This is my first post. I go to Mass a lot, love the liturgy,rosary,hymns (most of all),but find the whole thing very hard to believe. Sometimes I think it’s a nostalgia thing, going back to my happy Catholic upbringing, or it could just be an hour to myself to reflect and think? I look at the modern “designer” spirituality, and equate mantra chanting with the rosary etc.
I was raised in the days of fasting for 3 hours before Holy Communion, plenary indulgences, the nine Fridays, Novenas, Benediction and not eating meat on Fridays. These have all disappeared.Does anyone else feel the same?
Greetings, Mharie, welcome to the Forums! There are tons of folks here who feel just as you do. My biggest beef is “where’s the Confetior?” Oh, well, I should be grateful they don’t throw out the Kyire.
Welcome to the Board! Many of the things you mention are still here. True, we now fast 1 hour before receiving the Eucharist, but plenary indulgences, etc are still here. Things like the 9 First Fridays, Novenas, and fasting on Fridays are all things you can do on your own. There is still an obligation to perform some penance on Fridays, but it’s left up tp us to decide what we will do. Many choose to fast from meat on Fridays. Many parishes still have Benediction. In my parish, we have Holy Hour with Benediction twice a week. Saying the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament still brings a plenary indulgence “under the usual conditions” which are, prayers for the Holy Father, receiving the Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist, and (the most difficult) no attachment to sin. Many Catholics who believe they are receiving a plenary Indulgence, really are not, because of an attachment to sin. Saying the Rosary is not the same as chanting a mantra. The Rosary is a prayer that is a series of meditations on the life of Christ. As we pray the prayers, we are to meditate on each mystery. Many prayer books have a Scriptural Rosary, with Bible verses for each mystery. I believe it’s also available online. Just Google “Scriptural Rosary”. We are now to take responsibility for our own spiritual growth, with the help of the Holy Trinity, Mary, and the Communion of Saints. Don’t try to do everything at once. Start small, then add things one at a time. You can make your own Holy Hour even if the Blessed Sacrament is not exposed. Just go to the Church and spend an hour with the Lord. My Church is locked during the day, but someone (from) the rectory) will let you in. Is daily Mass an option for you? Say a Rosary, slowly and meditating on each mystery. One way I try to do it is to put myself into the mystery, so I am present at the Annunciation, Visitation, etc. Give up meat, or something else, on Fridays. Get a book of novenas and say your own. There is a lovely nnovena to the Divine Mercy and many to individual saints for specific purposes. Pamphlets of novenas can be pickid up at any Catholic book store or found online and printed out. Hope this helps with your journey. So it’s so long, but I wanted to cover the things you mentioned.
Welcome to the forums! You are not alone :). Sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper to get to the richness :).
These disappeared? I still do them. (I only converted to Catholicism in 2001.)
I am somewhat confused by OP, don’t know whether you lament changes in the liturgy from what you remember in youth (I think all of us old-timers do) or whether you somehow think that basic doctrine has changed, which it has not. If changes in liturgy are affecting the Catholic’s ability to accept and believe doctrine, and are causing difficultings with acceptance of Church teaching authority, that is best addressed by more study and faith formation. Plenty of resources here to do that on your own if your parish does not offer good programs.
all the devotions and penitential practices you mention are still here although not all Catholics and not all parishes practice them, or at least not in the same way. We are still obligated to do penance on Friday and during Lent, for instance, but we have more options.