Irritated at Religious Ed

Hey guys! So many times at mass or in religion class or something of that nature they encourage youth, my peers(im 13) to get stronger in faith, but they joke and re assure people by saying things like "that doesnt mean you have to say a rosary every day, but…OR they will say Im not saying you should kneel in adoration and do liturgy of the hours every day, OR you dont have to go out and become a priest or nun, OR it doesnt mean wear a cross or “Jesus t-shirt”…you get the jist… Im kind of sick of these remarks. Because im trying to say the rosary every day, every person should, if i could id do liturgy of the hours in adoration i would, I am thinking about priesthood or monastic life, and I like Jesus t-shirts, lol i have many. :stuck_out_tongue: AND i wear a crucifix, with medals on it everywhere. Im sick of people teaching youth saying that sort of stuff, because they essentially say “you dont have to be serious”. And you do. I get that they dont want to turn youth off with boring rules, but when i saw a bunch of teens at ICYC, thats Idaho Catholic Youth Conference, which is epic, they all did the same things that the religious ed people say you donjt have to. And which group was mor happy and energetic? The one who had a jesus t shirt, and cross, medals, rosary in pocket bible in hand and worship and prayer daily, acting like a general “Jesus freak”…why do people make this sound bad? Its a good thing and the youth SHOULD act like this. Thoughts? And if you influence youth spiritually in any way, ENCOURAGE the “jesus freak” way of living, seriously. Otherwise you raise kids like those in my class who are catholic onlly in name, and hardly even that.

I think you raise good points. Perhaps you should tell your Pastor (in a nice way).

I think this is a good way to enhance the Religious Education program.

Now, at the same time, please keep in mind that most religious Ed teachers are volunteers and many have not taken classes to be a Catchiest.

Having taught classes before (not religious Ed, but other things) sometimes teachers try to teach on the student’s level and teach to the middle. That why sometimes, even in regular schools, students at the top and bottom suffer because the teaching is aimed at the middle.

The key for you is to keep doing what you are doing. Keep coming to Catholic.com, pray the Rosary, do the LOTH when possible, go to adoration, attend seminars, retreats, conferences, etc… Invite your classmates and even your teacher.

Be a model for the other kids and even your teacher.

I hope this is helpful.

God Bless

You are wise beyond your years!

What do they say after this? What is the heart of what they are saying? Don’t let an annoyance deafen you to what God is trying to say to you.

“All the exercises of religion…-prayer, reading, the sacraments, daily Communion, the Mass-however holy in themselves, are only means to an end. Their use and practice, however frequent and fervent, do not constitute holiness. They are a great help to holiness, but holiness itself is something quite different. Holiness is something which effects every moment of our life, something which is rooted in the depths of our being. It is a permanent union with God, a constant abiding in Christ by lovingly doing His will, always and in all things.”

From: tanbooks.benedictpress.com/index.php/page/shop:flypage/product_id/1119

You have an amazing quality for a 13 year old. You seem to know who you are. The best advice I can give you is to always remember that worship is a personal experience. No one can get me to worship with less passion or enthusiasm. I control my actions, no one else. If others lack your passion or devotion, all I can say is-forgive them Father, they know not what they do. Keep up the good work-it is after all, God’s work!

You make a good point. Those things are all positive marks of Catholicism and should be encouraged.

I am guessing, but I think the teacher is trying to make a point with the teens in her class. I would guess that many of them (most?) are much less devout than you are. The teenage years are years of questioning authority of all kinds while the teens grapple with all they have been taught in order to discern their own beliefs. This is a good thing. They no longer want to go to church because someone (God, parents, teachers…) is “making them”. They are seeking a sincere personal belief.

Many of your classmates are very concerned with what others think of them. They feel uncomfortable with visible outward signs of their faith. They aren’t yet ready to make a firm stand for their Catholic beliefs. Their faith has simply not yet matured to that point.

So, your teacher is letting them know that their faith can be expanded in simple ways, in baby steps. They don’t have to do it all in one fell swoop. She is probably afraid that she might scare the teens into leaving the Church or quitting CCD because it seems too overwhelming. (Many teens do in fact cease worshipping after their confirmation.) Unfortunately she has expressed this in a negative way.

Perhaps the next time this comes up you could ask her a direct question about what she has said…“Ms. Smith. I have always been taught that saying the rosary each day is a really good thing to do. Isn’t this true? Aren’t we supposed to read the Bible, pray, and live our faith?”

Be polite. Be direct. Be respectful. And do have some understanding for your teacher. She has a tough job. Not many of her students are ready for the level of faith which you have attained. Remember, even the apostles were taught slowly with Christ adding more information as they became more ready to hear His message.

Do recall that these students have parents who are supposed to be in the role of primary teachers of their children. The Catechist is an aid to their learning. I am guessing that the students who are not living in as faithful a way as you might expect may not have been properly taught in the home.

