I need help with the Church

I am a born and raised Catholic and have grown to love my faith even more the past few years. I am hitting a dilemma though. I have been hanging out with a Protestant friend who is considering converting but just bring around Protestants more is sometimes making me doubt my faith. Not that i would turn Protestant because I do see many flaws in their churches. But I am starting to not like some thing about our church and I need help.
1: I completely understand that we pray to saints for their intercession and not their power, but sometimes I feel like Mary is prayed to more and I noticed in mass my priest will bow when he says her name and that troubles me.
2: God has given me many reasons to believe Jesus is present in the Eucharist but sometimes I worry that it isn’t true and it angers me that I feel that way.
I feel like everyone should be more reverent and joyful at mass considering He is present. And sometimes I feel like We go to adoration to pray the rosary which seems odd to me because we are in the presence of God yet talking to Mary.
And also I feel like we can be not so loving and welcoming like many time I have gone into the adoration chapel and people turn at me and it just feels unwelcoming like I messed up by walking in there…

Or sometimes I feel like we turn to the catechism more than the Bible

My freind, always keep your faith strong,and pray the Rosary daily,for Our lady will take your prays to her son Jesus,for Jesus will give you the strenght you need,and don,t worry want happen or what you feel about the church,Just remember,at the end of our lives, we must answer to Jesus for our Faults,not he church,may God Bless you,and never abanded the love of God.

It’s good you’ve come to your fellow Catholics for some answers if you are being so heavily influenced by a Protestant friend. Remember, your Protestant friend doesn’t know what the Church teaches and why the Church practices certain things, so don’t get your information about what is correct from that source.

1: I completely understand that we pray to saints for their intercession and not their power, but sometimes I feel like Mary is prayed to more and I noticed in mass my priest will bow when he says her name and that troubles me.

Perception and reality are not the same thing. Firstly, the liturgies of the Church are directed to God, not to any saint, and not to Mary. In the Mass we offer God pure worship in “spirit and in truth.” As for bowing the head at Mary’s name, all Catholics should be doing this in honor of the one who said “Let it be according to your word” to the Angel Gabriel, allowing Jesus , Our Redeemer and Savior, to be conceived in her womb. If we bow to earthly queens, how much more should be bow at the name of the Queen of Heaven, the Mother of God?

2: God has given me many reasons to believe Jesus is present in the Eucharist but sometimes I worry that it isn’t true and it angers me that I feel that way.

When you have such worries tell the devil to go in Jesus’ name and ask for St. Michael to help you fight off the temptations to doubt that come from Satan.

I feel like everyone should be more reverent and joyful at mass considering He is present.

No one show be concerned about how others are reacting to the Mass, except for himself. :slight_smile: If you are reverent and joyful you may inspire others to be too. Those who come to Mass come for many reasons, not all of them the best reasons, but the Church does not bar anyone from attending Mass no matter how sinful he might be or how bad his intentions. It is open to all, the good and the bad alike so that they may receive God’s grace if they open their hearts and minds to it.

And sometimes I feel like We go to adoration to pray the rosary which seems odd to me because we are in the presence of God yet talking to Mary.

The recitation of the rosary and its mediations are reliving the Gospel in miniature. With each Hail Mary we relive Jesus’ Incarnation, the first work he did to redeem and save us. It’s not about Mary, per se, it’s about Jesus. He is the focal point of the rosary.

And also I feel like we can be not so loving and welcoming like many time I have gone into the adoration chapel and people turn at me and it just feels unwelcoming like I messed up by walking in there…

It’s human nature to stare at someone who comes in a room. Think nothing of it. Just smile, take your place and enter into adoration with Christ present in the tabernacle.

I don’t know if it helps but I recently wrote a meditation on these verses from the Book of Judith

[29] Then Achior seeing the head of Holofernes, being seized with a great fear he fell on his face upon the earth, and his soul swooned away. [30] But after he had recovered his spirits he fell down at her feet, and reverenced her and said:
[31] Blessed art thou by thy God in every tabernacle of Jacob, for in every nation which shall hear thy name, the God of Israel shall be magnified on occasion of thee.
Judith Chapter 13

[6] Then Achior seeing the power that the God of Israel had wrought, leaving the religion of the gentiles, he believed God, and circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, and was joined to the people of Israel, with all the succession of his kindred until this present day
Judith Chapter 14

They show, I think, in a Type how devotion to an agent of God leads directly on to adoration of God Himself. I wrote

Many people, and especially from those Christian traditions which have edited out the Book of Judith, think that by giving praise and honour to Mary we lead people away from Jesus yet Achior perceived instinctively that by praising with due praise one who perfectly fulfilled the role God had chosen for her he was thereby giving honour to God.

