Two very hypothetical questions


#1

Actually, this post has five questions. First, here are three; how are you, how was your labor day and how have things been going for you?

And then two:

a) Do you think more Catholics would stay if they learned about the various spritualities or charisms within the Church? For example, if they learned about Fransciscan, Carmelite and Dominican spirtualities, they could perhaps be intrigued and inspired by the spiritual philosophy and way of life?

b) This is in hypotheticals, but personally, could you see improved or stronger catechism programs causing more people to turn away because they could be intimidated by the message? Or would better catechism help people stay? Or both?

Have a good day.


#2

I am ok. Today was rather rainy but I got my chores done. Things are good. I attended liturgy Sunday.

A) Yes, I believe an intro into the charisms would be most beneficial! Our parish had no formal instruction after my husband was received as a convert (I reverted, hadn’t been since I was a child).

B) Better catechesis would make for better Catholics.

I learn from the writings of the saints and Doctors of the Church.


#3

Walking in this dark, bleak, meaningless tunnel we call life. But overall, OK.

Lonely. But overall, OK.

I hate my job, lack direction and meaning in life, and cry myself to sleep most nights. But overall, OK.

(Before anyone gets too concerned, I’m obviously joking around a bit.)


#4

On the one hand, I think making people aware of the various ways others have grown closer to God is important. It might help certain individuals.

On the other hand, some people’s problems may be that they are so inactive that they wouldn’t hear about these opportunities or take them to heart. Becoming aware of how to connect with God and desiring to participate sort of requires active attempts on the part of the individual to seek that out.

Personally, Adoration has been important to me during these early months of being Catholic. (I came into the Church this Easter.) However, I was also searching by listening to Catholic radio and podcasts, attending Bible studies and weekly lectures the priest gave outside Mass, etc. Adoration kept coming up, and I decided to go and try it out, but if I hadn’t been exposed to talk of it so much, I probably never would have sought it out.

Given the questions people ask, I think better catechesis would help. Yes, the Catechism can look intimidating. However, it’s also a great tool for helping others understand why we believe what we do. Familiarity will help do things like take out certain Protestant objects (e.g. the false “works-based salvation” accusation) or help provide a basis for why we don’t permit things like gay marriage.


#5

I’m ok. You? My Labor Day was very busy. I spent it rushing around trying it get last minute things for my boys’ first week of preschool. :scream: Things have been ok, but busy.

a) It’s possible more would stay, but even more possible that more would come home. The rich spiritual tradition here is one of the major reasons I decided to come home. I had the privilege of going to a Catholic school run by Dominicans. Dominican spirituality continues to be a major source of comfort and spiritual strength for me.

b) Some might turn away, but those who stayed would be better Catholics for it. And, who’s to say that those turned away would not have eventually strayed? Christ did not shy away from hard sayings for fear some would turn away. Why should his church?


#6

I am good. The holiday was delightful. It misted today and the wet cats wanted to cuddle. I am so bored (with retirement) that I am going to the Safe Environment workshop tomorrow (Tuesday).
I think learning about the various spiritual ways would be good. Any religious learning is worth a try. I hate long (many months of one hour weekly meetings) for learning about the faith. Willing ti try something different.


#7

Let me first address the last of the three starting with B and then moving back to A. The answer is a qualified yes with one monitum regarding the issue raised in A.2. Indeed. I’m especially convinced that the Third Order of the first two orders you mention could be quite appealing to many. The third might also have some appeal as well. Yet, the concerns raised in B might also apply to A as well. If their first impression of the Third Order turns out to be intimidating, then they might leave and not give it a second change. So, some strong catechism lessons might be used first to prepare them for exposure to the Third Order. At least that’s my first impression. But on second thought, it might be better just to let them go ahead and start learning about the orders in no particular order and without strong catechism lessons hoping that what they learn will eventually become second nature. Thirdly, my Labor Day Holiday, being a three day weekend, was absolutely first rate.


#8

Labour day in my town is in May…so hopefully, it will be good when it comes around. LOL. Aside from that, life is actually pretty good lately, praise the Lord God in heaven. I hope you are doing ok too.

Now to your 2 questions. I was born catholic, thank God, so I never had to be “intimidated” by the church teachings, they were just the way things were.

However, I have helped out in several catechism classes, and I noticed there were all types, some who got intimidated when more profound teachings were taken up, and some who hungered for more.

So, my personal opinion is that there should be some type of gradient, to fit the types of people that are learning the catholic ways. Maybe we could start out with just the basics, so as not to scare people away, but offer some type of “advanced class” to those who want more.

This is probably difficult to organise, as the catechist will have to be more attentive to the spiritual needs of the students….but it is an idea.


