Which is ironic considering the teaching people got from the 60’s onwards in the Church was all about how God loves us so much he doesn’t expect very much of us–and I think THAT is the big problem we have now. Who wants to stay in a Church that demands little or nothing of them? Actually, the Church calls us to holiness, which means having a rich and loving relationship with God and our neighbor. Too bad that isn’t being taught enough in some of our parishes.
What it says to me is we have two problems. One, some churches/parishes aren’t teaching the whole gospel or did a poor job relating the Gospel to the parishioner. You can not go very far in the Gospel without running into love. John 3:16…for God so loved the world… John declared God IS love! How can anyone miss that one? The entire point of the Bible is summed up with that one word!
I agree, but it isn’t shouted at them or made to be the only thing we focus on. Catholics are expected to be mature enough to hear homilies on more than how God loves us, and remember that we show God’s love through our words and actions. I guess there are many babies sitting in our pews who don’t wear diapers.
The second problem is we are not meeting the needs of some of our own. Its to Catholics credit to show mercy and compassion to the lost. But my goodness, there is room for improvement in making sure our own are also tended and nurtured without going to other churches.
Many parishes have Bible studies and prayer groups, but only a very few take advantage of them. Then too, Catholics ought to be reading their own wonderful spiritual works by the great Saints, such as Therese of Lisieux or St. Francis de Sales or even G. K. Chesterton (not yet a saint, but I’ve got great hopes he’ll be recognized one day).
I’ve had discussions with my mother-in-law about the changes in the church from Vatican II to the present. We both agree there is a lack of teaching inherent in the Sunday mass. You can go to mass every day and hear the word of God, but, those passages can just as easily go in one ear and out the other without connecting. It seems there is something missing from our body and it left starting with the the east/west split and multiplied with the Protestant reformation.
Sunday Mass is not for instruction of the faithful but for corporate worship and the reception of the Eucharist. People ought to read the Mass readings beforehand and meditate on them so that the homily will make more sense and speak to them. Many Catholics either don’t know how to prepare for Mass or they’re lazy or think all they can cruise through life putting nothing into their faith and still be saved. It’s sad, isn’t it?
Coming from the Protestant side and now going through RCIA, I now feel that I have a complete faith, but I don’t think I would had I always been Catholic. My wife (also my sponsor) is learning a lot that wasn’t covered in catechism. At first, my wife’s reaction to going with me was “I did 12 years of Catholic education, I don’t need to do it again”. When we first started going to church together, I was shocked to hear my wife say “I go to mass to zone out”.
I think this is the reason God is calling many of us former Protestants into the Church–to bring a new sense of wonder and zeal with us. With so many voices in our world calling to people, it can be hard for them to sort out which ones they need to listen to. And with indifferentism on the rise, many people truly believe it makes no difference what they believe as long as they have a rudimentary faith in Christ that they think will carry them through. It’s up to people like us to shake them up a bit and help them see things better.