"Showing off" at church?

Today, I went to our parish church, which is also visited a lot by tourists. I prayed before the tabernacle, when a tourist guide approached me very polite and asked if I would mind him showing the tourists round. As I knew that this might happen, I was not offended at all (the tourists pay those guides and that helps to found all the renovation and restauration going on).

Point is, I later told this to an evangelical friend, elaborating on how polite and friendly this particular guide was. She answered me: “Well, yes, but you shouldn’t pray there in the first place. That’s showing off like Jesus warned us to do, we shall pray in our chamber when we’re alone and nobody can see us but God.”

I tried to explain her the importance of the eucharistic bread (I admit I tried to omit the word “body of Christ” to spare myself the involvement in THIS discussion!) for me and catholics in general to her, but she wouldn’t move from the point that I was setting a bad example by showing off in front of this tourists.

Maybe she is not completely wrong? Is it “showing off” to pray where you know tourists are likely to come along and see you?

Btw, I seem to be opening a lot of threads today… don’t know, hope I’m not already considered a flooder or something like that ;).

Botheration and nonsense!

In a Catholic Church it is expected that people will pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. It is NOT showing off to do so. Your friend is being persnickety and might be said to be acting the Pharisee.

The guide was courteous to ask if it was OK to conduct his tour in a place that is NOT really a tourist spot.

No, she is completely wrong. We believe in the real presence and I would think Jesus like’s the company. She has no right to judge your intentions and how /where you pray. We are to pray without ceasing and she is trying to make it a bad thing if you do it in a church where Jesus is. Take her to school. Tim

Thank you very much. I know deep on my heart that my intention is everything that counts in such matters - but alas, I’m a bit on the scrupulous side :blush:

It’s not showing off. :slight_smile:

You said it yourself, you know in your heart your intention was never to show off. God knows what is in our hearts as well.

Well, in a sense the place where Jesus *is *in the Blessed Sacrament IS “our chamber.” For other people to be walkin’ around and gawkin’ kind of makes THEM the people who are out of place.

]Maybe she is not completely wrong? Is it “showing off” to pray where you know tourists are likely to come along and see you?

If it’s that much of a tourist draw, maybe management should consider a separate Blessed Sacrament chapel. That way proper reverence is served and the faithful can pray in the presence of Christ without being either disturbed or becoming a tourist attraction themselves.

It would only be showing off if your motivation was to be noticed by others.
There is nothing wrong with praying before the Blessed Sacrament. It would be like saying someone was showing off becasue they genuflected before the tabernacle. No they are just showing proper reverence and respect to what is in the tabernacle.

Stillkickin :slight_smile:

Did you jump up and down, wave at the tourists and shout “Hey! Look at me! I’m prayin’ here!”? If not, you were not showing off.

Oh, Cran, dear… you are not showing off.

I wrote a letter to the Priest of my Episcopal church asking that the doors to church be opened a few hours everyday for people to come in and pray…“We can’t” Everytime I asked for anything, “We Can’t”…

Well, I know why now…Jesus isn’t in the Episcopal church.

Your friend just doesn’t understand.

That’s ridiculous - there’s an Anglican (our word for Episcopalian) church about five minutes away from me that has its doors open at least during daytime hours just as most Catholic churches do. I’m sure many others do likewise. No excuse!

Showing off? Psh! Look into what’s in your heart the time you were there. What was your intention?

God looks into our hearts… I think that should answer your question.

And as for your friend… tell her she takes her bible tooooo seriously and that will leave her no room for freedom and a lot of confusion.

I am very puzzled why this would be an issue. I was raised Protestant and never even heard of this as an problem. In fact, it was considered a sign of spiritual courage of sorts if one was willing to bow one’s head and pray in public.

Doesn’t she pray when she is at her church services? Does she say a pray before she eats in a restaurant? Doesn’t she pray in other public venues?

I’m confused by her logic. :confused:

Since you were there first, it is clear that your intention wasn’t to show off. Otherwise you would have waited for the tourists to arrive before doing all that fancy bowing and praying! :wink:

Probably best to limit your conversations with the evangelical friend to favorite recipes and the weather. As another poster said, her logic is all wacked.

Wow. All I think when I read that post is…she seems very much like a Pharisee.

Actually, she told me in detail about HER service in a private room where they have just the bible… no showing off at all, churches would be a non-biblical invention (this musts be some very strange form f evangelical christianity - she refusus to tell me the name of her denomination, I suppose it is just a meeting of several Christians who want to follow this particular ideal of keeping it private). I wouldn’t even call it pharisaen, I think she sincerely believes it to be wrong what mot communities with public churches are doing.

Thank you again for your support, maybe I’ll risk it again to be called or thought a show-off. God knows :slight_smile:

[quote=“Mt:5-11”]So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Cran, I certainly don’t think that you were showing off - firstly you’re expected to pray at Church, and secondly even if you weren’t at Church you shouldn’t “avoid” praying just to appear humble. Jesus told us to let our light shine before me, he taught us to pray, and told us to evangelize. If we were to avoid making signs of our faith to be “humble” - who would we evangelize?

In truth I see nothing wrong with prayer in public - I think we simply need to make sure that it isn’t our goal. That we do take time out to spend time praying in our rooms - in peace, and in silence.


Sidebar: Andrew Lloyd Webber established a fund to enable the (presumably Anglican) churches of London to keep their doors open.

Now you have piqued my curiosity.

The whole argument is ridiculous. Don’t let it bother you, what she thinks. Jesus went to the synagog at Capernum and taught everyday. Were those people being sinful listening to Him? How about the people at the mount? The Blessed Sacrament is Jesus. He said so Himself (John 6).

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