My Pleas of Frustration - I need feedback


#1

I’m going to get some things off of my chest.

I’m irritated, annoyed, frustrated, and downright angry at times.

I’m irritated that the Catholic church is so misunderstood and attacked today. I yearn to defend her.

I’m annoyed that the pseudo-knowledge that exists in modern secular culture about Church history has run amok amongst the general public.

I’m frustrated.

I’m frustrated with common themes I’m hearing and seeing in my church.
[LIST]
*]“The Church can change” in regards to actions.
*]Hipster guitar players on the freakin’ sanctuary during Sunday evening service.
*]No mass on the feast of the Conception.
*]RCIA classes that merely go around in a circle once so everyone can give their knee-jerk check-ins for the week, and talk about how things make people “feel”.
*]Shortcomings in confession being dismissed in order to feel the Grace of God, obviously worrying about my guilt. Again, emotions.
*]Eyebrow-raising terms such as “humanist” and “embracing modern” themes being tossed around.
[/LIST]
There’s a plague in Protestant Christianity, it’s the new-age, rock-church movement. It has no hierchy to answer to, and your faith is based on “feeling” God. Such “feelings” confuse the mind, because we feel outside of the church, and we sometimes don’t feel inside of the church. Our emotions fool us.

Yet, here I see emotions and “feelings” creeping into the body that I gladly flocked to, Catholicism. It’s as if I can’t get away from this damned new-age movement.
[LIST]
*]The Catholic church is full of the most potent knowledge and standards we can unite around. And yet, here we have modern priests using dangerous language.
*]The Evangelical spirit can certainly be applied to how the message is spread, in what manner and presentation.
*]However, Dogma is dogma. There are things and actions we know. And too often, thus far in my forever walk in Catholicism, have I heard not standing up for Catholic values, but apologizing for them and leaving an open ended “we can change” lead-on promise.
*]It’s as if we want to show we’re flexible to those on the outside. The problem is, those on the outside want us to be flexible on what in not flexible whatsoever.
[/LIST]

I’m frustrated by common believers in the Catholic faith, those who
[LIST]
*]take communion when clearly in mortal sin
*]Fit in a bit too well into the edgy, modern, secular world
*]Don’t attend mass every Sunday
*]Punch in and punch out for an hour and that’s it.
*]Aren’t even aware of what the stances of the Church are
[/LIST]

I’m 33. I’m single, and struggle in relationships due to the heavy sinful nature of my previous relationships, as in pre-marital relations. Thus, since my converstion, relationships haven’t really been doable, as most women today refuse to commit to a man who is focused on God and the Catholic Church above all. I’ve considered priesthood, I’ve considered a leadership role in starting men’s group activities, as my church has zilch. I work in special education, but don’t earn enough to call it a career. I’m free of obligation to other people. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.

I just know I’m frustrated, not only with these things, but at myself. My shortcomings. My wasting of my own talents and offers. I feel like I could really help the church, but have no idea how. I’m fascinated by defending the faith, and striking down slanderous propaganda by outsiders. I question if my pride is involved every day. I almost assume my callings to priesthood are nothing but foolish pride. I err on the side of caution.

Anyways, I’m frustrated. The Catholic Church is magnificent, yet, parishes can clearly become watered down and unchallenging of its people. Becoming Catholic has been a burden to me within the comforts of my life, but I welcome that burden. It’s what defines me as a Catholic, the changes and sacrifices I’ve made. We Catholics can unite in these standards, and support each other. Yet, I sense such a passive nature at my church from most.

Do I sound crazy? Do I sound bitter? Do I sound proud and judgemental?

What am I? What does a guy like me do?


#2

Hey, I admire you for sticking up for your faith! There are definitely some problems in what you’ve mentioned, so I don’t think you seem crazy or bitter. Have you ever thought about maybe volunteering to teach RCIA? If there’s a problem, maybe pray and see how God can use you to fix it.