All the reasons that Catholics have for honouring Mary stem from her relationship with the Blessed Trinity and above all her Son, the Logos of God, Jesus Christ. We cannot contemplate her without contemplating Him and we cannot honour her without honouring Him. Yet there is this difference, Mary is one of us, the human and only human daughter of a human mother and father. She is Our tainted nature’s solitary boast as Wordsworth put it. She is not divine nor is she charged with the task of being our Judge. A great many people have no fear of Jesus and no sense of distance from Him and can pass in and out freely through His gate finding pasture (John 10:9) Yet we are not all the same, some, and it may be the more humble among us, do see the great distance between themselves and Jesus or they see deeply inside themselves just how much they deserve the judgement and ought to fear the judge. For these the Church offers Mary as the ladder which will lift us up gently and lovingly to Him

You say

We go to adoration to pray the rosary which seems odd to me because we are in the presence of God yet talking to Mary.

Well, firstly, Mary was the first Host, she contained Jesus Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, within the compass of her womb so it is entirely appropriate to include her in on Adoration. And secondly we are not talking to Mary instead of God we are meditating on the mysteries God worked through Jesus as seen through the eyes of Mary and we are asking her to carry our petitions to Him knowing that the prayers of a righteous person availeth much (James 5:16) and knowing also that there is no Christian more righteous than the Blessed Virgin.

You also say

I feel like we turn to the catechism more than the Bible

Why shouldn’t we? The idea of “Scripture Alone” is a heresy. The Magisterium of the Church contains all the Revelation of God part of which is contained in Sacred Scripture and part of which is contained in Sacred Tradition both parts being equally inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Catechism is a summary of both parts of Revelation, neither of which contradicts the other and neither of which is objectively superior to the other.

Haven’t you noticed that the Catechism is filled with biblical references? Do you really think the Church, that gave us the Bible doesn’t know what’s in the Bible or doesn’t use it to support the teachings Christ gave to her to pass on to the world? In my experience the Catechism is rarely mentioned in homilies, and not at all in the Church’s liturgies, so I don’t know where you got this impression. It certainly hasn’t been my experience/impression. I’m a convert with a background in both Episcopal and Pentecostal churches, so I can say without hesitation that the Church is totally biblical and correct in everything it teaches and practices.

He bows during Mass at the name of Mary because GIRM 234 tells him to do so:

A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the name of Jesus, Mary, and the saint in whose honor Mass is celebrated.

It’s a sign of respect. It takes nothing away from Jesus to do this for his mother, or any other saint for that matter. They are not saints independently of Jesus, but because of Jesus. When we venerate Mary or other saints, that veneration includes an implicit recognition of the fact that they didn’t become saints through their own power.

Instead of allowing yourself to feel anger, turn that anger into praise of God for loving you despite your doubts. Pray for God’s help with any doubts you may have about the Eucharist.

The fourth commandment tells us to honor our father and mother. Don’t worry about talking to Mary “instead of” Jesus in prayer. What loving son could possibly be upset when others choose to treat his mother with respect out of love for him?

Besides, when we talk to Mary while praying the rosary, who are we talking about? All of the mysteries of the rosary are about who?

Jesus.

The first mystery is important because Mary says yes to God when asked to be the mother of Jesus. The second mystery is important because Mary is sharing with Elizabeth the fact that she is pregnant with Jesus. The third mystery is important because Jesus is born. And so on.

Even the last two mysteries are only mysteries because of Jesus. Did Mary bring about her own assumption? Did Mary crown herself the queen of heaven and earth? No. The one who ascended into heaven of his own power is the one who assumed his mother into heaven. Mary is the queen of heaven and earth because her son Jesus is the king of heaven and earth.

Praying the rosary in the Real Presence of Jesus seems perfectly rational to me.

If you know that those people are being uncharitable, pray for them.

If you do not know that those people are being uncharitable, don’t assume ill intent on their part. They may just be curious to see who’s entering the adoration chapel.

