Is Your Catholic Church Like Mine?

Hi,
May the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you tonight!

I sometimes get the feeling that members of my CC are not there for the right reasons.
(This is a Brazilian/Portuguese Catholic Church)
I feel their presence on Sunday Masses is becoming more of a “Culture” or “I have to be here” kind of thing - instead of being there to really learn/follow the Words of our Lord.

Myself and other family members are involved, therefore we know many people who are present each Sunday.
Most of these same people, have never read the Bible and likely have no plans to start any time soon (although I sometimes insist they start).

I’ve been to Presbyterian Churches and found it to be much more educational, more time spent on explaining the readings by the Pastor, some interaction with those present.
I know the CC cannot have the interaction, but, does it have to be so strictly timed every Sunday? Where the Priest gives us a few words and then it’s time to go already…?!

Has anyone had this type of experience before?

I mean only to bring good out of this post - My goal is to try to understand why I feel most people in my own Church aren’t as excited about learning the Lord’s Word as I am.
I mean absolutely no disrespect.

Thanks,
Marcus.

Your post concerns me, because it sounds like you’re thinking far more about your experience personally than the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist, whom you will NOT find physically present at the Protestant churches.

Remember: you must not hold your fellow Catholics up to outside appearance standards that Protestants are so invested in. A lot of people think that if you raise up yours arms and sway around, burst out in gibberish, etc, that you are truly more holy. But oh no, you’re even more of a social animal: you’re out looking for attention and popularity.

Please don’t fall back on judging others! I do it all the time and need to stop too! It’s very spiritually damaging. Also remember that the Church is going through a dark time right now, rather than abandon Our Lord I would search high and low for a more involved, reverent parish. Also pray to God for guidance.

Again, God Bless you for being on fire for the Faith. Do not fall once for the deception that the Protestants are more bible-believing than we are, they are the very contradiction of half of the things that Jesus said.
-Ljubim
*(PS: what on earth are you doing at a Protestant service anyway?!?)

Don’t think I could have said it any better myself. Great post!

Everyone is in a different place on their spiritual journey. It doesn’t make any one person better, or worse, for where they are in their journey.

The priest’s homily is meant to teach, and build on the readings at any particular Mass.

First, it is up to us to absorb the readings, and then for him to build on that.

If you are truly concerned for them, then the best thing to do is to pray for them.

Like our pastor always says. If you see a need within the parish that needs to be addressed, then God is calling you to address it. Maybe you should start a Bible study program geared toward these individuals.

Because the Catholic Church as TRUE WORSHIP OF GOD, and true Liturgy. Protestant denominations have services and they are not true worship of God. It’s “all about them” for the most part, or a bible study in place of true worship, and God is usually addressed in the third person. They also do NOT have the Eucharist Presence of Christ in their midst as we do. I feel more comfortable if people during Mass are excited about reception of the Eucharist than learning about the Bible, which can be tackled during a bible study. The priest’s purpose during his homily is to explain the biblical readings of the day and how these can be applied to one’s every day life. This is vastly different than having a minister quote the bible and interpret it for those who are listening as a captive audience.

Answers to LJubin :

Your post concerns me, because it sounds like you’re thinking far more about your experience personally than the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist, whom you will NOT find physically present at the Protestant churches.
**
I’m actually interested in getting people to learn about the Bible - Is that selfish?**

Remember: you must not hold your fellow Catholics up to outside appearance standards that Protestants are so invested in. A lot of people think that if you raise up yours arms and sway around, burst out in gibberish, etc, that you are truly more holy. But oh no, you’re even more of a social animal: you’re out looking for attention and popularity.

**Are you judging the Protestant Church?
The Protestant Church is where I learned how important the Bible is for all of us. You can say what you want about them, but, I thank them every day for teaching me to pick up and read the Bible from start to finish. I’m not saying the CC never told me to read the Bible, but I was never motivated to do so (likely my fault - as many other things).
**
Please don’t fall back on judging others! I do it all the time and need to stop too! It’s very spiritually damaging. Also remember that the Church is going through a dark time right now, rather than abandon Our Lord I would search high and low for a more involved, reverent parish. Also pray to God for guidance.

