Why so negative


#1

I am a returned Catholic after 50 years of absence.

My question is why all the accent on sin, failure and fault in the general attitude of the Mass and teaching. At the start of the mass we state that we have sinned and committed serious failures. Would it not be a better attitude to declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings. A negative attitude (at least to me) is a poor way to start ones day.

Thank You

Frank G.


#2

It's not so much a negative attitude as a realistic one. After all only God is good, we can do nothing without Him, His grace.


#3

You don't seem to understand that these readings are all from the Gospel of Luke. It's their turn for this year.

Yet, it's not negative, it's truth. Christianity has always taught that we are sinners in need of God's salvation and that we must take up our cross daily and follow Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ.

The deacon that preached yesterday at Mass pointed out that we are not called to forsake our loved ones for the sake of the Kingdom of God, but to follow Our :Lord faithfully for the sake of those that we love because only in following Him can we love them the way we should.

Since you have recently come home as I did some years back you may find My Testimony of some interest and insight. Welcome home! :thumbsup:


#4

[quote="Frankjg, post:1, topic:331556"]
I am a returned Catholic after 50 years of absence.

My question is why all the accent on sin, failure and fault in the general attitude of the Mass and teaching. At the start of the mass we state that we have sinned and committed serious failures. Would it not be a better attitude to declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings. A negative attitude (at least to me) is a poor way to start ones day.

Thank You

Frank G.

[/quote]

Welcome home.:thumbsup:

I'd reiterate the previous 2 posters. It's about realism not negativity it's precisely because we are sinful that the sacrifice of the mass is so significant.


#5

[quote="Frankjg, post:1, topic:331556"]
I am a returned Catholic after 50 years of absence.

My question is why all the accent on sin, failure and fault in the general attitude of the Mass and teaching. At the start of the mass we state that we have sinned and committed serious failures. Would it not be a better attitude to declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings. A negative attitude (at least to me) is a poor way to start ones day.

Thank You

Frank G.

[/quote]

At the beginning of the Mass, we go through what is called a Penitential Rite. It is not dwelling on our sins and our wrongs; it is merely confessing that we have in fact sinned and done wrong (show me a person who hasn't.), and we receive actual forgiveness for those sins. We then, after being cleansed of our venial sins, go forward with the Mass. Think of how God required Moses to remove his sandals before going forward to the burning bush: it's a cleansing. A purification. Rather than inflate ourselves with how well we've done and all of the good we have done, we are asked to humble ourselves with acknowledging that we have much to learn, and further humble ourselves by receiving the forgiving, sanctifying grace being offered. Remember, who is first shall be last and who is last shall be first. :)


#6

[quote="Frankjg, post:1, topic:331556"]
I am a returned Catholic after 50 years of absence.

My question is why all the accent on sin, failure and fault in the general attitude of the Mass and teaching. At the start of the mass we state that we have sinned and committed serious failures. Would it not be a better attitude to declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings. A negative attitude (at least to me) is a poor way to start ones day.

Thank You

Frank G.

[/quote]

We do both!!

Immediately after the penitential rite we say the Gloria:

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,

That's a very positive approach. But we don't go forward without recognizing where we have gone astray in the past.

It's not a negative attitude, it's a balanced one.


#7

[quote="Frankjg, post:1, topic:331556"]
I am a returned Catholic after 50 years of absence.

My question is why all the accent on sin, failure and fault in the general attitude of the Mass and teaching. At the start of the mass we state that we have sinned and committed serious failures. Would it not be a better attitude to declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings. A negative attitude (at least to me) is a poor way to start ones day.

Thank You

Frank G.

[/quote]

Coming from an evangelical church where everyone put on their perfect masks and never talked about sins and where they always had feel good sermons, the mass was such a relief for me. It is real and authentic to acknowledge our sins and prepare ourselves before God to receive him and to truly worship him.


#8

[quote="Frankjg, post:1, topic:331556"]
I am a returned Catholic after 50 years of absence.

My question is why all the accent on sin, failure and fault in the general attitude of the Mass and teaching. At the start of the mass we state that we have sinned and committed serious failures. Would it not be a better attitude to declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings. A negative attitude (at least to me) is a poor way to start ones day.

Thank You

Frank G.

[/quote]

Frank, you don't need to start your day with mass. You can begin before you arrive. I begin with

Lord, open my lips, and my mouth with proclaim your praise!!!!!

Then to the Invitatory psalm

Come, let us sing to the Lord
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

The Lord is God, the mighty God,
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the highest mountains as well
He made the sea; it belongs to him,
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship,
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker,
For he is our God and we are his people,
the flock he shepherds.

...

This is the beginning of the Divine Office for each and every day. Really gets you started in the morning.


#9

It's not negative if you consider that you can be forgiven for all those shortcomings and still be a child of God.


#10

Hey, Frank, welcome back to the Church :)

Think about this: suppose you broke a vase which you friend really liked while your friend wasn't there. Wouldn't the first thing you say to her be an apology for having done so?

There is actually a mention of your suggestion in the Bible:

St Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

[11] The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. [12] I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. [13] And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. [14] I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

So we see that God actually prefers those who come to Him acknowledging their wrongs first. The things we do wrong can land us in Hell for all eternity; the good we do cannot earn us a spot in Heaven.


#11

[quote="Frankjg, post:1, topic:331556"]
I am a returned Catholic after 50 years of absence.

My question is why all the accent on sin, failure and fault in the general attitude of the Mass and teaching. At the start of the mass we state that we have sinned and committed serious failures. Would it not be a better attitude to declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings. A negative attitude (at least to me) is a poor way to start ones day.