#3

I agree and am also frustrated with what you posted. So you’re certainly not crazy, nor are you alone. As to how to handle it? I don’t know. It seems that every time I make a step forward in rectifying these issues at my parish, I’m pushed back ten spaces. All we can both do, I suppose, is trying to discern God’s will and keep fighting for what the Catholic Church is supposed to be.


#4

what steps have you taken towards discernment to the priesthood or religious life?


#5

Yours is a call to action. My priest recognized this in my husband, a new convert. He gave his blessing when my husband joined an apostolate whose goal is to save the Church from within through teaching. In Revelations 3, there is an admonishment to the Church in Laodicea:

5 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent.

So if not in your own parish, seek out other Catholics in prayer groups, lay organizations, apostolates, who are not lukewarm, the ones on fire, zealous, for the faith.


#6

Nah, you’re not crazy. I think we all have felt and seen what you are describing. But just remember, we are not God. We are not personally responsible for all these people who you want to “correct.” However, we can do what we can do. Arm yourself with knowledge. Listen to apologetics CDs (oh are there some good ones here at Catholic Answers!). Be ready to defend the faith.

And, the best way to counter all of this is to teach as someone posted. Get involved however you can at your parish and do something! Put this energy to work for the Lord. And again, always minister in mercy and love, for we are all sinners…


#7

Celibacy, Tithing, sacrificing physical well-being, complete honesty at work when not required, weekly confession and mass, online apologetics, debate and discussion with theologians I know.


#8

I’m not responsible in “correcting” people’s actions, I’m responsible for informing them of the standard, and letting them decide to either follow it, or reject it.

I have plans to begin something at my church once the family center has finished construction, a men’s basketball evening once a week. I figure taking on a leadership role in something small can wet my feet a bit, perhaps including a volunteer in the community as a group once a month somewhere.


#9

Being that I work in education, I’d love to teach RCIA. The problem is, I’m brand-spankin’ new in Catholicism, even if I’m well-versed already, being a former frustrated Protestant who sadly was taught negative propaganda of the church throughout my youth and early adult life.

However, what I have to offer is not only wisdom in teaching methods (which the current RCIA teacher lacks severely), but a truly passionate appreciation for things others might take for granted, or not understand the severity of.

I think if people make the big step to approach RCIA, they are HUNGRY to know what all the commotion is about. What is expected of me? How would I have to change? The term “conversion” implies changes in your life. I don’t think any non-Catholic could just streamline into Catholicism without undertaking major psychological and theological considerations about some of the most basic subjects: Human life, marriage, the Eucharist, etc.

IMO, it’s just sad to see so much emotion and feel-good fluffy stuff during this process. I’m not calling for coldness, the pastoral element is a foregone conclusion as far as I’m concerned. The problem is, there’s no just laying out the way it is.

My situation is that I’m a new member to the Catholic Church as of October 18th, but was allowed to be confirmed outside of RCIA given my passion, knowledge, and commitment, for which I am so greatful. However, I attend this round of RCIA, and as I’ve said, I’m just agasp with the lack of quality and potency in something so important: The teaching of the faith.


#10

When it comes down to it, ours is a messy Church but, that said, it’s always been that way since its foundation and will always be (on earth at least). More than that though, messiness isn’t necessarily a bad thing - like a house that’s lived in as opposed to a show home. From what you’ve said, it sounds like your frustrations a borne out of an awareness of your own shortcomings (not such a bad thing) and a desire to help the Church even if you’re not sure where to begin let alone how.

It sounds like part of the problem might be that you’re thinking on too big a scale rather than focussing in on more immediate concerns and how you can address them. when it comes down to it through, relationship building is key to our faith and that’s probably not a bad place to start since after all, the best way to teach something is to live it yourself. At the same time, not everybody is in the same place on their faith journey as you and that’s something which needs to be remembered when you encounter people - in other words, don’t expect too much too soon. If you look at the way in which Jesus approached people in the scriptures (Zacchaeus is a good example of this) he met people where they were, rather than expecting them to change right away, but he didn’t leave them there. He also took the trouble to see the good in those he met - regardless of their state in life - and worked to bring it to the forefront of their lives.

So be involved and be passionate but also be patient and be loving.


#11

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.