You are 100% correct about the judging. I think you really misunderstood me since I am not at all looking to leave any Church. I completely understand how important the Eucharist is, but I am sure you also know how important the Lord’s Word is. All I’m trying to do is get others to see this. Especially the people I know from the CC I am part of.

Again, God Bless you for being on fire for the Faith. Do not fall once for the deception that the Protestants are more bible-believing than we are, they are the very contradiction of half of the things that Jesus said.

Please list the contradictions - I really would like more information on this. Thanks.

-Ljubim
*(PS: what on earth are you doing at a Protestant service anyway?!?)
Learning the Bible - Something all of us should do much more of…(in my humble opinion)

**All,

May the love of Jesus be in all of your hearts today and every day…
I hope I did not offend anyone with my responses, If I did, I am very sorry.

In the last year or so, I have been diving into Religious (and non-Religious) books, been to different Churches, seen different Religions and how others outside our CC do things. It’s been really interesting. I have learned to respect all Religions as a result.

Q.
In the CC, before I read the Bible and other Catholic books, I used to show up to Sunday Mass every Sunday and listen to the Liturgy and had no idea what was meant by it and the things I should do differently in order to live a life worthy of Salvation. The Eucharist is VERY important but… is it enough? Will it save us without us knowing, understanding and practicing His Word? (I’ll leave that question out for everyone)

Thanks again for all your time spent on answering this post.
I really appreciate it and hope to learn more and more from you and others on this site.**

1.- No, it isn’t selfish to help people learn about the Bible, but what is selfish is telling Christ HIS Church (the Catholic Church) isn’t good enough for you. If you have a Traditional Latin Mass near you, I recommend you attend that instead. You shouldn’t have any doubts there.

2.-Protestant Bibles aren’t the REAL Bible. It all started when Martin Luther broke away from the Catholic Church and started his own Church (the Lutheran Church) and created a Bible for his church. Protestant Bibles have some truth to them, but many of the words in them are changed. You can’t change the words of Christ. Besides, even if you start going to a Protestant church (which you shouldn’t), once you’re baptized in the Catholic Church, you’re a Catholic for the rest of your life, even if you go to another denomination.

3.-The Eucharist alone will not gaurantee you salvation, but you can’t enter Heaven without eating it. Salvation is a life-long process, whereas the Protestants believe “Once saved, always saved”.

4.- I hope when you say you have come to “respect all religions” you’re just reffering to Christian denominations. Because by saying “all religions” you’re un-directly implying you respect religions created by the Devil. I’m sure you really don’t, just saying.

1. When did I say the CC is not good for me?
My initial statements mentioned wanting to get others to “feel as wonderful” as I do after attending Sunday Mass. Then I mentioned that by reading and understanding Liturgy, by studying the Bible, allows me to do just that (along with the Eucharist). Is there any sin in wanting what I feel “is wonderful” for me for others? I mention the PC Church as an example of where/what drove me to want to start reading God’s Words…

2. The Bible I started, finished and continue to read is one that comes from the same Church you attend. The Catholic Church. The PC only went as far as to start to tell me and explain in details the Bible stories; I went home and grabbed my own CC Bible and read it.

3. I believe in the CC Sacraments and everything in it - Trust me on that… But I think we fail to teach/explain the Word/Bible in details during Sunday Mass. Some people are there because they want to change, start doing things the right way. We give them a Liturgy that is hard to understand (unless you’ve studied the Bible), a few words from the Priest, and send them home.
And that’s when the people who are not well informed/educated take off and head to the other denomination Churches.

4. I respect everything that is for the greater good. Believing is a different story.
Take that from a person that strongly believes in Jesus Christ.

I used to be very opposed to other Churches and denominations when I was younger. Once I dedicated my time to God and His Word, things changed quite a bit for me. I understand now that the 70 to 90 years we are here on this Earth is just a passage, a test of obedience to our Father.
No sense of not loving one another - No matter who they are…

Thank you very much for the wonderful explanation and much needed suggestions.
May God bless you my friend.