How or what anyone prays in adoration is no one else’s business. None of us knows how to pray as we ought. We should mind our own business and worry about our own prayers.

An adoration chapel is a place of silence. Nobody should be welcoming or unwelcoming to anyone. Everyone should be praying privately and silently, and should mind their own business. Jesus is there. That’s all the welcome anyone needs.

-Tim-

I have been taught since early childhood to bow my head at the name of Jesus, no other name. BUT, I can understand the priest doing so during Mass.

I would just like to offer some reassurance that others have felt the same way at different times. Many people have had difficulties with devotions to the Blessed Virgin, so I would suggest speaking to your priest, he will have discussed this many times in the past.

With regard to how we believe other people behave, I would recommend some heavy praying along the lines of asking for help not to mind them and to concentrate on Him. I am ashamed to say that I let this run and run to the extent that it diverted me from the mass and prayers. It caused me some heavy damage, separation from God and my community, spiritually not physically. The fault was completely mine. I am not saying any of this applies to you but I was forced to admit that it was my bad attitude, hypocritical self righteous false piety and wrong judgement that led me away from God. I still struggle with distractions but know (to my shame) that being easily distracted is my weakness, which I have to work at. I just put this in, in the hope that you may not need to go through the same anguish.

Maybe your priest can offer much better support and guidance than I ever could.

:nope:

The host becomes Jesus. Mary did not become Jesus. Mary bore Jesus in her womb and gave birth to Jesus. The host does not contain Jesus and does not give birth to Jesus but becomes Jesus. Mary did not transubstantiate into Jesus and neither does the host carry Jesus and make Jesus present.

We do not adore Mary. Adoration is for God alone. Mary is not God.

-Tim-

Technically, we are all to bow our heads when the GRIM calls for it. And its actually in GRIM 275a, which is in Chapter IV of the GRIM usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/general-instruction-of-the-roman-missal/girm-chapter-4.cfm

  1. A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.

During Mass, three genuflections are made by the Priest Celebrant: namely, after the elevation of the host, after the elevation of the chalice, and before Communion. Certain specific features to be observed in a concele-brated Mass are noted in their proper place (cf. nos. 210-251).

If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is situated in the sanctuary, the Priest, the Deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself.

Otherwise, all who pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are moving in procession.

Ministers carrying the processional cross or candles bow their heads instead of genuflecting.

**275. A bow signifies reverence and honor shown to the persons themselves or to the signs that represent them. There are two kinds of bow: a bow of the head and a bow of the body.

a) A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated**.

God Bless.

Hmm, I took the comment to mean that she was the first to welcome Jesus into her womb.
The first to know Jesus.

Well stated.

I think that according to Jewish culture that the mother of a king is honored as a Queen and Jesus was a King, therefore to be honored. I go to mass for the mass itself and receiving communion. I personally have no problem with honoring the mother of a King. As I pray the rosary I am appealing the mother…Holy Mary, Pray for us of God now and forever. Most of us have asked our earthly parents at one time or an other…to pray for us. Just me thoughts and I am not the sharpest tool in the shed.

First, please know that doubts are not uncommon. It is a sign for us to gather reinforcements! Pray, pray, pray. Talk to God and ask for an increase in faith and understanding. Trust what you have been told is true!

We can be tempted when we feel insecure in the answers we are able to give others. Learn more about your faith- find information about the items that have you concerned and study until you understand the faith well enough to be able to answer your friends when these things come up.

We have a special devotion to the Blessed Mother that goes beyond that of any saint. Why?

  1. She was willing to risk it all to do as God asked.
  2. She was conceived without sin.
  3. She was the Mother of Christ.
  4. She suffered through the Passion with her Son.
  5. She trusted God every moment.
  6. God made her special- who are we to second guess?
    The priest bows in recognition of all of these things and more. As you said- veneration, not adoration. Can you think of a more perfect example of perfect obedience to the will of God?

Christ IS present in the Eucharist, body and blood! I have always found it funny that Protestants who believe literally in every other word in the Bible flinch at Jesus’ own words. :shrug:

Luke
17 Then he took a cup,* gave thanks, and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves;
18 for I tell you [that] from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “** This is my body**, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.”
20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.

