection with God must come from prayerful and reverent reflection and self-sacrifice that leaves your will open to God’s stirring in your heart. Frankly, you both sound like stubborn, tempermental children pouting and crying when things don’t go your way. Grow up. The Church is not now nor will it ever be a perfect institution. The connection and fulfillment you seek is not going to be found from without. Be still and reflective and you may discover the peace and presence of God is not so far removed as you have imagined. If you can also work on letting go of some of your hostility you might be pleasantly surprised at the fellowship you can attract.


#14

Ouch.


#15

Hi. Here in the Philippines, we have that same problem too, that is, the mass is dry, the priest are not good witness to the gospel, the people are uncaring, etc. Personally I experienced what you felt even to the point where I stopped attending mass altogether. But you know, God has opened my eyes and my heart. I miss the whole meaning of the Eucharist and the meaning of being Catholic, of being a Christian. Instead on focusing on Christ and my relationship with Him, I focused on the people who are not good witnesses to the gospel and that bothered me so much to the point that I even concluded that it is a hopeless situation. I forgot that the priests, the laity, and other parishioners (Catholics) are human beings and that they also fall into tempation and sin like everybody else, Catholics, Protestants, Moslems, Hindus, and so forth.


#16

I would also like to share with you these wonderful things written by Bo Sanchez, a Filipino lay preacher and writer.

Meditation:
There are many who join Christian communities because of various benefits they provide: happy friendships, engaging activities, roles that increase esteem…But these cannot be our primary reason for being part of a spiritual family. True conversion to Juesus is the beginning and end of all community life. If the memeber has not had this genuine conversion, his first focus will not be the Lord, but personalities, procedures, programs, and policies of the communities. Here lies the weakness of all communities. For only Jesus is our Savior, never our spiritual family.

Questions:

  1. Has your religious community or group failed you in the past? What was your response?
  2. If your life purpose is to be a good community member, you won’t be one. If your life purpose is to be a saint, then you will be a good community member. What is your life purpose?

#17

Today, I am still a Catholic and I do not focus on the things that other people do or dont do. I just focus myself on loving God, basking in His love, and loving others as God has loved me. And you know what? I discovered more of the Catholic faith now than ever before and I have come to appreciate the Catholic faith more and learned so much on loving God, loving our neighbors and loving myself better. Being a Christian and living as a true Catholic is fantastic.

God bless us all.


#18

Well, I’ll agree with ya, actually! Being a Catholic can suck sometimes. Obviously, despite all of the spiritualisms which everyone understandably wants to offer up - and good as they are, there are inherent human needs which one has that too often are not well met by parish life. And I don’t know that I have any magic bullets to help suggest a solution, either. Find friends elsewhere who are supportive. Get together with like minded Catholics on your own. Do whatever you have to, while maintaining faith for what it is of its own accord. Don’t expect that Church to be able to offer all of that for you, because it probably can’t and won’t (certainly not entirely.) If your hope and trust lies in the frail human aspects of the institution, alone, it will fail you - for your hope lies in something which can not ultimately be fulfilled or fulfill.


#19

Most people are not there to make friends they’re there to worship God.

Jesus went to pray …

Mark 14:37
And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?

We are at church praying the Mass.

We are there to worship God in all His glory in a house of worship.

Maybe the idea of “fellowship” needs to be changed alittle?

I found “fellowship” in the New Testament.

Acts 2:42
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

We do that.At every Mass.

1 Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Our fellowship is in Him.

2 Corinthians 13:14
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

Ahh now thats “fellowship” also.

1 John 1:6
If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

Interesting.

1 John 1:7
but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

I like that one.

Then I looked up “friendship” in the Bible.

James 4:4
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

That makes sense.

Sounds like the devil has been tickling your ear?

Prayer to St. Michael
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of Battle; Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke Him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl through the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

This powerful prayer of exorcism was composed by Pope Leo XIII; in a vision, he had been shown the fearful battle to be waged between Satan and St. Michael, over the Church of the future. Now, as never before, the Church needs the intercession of St. Michael! Please say this prayer every day.


#20

If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.
[size=2]Abraham Lincoln
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