**Really?
Maybe you understand the Liturgy and live a life according to the way God wants you to.
But how about those that have completed 1st Communion, Confirmation but can’t even tell us what we commemorate on Easter?

So a person who does not follow God’s Words should be all set if they just receive the Eucharist every Sunday at Mass? (I don’t mean to put words in your mouth)

I have no problem with going to a Bible Study. I like them.
However, I would say that a very large amount of people in my CC would find many excuses not to attend a Bible study. Therefore a few more minutes at Sunday Mass explaining the readings would definitely help.

I strongly believe that the Eucharist and the Bible (therefore the Commandments and the entire History of teachings from our Lord) and the Catechism of the CC book are just some examples as to (all of us at Sunday Mass) being prepared, having our homework done for when going to class (Sunday Mass). There, we will review God’s word and pray together in an act of absolute Love, Obedience and Respect to your Father.

As I mentioned in another post, this is the exact reason I see people moving away from the CC. You see, some people are actually interested in learning about God. Following Jesus’ teachings. Making sure they are doing the right things so they are worthy of Salvation. Sometimes, these people are realizing at that moment (at Sunday Mass) that their lives are completely opposite to what they once wanted. They are there making an attempt to do the right thing. If they could understand just a few things more from the Liturgy, it may cause these people to completely change. Maybe spend much more time (outside the Church) reading the Bible, and ultimately learning about what God wants for them.

If we continue to think that just showing up for 1 hour at services is enough, we may not be pleasing our Father as much as He’d like us to.

Just my 2 cents.
God Bless.
Marcus.**

1.- It just seems you’ve been implying it isn’t good enough for you. Like I said, if you have a TLM near you (if you even know what that is) start attending it instead, and your doubts will go away. And it isn’t about “feeling” what’s wonderful. Besides, what’s really wonderful is going to the church Christ Himself started instead of considering a Protestant denomination that was man-made.

2.-But you said the Protestant churches are the reason you learned how important the Bible is for all of us. I can’t imagine why you need a Protestant church (a church that doesn’t even use the true Bible) to tell you that.

3.-If you want to hear more about the Bible and teachings of Christ, pay close attention during the Gospel. (Often the sermon as well). Always pay attention, especially during those parts of Mass.

4.-You didn’t directly answer my question. I said I hope you weren’t saying you respect “all religions”. You should only respect Christian religions, and the Catholic Church should be #1 on your list of respected Christian religions by a long shot.

1.- Any Catholic knows what we celebrate on Easter Sunday. You shouldn’t be worried about something as easy to comprehend as that. And Catholics do follow the words of God. The words of God are stated time and time again during the Gospel and sermon, even if un-directly stated. Listen closely during those parts.

2.-No, the reason most Catholics turn from the Catholic faith is either from temptation( well it’s always from temptation actually) or simply because of what took place at Vatican II. Some people who grew up before Vatican II know something isn’t right about the Church so they attend Protestant services thinking they’re better off that way. Well, they aren’t.

3.-We always want to please God. But attending a Protestant service just because they might talk more about THEIR bible I assure won’t please God.

Remember that in the Catholic Church a large portion of the Bible is read at Mass over a 3 year cycle (at least in OF Masses). Generally the sermon will be about one of the readings, usually the Gospel. So parishioners are getting exposed to the Bible.

If you go to a bible study be careful about going to a Protestant bible study as they have differing interpretations than the Catholic Church teachings. (I’d be curious to see how they explain John 6 :)) and as others have pointed out they use a different bible that has several books missing.

  1. Well, I know people who I had to explain Easter to. This past Easter.They were over 25 years old too. I see them at Church almost every Sunday. (but you are right, most people know)
    Yup, we follow God’s word. I think you misunderstood me on this one.

  2. Agreed. Temptation is a great big reason. But that does not leave out the reasons I have mentioned. Remember, your experiences are different than mine, therefore you may not have experienced what I am/have experienced here at my Church.

  3. Disagree. I’m not a Protestant - And I did/do not read their Bible…I’m going to ask if there’s a Bible difference - I think this specific Presbyterian Church I went to uses the same Bible as the ones we use in the CC. Not 100% sure though.