From USCCB:
Recalling these words of Jesus, the Catholic Church professes that, in the celebration of the Eucharist, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the priest. Jesus said: “**I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. . . . For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” (Jn 6:51-55).**The whole Christ is truly present, body, blood, soul, and divinity, under the appearances of bread and wine—the glorified Christ who rose from the dead after dying for our sins. This is what the Church means when she speaks of the “Real Presence” of Christ in the Eucharist.

The transformed bread and wine that are the Body and Blood of Christ are not merely symbols because they truly are the Body and Blood of Christ. As St. John Damascene wrote: "The bread and wine are not a foreshadowing of the body and blood of Christ—By no means!—but the actual deified body of the Lord, because the Lord Himself said: ‘This is my body’; not ‘a foreshadowing of my body’ but ‘my body,’ and not ‘a foreshadowing of my blood’ but ‘my blood’"

usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/frequently-asked-questions/the-real-presence-of-jesus-christ-in-the-sacrament-of-the-eucharist-basic-questions-and-answers.cfm

Should people be more reverent? Perhaps. We each worship in our own way. We are not in any position to judge the devotion in others. In fact, we should not be paying any attention to them. If we are focused on the other people, are we truly being reverent ourselves?

Why do we praise Mary by praying the rosary in church? God loves her and he wants us to honor her!

You state that “people turn at me and it just feels unwelcoming like I messed up by walking in there”. How are the others responsible for your feelings? More likely it is your judgment of what their looks mean that is making you uncomfortable. You can’t know what they are thinking. Perhaps:

  1. Who came in?
  2. Oh, look. Mandy is here!
  3. It is nice to have another person at Mass!
  4. Did I hear the door?
  5. Is that “Susan”? She told me she’d meet me here…
    Next time, smile your prettiest smile, nod pleasantly to each of them as you mouth “good morning” to them, and refuse to think those negative thoughts about your fellow worshipers. Don’t let unconfirmed assumptions ruin your faith experience.

Please fight the temptations that you are facing. I know it is miserable to be in such a dark place. Consider it a test of your true faith. It is easy to believe in consubstantiation when our beliefs are not being challenged. Maybe God is anxious to move you to a new and deeper understanding of the Mass.

You are a good person. God is a good God. Trust and believe!

Mark
20 They brought the boy to him. And when he saw him, the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions. As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around and foam at the mouth.
21 Then he questioned his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He replied, “Since childhood.
22 It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
24 Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” (My favorite prayer!)

We kneel, pray, honor God and read from Scriptures every day and Sundays. We remember the Sacrifice of Jesus’ Crucifixion and celebrate His Resurrection. Is it too much for a priest and the congregants to bow when we mention the name of the Mother of our Lord?

One of the things that increased my faith in our Church is the realization that the types of questions, such as the ones you asked, have always been asked by Protestants and others. They are not new questions and they always seem to be based on misperception and exaggeration but not realities. When we answer those questions with the truth, the usual response is “I didn’t know that.” Sometimes the questioners become obstinate rather than reasonable and searching. There are answers, believe me; I am a very critical thinker and in my doubts and questions I have found some very good answers. Many responses were written years ago since the other churches have been asking these questions for years.

Doubt is healthy. St Thomas was not fired from his job because he doubted. Faith should be supported by doubt. So be sure also to pray.

And remember that the rosary is scriptural; Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, Glory Be’s, the Mysteries and meditations. There are even “Scriptural Rosaries” where each “Hail Mary” has an associated scriptural quote.

Try to find new questions. Get an old book on Apologetics. Those books were written well. Read the catechism. It is a great book and it shows the Scriptural roots of our beliefs.

Don’t be afraid to doubt and don’t be afraid to doubt your doubts, too. The ultimate goal is truth.

I see praying the Rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament as being like asking Mary to join us in prayer and add her powerful intercession to our prayers… more like she is next to me and together we are praying to God.

Firstly, by include her in on Adoration I meant include her in the company of those who are doing the Adoring. The way we include in people we love whenever we do something special like celebrate an anniversary or a wedding.

Secondly I was mildly playing on words, Mary played host to the original Host in the same sort of way that she was mother to her Creator.

Jesus did not come to abolish the law he came to fulfill the law, which he did perfectly. One of those laws is to honor your mother and father, which Jesus did perfectly. So in our walk with Jesus shouldn’t we, as Paul asked us to imitate him just as he imitates Jesus, honor Jesus’ mother just as Jesus did? Or did Jesus fail and not honor his mother as the law says? I think not.

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