Going to Church


#1

What do you do if noone else wants to go to Mass?

On one of our first “dates” my husband and I went to Mass together. Ten years later, God is barely even a part of our lives. We were devout and involved in the Church. Now my husband waits until Sunday to go to work so he’ll have an excuse not to go. If I force my kids to go, the three oldest complain constantly and cut up when we get there. If I go by myself, I cry all the way there and can’t enjoy it.

We’ve had a lot of tragedies in the last few years that contributed to us not going to Church. I miss it, though. I have a hard time praying now and feel like making it Mass on a regular basis would be a good place to start.

Has anyone out there had a similar experience? How do/did you deal with it? It hurts to go and it hurts not to go. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


#2

I go by myself often. I know I'm not the only one there alone or without my spouse. I wish it were different, but I accept that this is where God wants me to be. Sometimes I find it easier to appreciate the beauty of the Mass when I go alone. There is nobody to correct (sit up, stop talking, kneel down, look at Jesus, etc.).

Go alone and try to let go of worries about what others might be thinking (why is she alone...). Just focus on our Lord. Maybe going to daily Mass and/or a visit to the Blessed Sacrament outside of the Mass will give you some peace as well.

You may be the example your family needs to come back to God. It might take a while, but if you get involved and develop your prayer life, your life will change in a visible way. There will be some turmoil while this happens (your family might not like the changes), but you must go where the Lord leads you.

Find a way to get involved at the church. A prayer group or Bible Study will give you a small community of supporters who can help you through this difficult time.

Meanwhile, I will pray for you. Praise God that He's drawing you home!


#3

Go by yourself. Live your faith. If you show your faith, others will follow by the Holy Spirit.

How do you expect your children to want to go to Church if you don’t go willingly yourself? You’re not setting a good example for them. Perhaps start with going by yourself until you get into a routine of it, then bring your children.

While at Church focus on God, not on your problems. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in you. Trust in God. You’re blocking Him out yourself by not going. God doesn’t remove Himself from your life, you remove Him from it. You just need to open yourself to Him again.

My fiance and myself live 4 hours apart, so about every other Sunday I go to Mass alone. Is it easy? No, of course not. I get lonely and feel like the only one there by myself. But I don’t dwell on it. I’m not there to pity myself, I’m there to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He’ll strengthen my faith and my life if I just trust.


#4

When I was a confirmed bachelor ( I have been married 17 years now) I was living with a friend who thought that the Church was just there to control the peasants. He styled himself as a agnostic atheist, he did not care if God existed or not, but he did not believe. He was a good friend in spite of this and every week, I lived with him for 16 years, I went to Church faithfully. While we spoke of God frequently, I never pushed for him to come with me to Church. I kept him in my prayers and prayed for his conversion The long and the short of this story is one day I did ask if he was interested in going with me to Bible study and he surprised me by saying yes. A year later he went through the RCIA program and entered the Church. But that is not the end of the story, three years after entering the Church he entered training and three years after that became a permanent deacon. I know God did all of the work here, but my example did not hurt too much either.

I agree with the other folks, go to Church, even if it is on your own. When you fly on an airplane they tell people with children that should the airmask drop to put theirs on first and then assist their children. I think that is what you have to do. First tend to your own spiritual needs. Be a good example, show them that Christ does make a difference in your life and I am sure that they will eventually come along. The important point is do not be discouraged, remember you are planting the seed, God will cause it to grow. Bless you and your family. I will remember them in my prayers tonight.


#5

Definitely go by yourself and not just on Sundays. Find a group like a Bible study, a craft group, a women's fellowship or something and get involved. Your spirit needs to be fed and you need fellowship with other faithful Catholics. As you are fed spiritually I believe that it will give you strength to deal with your family and perhaps they will see positive changes in you and want some of whatever is filling you with joy!

I have some wonderful friends through my parish who I would not have ever met if I had not taken the plunge and gone myself and gotten involved. As a single woman I don't even have the option of going to mass with family members. However, due to my involvement in my parish rarely do I sit alone where I don't know anyone around me even though my parish is huge. Perhaps if you are too busy to be involved in something like teaching RE, you could work on special events like your parish carnival/festival or help the choir by organizing their music files or spend one hour per week in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Believe it or not I actually met people by sharing that hour of silence in our chapel because we arrive and leave about the same time when relieved by other adorers.


#6

well me n my brother try to go by our selves cuz my poarents work all day n i have soccer games on the morning but we still go i think going to church its important


#7

[quote="rosyrbd13, post:6, topic:183421"]
well me n my brother try to go by our selves cuz my poarents work all day n i have soccer games on the morning but we still go i think going to church its important

[/quote]

That is wonderful. I am sure Jesus is very pleased with your faithfulness.


