I have a Protestant friend who says this about our faith. I never thought this was true, but reading some of the subjects discussed here at this site makes me wonder. My fellow parishioners seem far different from what I read here, I don’t hear too much agonizing over the details of canon law or liturgy amongst my friends.
Someone posted this before. I don’t mean to not give credit to whoever did it, but I don’t remember. I just saved the post because I thought it was great.
Go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days (that’s not very hard - and if you end up in a situation where it really is too hard, hey, guess what, the obligation disappears).
Follow the laws of fasting and abstinence, which again, are not too hard, and again, if they really are too hard, then they don’t apply to you, anyway.
Receive Holy Communion once a year, during the Easter season. That’s easy, right? You probably receive it more often than that, already.
Go to Confession once a year, and any time you have a mortal sin to confess. That’s kind of scary, but once you get into the Confessional, the priest helps you - it’s not too bad; it’s just a conversation. And the best part about it is that you receive Absolution for all of your sins - the priest forgets all about them as soon as you leave the Confessional, and so does God.
Support your parish priest to the best of your ability. Your ability, not someone else’s ability. Again, easy stuff.
Everything else depends upon your state in life.
If you are married, you have to follow the laws of marriage. They can appear to be complicated, but in reality they are very, very simple - love your spouse, take good care of each other, and be open to the idea of having children together.
If you work, you have to follow the laws of economic justice - which can, again, seem pretty complicated, but when you boil them right down, they’re about giving a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage, taking good care of your employees, and making sure your work is the kind that helps other people, instead of hurting them in some way.
In all things, God first.
There’s really not that many “rules” to Catholicism at all.
To non-Catholics our Church does appear to be too structured, with too much red tape. My friend attends a spirit-filled Church that is full of life and love, she’s says. She tells me that she would never feel comfortable in the Catholic Church with it’s complex rules and formal liturgy. I have no answer for this. She tells me that Jesus came to break down the stranglehold of legalism and that the Catholic Church has made everything too complex and legalistic.
Hah! So spirit fulled churches are free from this? When so many times you have to follow the unwritten rules of no smoking, no drinking, no gambling, no secular music, no rated R movies, no whatever else the pastor decides is wrong.