Faith takes many forms. “Jesus Freak” may work for you and many others. But, there are many quiet saints who live simple scriptural lives of service to others which no one would even suspect! There is room in Catholicism for both of these and for all of those who fall somewhere in between.

Yes, I see the point of the previous post, about teaching to the middle – that can drive you crazy.

Jesus did not teach this way.

When I consider my personal sins, it is obvious to me what kinds of bad influences I have had because of non-direction or mis-direction. You can feel very betrayed by being treated this way.

What you’re describing goes along with a lot of Bible instruction aimed at the middle of the crowd, instead of aiming for the top. There are priests who like to talk about the fictional parts of the Bible, without saying anything constructive or useful about those parts that they think are fictional. I’m always tempted to ask them directly, OK, which pages should I tear out of my bible?

You don’t learn the Bible by skimming through it. The Bible is really three-dimensional and it should be taught that way. People ramble through the Nicene Creed without appreciating the heresies it was fighting and the amount of work it took to choose the correct wording, that interprets scripture correctly.

But, there’s always the kids who want to know “is this going to be on the test?” It’s hard to work with people of that mentality.

Don’t worry about it, you are fine. Your teachers may not be too comfortable in their own skin. So just let it pass as ignorance and pray for them.

Linus2nd

You are pointing out a major problem: that as a society we do not challenge young people.

You are pointing out a major problem: that as a society we do not challenge young people but instead make it easy for them to be mediocre.

Well they are not trying to condemn being that devout, they just dont want to scare people away. Well I disagree with this, thats like a mormon hiding their secret things until you are more mature. They should show sainthood for what it is and say if you want it come, if not leave. Thats how Jesus rolled. And sure, only 12 people followed, but they rocked the world. This is how is should be, no in between, as in between is a self deception, and fills the Church with surface catholics but non catholics at heart. Why? Because then they view the devout ppl as “really religious” This is a catholic school im talking about, and students there think it is weird for you to be “really religious” Thats the term they use, and its because the school has taught them that there is an in between.

Lol how well i know about the “is it gonna be on the test” people. Thats the rest of my class. Sart reading a Bible, kids…Oh, teacher, how long do we have to do that? Will we be tested on it? So prayer is…Oh do we have to take notes? DRIVES ME NUTS.

you just answered your own question so to speak. Not all teens are as eager as you are to learn about the faith. And parents are always saying “why aren’t the classes more FUN? My kids don’t want to come to religious ed because you teach too much religious stuff”.

:shrug:
Bizarre.

True but,…OK. LISTEN ALL ADULTS OR ANYBODY WHO INFLUENCES YOUTH SPIRITUALLY. If you downcast the faith to rules, leave out true sainthood, real prayer lives, regular bible studying, spiritual warfare and vocation discernment the kids you teach will probably not be the best Catholics unless they receive those messages elsewhere. Im complaining about the teachers. The kids dont wanna learn cuz it seems boring and I dont blame them. They can see no action, or rebellion, in the faith. Im the only onje in my class who realized something, and tell your kids this when the become teens: In this society, being a saint is WAY more rebellious and powerful than drugs, dating, or anything else. I wanted to rebel, so I did. And I became devout Catholic t rebel against the secular forces in culture. This is the spirit we need to to give youth!

Thanks for the lecture.
Those of who DO teach all grade levels and adults and who have certifications, Theology degrees and a gift for teaching do just that.
I’m sorry you’ve had such a lousy experience.
But don’t label all educators with the same crayon, ok?
Peace.

Wow… Can I adopt you? :smiley:

But seriously… Perhaps you have a calling to be a Youth Minister or a Catechist Trainer. Education has been taken over by liberals in today’s society, even religious education. We need more educators who know how to “keep it real”

God Bless you

:blush: Alright, alright, I dont mean to be rude or anything. Peace…

Thank you. We all rant a bit now and again,
God bless you. :wink:

This makes me happy to know that you are 13 and have this grasp of the Catholic faith.

While it’s true that someone doesn’t need to delve into everything about the faith - praying the rosary, wearing things that represents our faith, praying certain prayers, etc - why wouldn’t you want to? The bare minimum may work, but there’s much more to it all.

Maybe they’re simply trying to say that no one should stress out about NOT doing those things, but I think it could be worded better, or include more of an explanation of what I just said. I think it makes sense to desire to grow in our faith so much that we ask God to change our disposition towards doing those things.

Keep strong in your faith like this though, it’s very important while you’re young, and will benefit you greatly as you grow older. Be an example and allow others to choose on their own what way they’ll experience their faith.

Interesting post.

Since I am gearing up to assist in the confirmation class next year for 13 year-old I would like to know what your suggestion would be in order to unite the various levels of commitment and understanding to the RCC.

Some parents do not even go to church yet send their kids for confirmation, others send their kids kicking and screaming etc.

How would you approach a class in order to reach as many kids as possible.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.