In the old days of the persecution, there were Catholics who abandoned the faith to avoid persecution. After the persecution ended they wanted to rejoin the church. There was great debate at the time as to whether they should be readmitted to the church because of their grave and serious apostasy.
They had very long penances which they had to endure, for sometimes several years or more, before they would be readmitted to the sacraments.
Today however Catholics abandon their faith as a matter of routine, without any kind of persecution. They do so with virtually no compunction whatsoever. Then for societal reasons they lob up to church for confirmation, weddings etc. and they receive the sacrament of Eucharist with not a care in the world. The priest opens his welcoming arms and the faithful mass attenders who are their for mass every sunday get shoved to the back of the church while all these camera snapping relatives take over all the front pews.
The whole focus of the service becomes not the worship of God in the Eucharist but the celebration of the young people. The priest gives a little talk about the importance of mass attendance each week, the importance of bring children up in the faith. But really, why does he even bother. He, and we all, know that these cafeteria catholics will not even think twice about the Catholic religion until the next confirmation, baptism or funeral comes around.
I for one have had enough. I feel physically nauseus at these events to see the sacraments doled out with such cavalier disregard. I really think we need to go back to the old days with the mass of the catechumens and the mass of the faithful. All who were not numbered amongst the faithful had to leave after the homily to protect the sacred mysteries and the holiness of the blessed sacrament.
The point of all this is of course that the mass was never supposed to be for the unfaithful.
To neglect the faith to the extent whereby you don’t even go to mass for months or even years is sheer apostasy. There is no other word for it. A penance of expulsion from the sacrament for at least as long as the period of apostasy should be enforced, so that men may learn the fear of the Lord.
The priests also need to explain that to partake of the sacrament of the Eucharist whilst in a state of mortal sin actually wreaks condemnation upon the soul. Not many understand this because we are not told by our religious leaders. Many are sick and have even died because they took of the Eucharist whilst in a state of mortal sin. The scripture says so.
People might be able to fool the priest (that’s not hard) but they can’t fool God. But I would say that the majority of these cafeteria Catholics are almost completely missing any kind of concept of God in their lives. They are only interested in this world, with their families, hobbies, work and holidays. They care nothing for their Catholic faith.
Personally I don’t care if the churches are empty. I just want the few people that are there to be serious about their religion and approach the holy sacrament with due reverence. Truly it was chaos on Sunday. Overdone little girls swanning down the aisle like little brides with tiaras, makeup and hairdos. Cameras flashing, people talking.
Nobody noticed the little red lamp glowing near the sanctuary.
The other sacraments of marriage and confirmation are also only supposed to be available for faithful catholics, not for just anyone who walks off the street. I truly grieve to see these indifferences shown to holy things. Many will say, “What’s his problem”, “Why does he go on like this”. But again, that just proves their indifference, their lack of zeal and passion for the holy faith.