But even if I was Protestant, Jesus’ Commandment is to “Love one another as I have loved You” - Please remember that. Being a Catholic does not mean “brush off” or “discriminate” those of other Religions. They are all sons of the same God.
You’d be surprised though - Some have the same (very close) beliefs as the CC.

Question for you though (and others) concerning your number 3 statement:

If I’m at a Church (doesn’t matter which) and I’ve got my CC Bible with me.
Others and I are there to learn/listen/study about (let’s say) Jesus’ life…With the same CC Bible…
You don’t think God would like that?

Again, no disrespect.
Let’s be humble and respect others’ opinions and points of view.
May Jesus Bless you!

Hi, I suggest you read St.John of the Cross dark night of the soul, it helps us deal with our spiritual imperfections one of which is those who have a habit of elevating oneself and thinking that they are more interested in Jesus than other people.

Like the Pharisee and the tax collector for example.

I love you and understand that peoples behaviour of leaving church right after communion is out the window, but I’m not prepared to state the fact that I have more love for the Lord than they do.

I give the above advice with the acknowledgment that I still have a lot of work to do on myself let alone anyone else.

Pax Christi
Stephen <3

**Hi Pax,

Apparently, I may have come across to you as if I love Jesus more than the next guy. Sorry about that. I guess I have to be more careful when explaining myself for now on…

Seriously - but that’s not me at all…I do Love Jesus but have no intentions,authority or need to compare myself to anyone-Else’s Love for Him. From his teachings I’ve learned the difference between Earthly things and Heavenly things. I’m not one to wish to be better than any man, in any way. Those are Earthly things.

My intention is to not to criticize anyone’s Faith, but to help them understand God’s Word. Which cleared up many things for me - therefore I’m sure it will help them.

As a matter of fact, I only learned the Bible readings about 1-2 years ago.
Although I’ve read and understand lots of things, I have still lots to learn!

But I will take you up on the suggested reading.

God Bless…
Marcus.**

This post shows a tremendous amount of arrogance and ignorance. I suggest you learn a little about some of the mainstream protestant religions before popping off about them. Maybe HORROR OF HORRORS go to a service or two.

Here is a little peek at somethings that may enlighten you a bit toward what an actual protestant service can be like:youtube.com/watch?v=6qo0V57INpA

No, Protestant churches do not use the same Bible that Catholics use. You may find some things in their bible that are similar to our Bible, but for the most part they have words that are changed around and whole parts of our Bible that are removed. I’m not saying you should get a Protestant bible, but maybe one day look at one a little bit WITHOUT letting the beliefs in that bible change your stance on religion and then compare it to the Catholic Bible.

To answer your question, if it’s a Catholic Church, then no, God would not mind. However, it does matter which church it is, because if it’s a Protestant church then even if you’re there to learn God will not be happy about it. You’re still there attending that service when you should be at a Catholic Mass. Sure Protestants are Christian, but Christ would rather you be at the Church He started. And if you’re at a Protestant church, don’t be surprised if you’re the only one there with a Catholic Bible. I highly doubt anyone else there will be using the same Bible you are.

First of all, if this is the Traditional Catholicism section, then you should expect about 99% of people on this section to be Catholics. You’re not going to change anyone’s mind here that is Catholic.

And sorry, but I’m really not interested in attending a Protestant service, and I doubt any of the other Catholics here are either. Not to be mean, but I really don’t think this is the section you need to be posting on if you’re trying to convince people about your faith. We all know what Protestant services are like. They’re all similar in atleast some ways. We’re not going to stop attending our Catholic Churches. Please, don’t tell us we’ll be “enlightened” by Protestant services. And I’m actually surprised you found ljubim’s post offensive since Protestants really don’t believe in the real presence. Just out of curiosity, how was that offensive if it’s true?

This. The homily on Sunday is menat to explain the readings to us, but it is not the high point of Mass. Reading and learning about Holy Scripture should also take place outside of Mass. Please do consider starting a study with your friends at mass.

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