The future of the Catholic Church

I agree. It is all about personal holiness, all about oneself. If there’s anybody to blame, examine the self first rather playing the blame game and providing all kinds of answers.

The decline of religiousness was a world phenomenum perhaps starting in the sixties - due to technological revolution and post-war experience, that created a generation of rebels and complacency.

This was to be found in the West because that was where it started, and thus the third world was largely unaffected, and it resulted in religious decline accordingly, which is what we see today.

I was a sixties generation but managed to experince pre-Vatican II as a kid and the beginning of Vatican II.

I was brought up in a very intense religious church life but once grown up and became independent, was caught up in the world. I returned to an intense church life again, after I found my personal holiness.

And all of these got nothing to do with how the mass liturgy was celebrated. For example, I found the mass and the homilies boring, but after I was renewed, the mass suddenly became so meaningful to me and I just came to love it. Even the priest, one which I never listened to because he was very boring, I suddenly found myself attentive to, and every part of the mass.

The answer was not the way the mass is celebrated but how to find oneself in God. The mass, the Sacraments, the Bible, prayers and devotions are all there and they are all gifts from God, we just need to have our hearts opened to find them.

And if we want to, by surrendering ourselves to God in repentance, His grace will renew us to be the children He want us to be, but it has to begin with ourselves; it has to begin with a personal decision - I want to know and love God.

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I think with lack of competition there is also the fact that you are required to be physically present to meet your obligation, there is no mail order or internet download option here. A person who truly believes in the Eucharist will put up with a lot to get it and there is definitely a case for encouraging understanding of the importance of the sacraments in order to halt the decline.

I wonder if it’s complacency, a lot of parishes have been around for such a long time that despite recent dips in attendance it can be hard for some to imagine them not existing. Church’s with better fellowship are often in a different place, my university church with it’s high turnover, my husbands evangelical church which rents spaces and often has to move don’t have that sense of permanence and are aware that if they aren’t intentional about fellowship their communities could cease to exist.

Good insights, and yes, I agree.

I think that plays a huge part. I think if an evangelical Protestant visited my parish for a few Sundays and then asked my pastor about fellowship opportunities, weeknight Bible studies, retreats, missions, etc., etc. it would be a shock to my pastor who makes sure the sacraments are covered and little else – just as the 3-4 pastors did before him.

Reminds me of a funny quote from Daniel Tosh:
You ever hear girls say that? “I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual.” I like to reply with “I’m not honest, but you’re interesting!”

[warning–Daniel Tosh’s jokes and humor are rarely work/family safe. Consider yourself warned if you start googling him.]

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