#8

Go. You’re not going to Church as a social activity, nor to enjoy yourself either, but to fulfil an obligation to God. Just as you fulfil your obligations to your husband, your children, your boss if you work. And I’m sure you do so even on those occasions where it’s not exactly enjoyable or pleasant you, don’t you?

If you feel like crying, cry. But still go. St Monica spent decades in constant prayer and fasting for her husband and son who were not faithful Christians. Accompanied by plentiful tears for them, as her son reports of her. They both converted, and her son is St Augustine, bishop, brilliant theologian and Doctor of the Church. So her tears, which she doubtless laid before Our Lord at Mass if they came at that time, bore great fruit indeed. You can imitate her in offering your tears, at Mass as well, on their behalf.


#9

Thank you all very much. I can't say I haven't had these thoughts, but hearing it from others helps me put it in perspective.

God bless you all!


#10

Find a retreat that you and your husband can make, or two that you can each take on your own. Retreats are something important for every Catholic and in this busy world we neglect them.

Pray together with your husband, just the two of you, every day.


#11

[quote="maapple, post:1, topic:183421"]
What do you do if noone else wants to go to Mass?

On one of our first "dates" my husband and I went to Mass together. Ten years later, God is barely even a part of our lives. We were devout and involved in the Church. Now my husband waits until Sunday to go to work so he'll have an excuse not to go. If I force my kids to go, the three oldest complain constantly and cut up when we get there. If I go by myself, I cry all the way there and can't enjoy it.
We've had a lot of tragedies in the last few years that contributed to us not going to Church. I miss it, though. I have a hard time praying now and feel like making it Mass on a regular basis would be a good place to start.
Has anyone out there had a similar experience? How do/did you deal with it? It hurts to go and it hurts not to go. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

[/quote]

GET your husband and kids to confession asap - and let them confess/discuss this with your priest. Skipping mass due to laziness/indifference is the fast-track shortcut to eternal damnation - not something to be taken lightly. Besides, if they are not seeking God's will for themselves, they are going to miss out on the true joy and happiness that God intends for all of us that live according to his will. Tragedies and difficulties in this life are sometimes 'graces' granted by God to help bring us closer to him - never reasons to be away from from the mass and the 'Bread Of Life' that is offered there.


#12

Go by yourself. You don’t have to ‘enjoy’ it. You go to praise God and to be close to the miracle of the consecration. Pray for your family while you are there–that they will be open to God and to his will for them.

Not attending Mass each Sunday is a mortal sin. Please be concerned about your own soul and go. Your husband and your older children are it sounds like old enough to be responsible for their own decisions. If you have younger children, take them with you. If not, go anyway.

Also, do not wait until Sunday to pray for your dh and children. Start praying for their souls every day. Consider fasting from some treat because prayer and fasting go together to make your prayer stronger. But don’t whine, complain, or show off about your fasting. Do it in secret and do willingly for the sake of your family’s immortal souls.


#13

i was at the same place as you.. when i went through some hard times, i felt like going to church so much and trying to get some peace that i exhausted myself and then when things still went south, i was so dejected, i could not bring myself to go to church.. i tried a few different churches before i found one that gave me some peace.. and now i am able to go to the old one too without any hurt feelings..


#14

[quote="rosyrbd13, post:6, topic:183421"]
well me n my brother try to go by our selves cuz my poarents work all day n i have soccer games on the morning but we still go i think going to church its important

[/quote]

i just found this language so cute, i had to comment on it.. this is the texting generation.. :) i love ur attitude.. keep it up! and kudos to ur parents too


#15

If your parish has a Saturday evening Mass, it may be that your husband or kids would be more likely to go, also. Sometimes people who get very resentful about getting up and out on Sunday morning are perfectly okay with a later in the day Mass... strange but true.


#16

No matter what YOU go, even if you aren’t able to enjoy it, even if no one else will go. You will find your strength in not giving this up. Then you can take your kids. Talk to them ahead of time, let them know why they are expected to go, the promise that you made at their baptism, then set some consequences for not going and for not behaving. I have had the same battle with my kids. I wasn’t strong enough and lost the battle (not the war!) with my older two kids (18 and 16) but have been staying firm with my younger two (9 and 7). They do best at the first Mass on Sunday morning sitting as close to the front as we can get. Make sure they participate, because it does help them appreciate it. Put your arm around them at Mass and show them some physical affection. It’s amazing how receptive they can be. Even if it is difficult and they are awful, don’t give up because it does get better.


#17

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