#9

I don’t know @RCIAGraduate .

I don’t know whether an intellectual knowledge would be of great benefit .

I think more Catholics would stay in the Church if the members of the Church accepted wholeheatedly the Giver of the charisms , the Holy Spirit , and surrendered to the Holy Spirit daily .

I have this prayer of Cardinal Mercier in mind - - - - - - - -


#10

Here is my $0.02

a) Yes. I think it would help for people to know that there are different approaches. For example I am a Benedictine oblate. The Benedictine tradition suits me because it’s very ‘practical’ (work + prayer). Benedictines are not known for mystical experiences, and some would find it not very ‘spiritual’ (e.g. compared with Carmelites). We’re also not striving for great self-understanding like in the Jesuit tradition. We get up. We pray (the office, so mostly psalms). We read scripture. And we work, and we try to make a constructive contribution to the community around us. And of course we go to mass (though the daily rhythm of prayer takes prime place in the Benedictine rule; mass is actually rarely mentioned). No visions, no great ‘God has laid this on my heart moments’, no great personal revelation from the Holy Spirit, no intense awareness of God speaking (other than through the scripture and the office). It suits me, but would not suit others as well.

b) If people turn away with more education of Catholic teaching then perhaps that is OK. But I would say teaching should be ‘broad’ and not be too dependent on just one or two voices who will always understandably teach from their own perspective.

P.S. We don’t have ‘labour day’ in the UK, but I love the gentle irony that people don’t work on ‘labour day’. I hope you all had a restful and/or enjoyable day.


#11

In the UK there’s an organisation named Silverline, people contact others who are elderly and socially isolated for whatever reasons and just chat for a while. I think it’s a great idea and as with the internet it’s something one can do easily. I wonder if you have anything like that where you are, perhaps a Catholic version would be possible?

Here is an explanation of what they’re about


#12

I have looked for such a site, but have not found one. The only time I see someone is when they bring me a weekday midday meal. Thank you for the link.


#13

[quote=“Lee1, post:11, topic:507696, full:true”]
In the UK there’s an organisation named Silverline, people contact others who are elderly and socially isolated for whatever reasons and just chat for a while.

@Lee1 , I can remember when the elderly didn’t have telephones or internet , and they didn’t have helplines . But they had family , friends and neighbours who made sure they were ok .


#14

I totally agree, I remember that too as I was born in the fifties. Things changed, the population grew, industry grew, people moved away from the vicinity of their families as they chased work or the affordability of having a car allowed them to believe that visiting wouldn’t need be a problem. But visiting takes effort and time and modern society demands 24/7 service and so many must work what we used to call unsocial hours and sundays, do you remember how sundays would result in very very few shops being open? I miss that, I found the idea that the whole country was taking a break very comforting, everything slowed down on a Sunday and it was refreshing, as the Lord intended it to be I’m sure.

Government also changed and with the establishment of organisations like the NHS and social services etc came a diffusion of responsibility I feel. The young began to rely on the State to look after elderly parents and as religious beliefs waned their consciences were probably weakened.

I agree and as we probably don’t want to lose the assistance the State still offers, just about, the solution probably is to find ways to allow Gods benevolent influence to remedy this situation.

If I talk too much please feel free to admonish me! That’s an open request.


#15

Yes , @Lee1 , I remember when it was illegal to sell most things on Sundays .

I also remember half- day closing when on a certain day many shops would close after dinner . Ours was Wednesday .

Do you know that Sheffield Wednesday got its name because Wednesday was half-day closing in Sheffield ?


#16

Does your parish does not have a home visiting group? Honestly, one of my absolute favorite things to do.


#17

That’s a really good point @mrsdizzyd ! I totally forgot the St Vincent De Paul organisation. Many parishes have an active group and they are usually delighted to visit. Thank you for the reminder. (I realise you weren’t talking to me, excuse please.)


#18

No worries! I’m glad my suggestion was useful for you, too.

It has truly been the joy of my life to visit with the homebound. I look forward to joining a new group soon. :smiley:


#19

I think the short answer to your question about a and b is yes.
But is it the best way? Is probably the more important question. (I really don’t know the answer)

My view is that Catholicism is so universal that it appeals to everyone and different people respond to different aspects of it. There is no one size fits all and all roads lead to Rome.
So different times and situations require different pastoral solutions.


#20

No, the St. Vincent de Paul society is not very active in my parish. They collect for a monthly food drive for a local food bank and that is it. My parish does not have a group to visit. When I was in the hospital (for MRSA infection), I could not even get someone from the parish to bring communion. That particular area of town does not have any Catholic involvement in the hospital district. Thank you for the suggestions.


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