Thank You

Frank G.

[/quote]

Well, as others have noted, the way taken is generally a pretty balanced one.

However, one thing I might ask is how can we corporately and at the same time individually declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus's teachings? Isn't that presumptuous at best, a lie at worst? The Penitential Act is a definite act. It is a means by which we corporately confess that we have sinned, and that is always, everywhere true. We cannot corporately confess that we do, in fact, follow Jesus's teachings in such a way because that implies that we always do so, which is not true. There is a constancy of impeccability implied there. Furthermore, is there ever going to be a situation where "we"--every single person present in a Sunday Mass--can declare our positive growth? Wouldn't we have to do a survey or a poll to establish that? I'll bet I can find at least one person in just about any Sunday Mass who hasn't had positive growth that week, or that month, or that year, or for a whole decade or more.

What it comes down to is that we can't really speak for other people regarding their following of Jesus's teachings. The Penitential Act is at once corporate and individual. It is corporate in that we do it together, at the same time, and it shows a common part of human nature: tendency toward sin. It is individual in that it is always a personal confession of sin. Notice in the Confiteor that we start with "I confess." However, positive growth and our following of Jesus's teachings can really only be done on an individual basis. I cannot know with absolute certainty that all particular persons present at a Mass have grown positively in the following of Jesus's teachings. I do, however, know that each one of us has sinned, if not recently then at some point in life.

So there is the issue of what we can actually state definitively and there is the issue of tradition.

Besides the fact that confession of sin in some form has been part of the Mass since ancient times, there are simply far too many contingencies that would have to be taken care of if we were to "declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings."


#12

I have never perceived a negative attitude in my parish. Perhaps in some locations there are some pastors and faithful who focus on sin, but in my experience, people are very positive, optimistic, and joyful about their faith. However, I think that a positive attitude without balance can be much cause for alarm. A priest who never mentions sin or Confession from the pulpit would be suspect. A parishioner who concentrated on positive social justice and the love of Jesus but never went to Confession or did any penance would not be a faithful Catholic.

Being a faithful Christian must be based in self-knowledge. A fundamental aspect of that is recognizing our concupiscence and sinful nature. We should have a positive focus: to love one another as ourselves and to love God. To strive for personal holiness and to glorify Him. But in order to strive for personal holiness we must constantly recognize and confess our sins and do penance and repent, every day of our lives. We do not achieve sainthood by ignoring them.


#13

[quote="Frankjg, post:1, topic:331556"]
I am a returned Catholic after 50 years of absence.

My question is why all the accent on sin, failure and fault in the general attitude of the Mass and teaching. At the start of the mass we state that we have sinned and committed serious failures. Would it not be a better attitude to declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings. A negative attitude (at least to me) is a poor way to start ones day.

Thank You

Frank G.

[/quote]

I Frank!
I've always loved the Confiteor! I love its humility, its repentance and, most of all its request for prayer from others. There is something heartening in this request, an acknowledgement that, despite our best efforts, we are not perfect, and stand in need of prayer. It is a wonderful way of drawing a community together as community, in need of each others' support and the love and mercy of Our Lord.
And how blessed we are to be able to turn to one another for prayer and to Our Father in hope and faith.
I don't see a negative part.:)
A thousand welcomes home!:)
jeannetherese


#14

[quote="Frankjg, post:1, topic:331556"]
I am a returned Catholic after 50 years of absence.

My question is why all the accent on sin, failure and fault in the general attitude of the Mass and teaching. At the start of the mass we state that we have sinned and committed serious failures. Would it not be a better attitude to declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings. A negative attitude (at least to me) is a poor way to start ones day.

Thank You

Frank G.

[/quote]

Frank, we said the Confiteor 50 years ago. It's no different today. .

I'm sure you remember the four last things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell.

In my opinion, for too many people the idea that we should be all about 'celebrating our good deeds' instead of thinking about sin is like saying to a person who is a type 2 diabetic who is eating too much, drinking too much, not testing his blood sugar, not exercising, not seeing his doctor, to 'forget' about those things because they make him feel DOWN, and instead he should be focusing on the positive things, like that he bought a bumper sticker that says "Diabetes awareness' because that will show the other drivers that he CARES and it will make THEM think about diabetes. Sure it's a good thing to raise diabetes awareness, but that particular person needs to address where he is NOT doing what he should far more than patting himself on the back for something he did that doesn't help HIS OWN DIABETES one bit. . .

JMO.


#15

[quote="Frankjg, post:1, topic:331556"]
I am a returned Catholic after 50 years of absence.

My question is why all the accent on sin, failure and fault in the general attitude of the Mass and teaching. At the start of the mass we state that we have sinned and committed serious failures. Would it not be a better attitude to declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings. A negative attitude (at least to me) is a poor way to start ones day.

Thank You

Frank G.

[/quote]

I have returned recently as well, from a shorter absence. Welcome back!

I understand what you're saying, I think. When I made my first few confessions upon return, I was thinking WOW, I'm a horrible person; why can't I also get a pat on the back for the GOOD things I've done?

Then I realized: do I want a pat on the back here on earth, or when I get to Heaven? I'd rather declare my misdeeds and make them right here on earth than afterwards! The reward in Heaven is soooo much greater than any we could receive on earth. So, I'll take my penance, and I won't be proud of my good works, except to share to inspire others.

God bless you!
Christina


#16

[quote="Frankjg, post:1, topic:331556"]
I am a returned Catholic after 50 years of absence.

My question is why all the accent on sin, failure and fault in the general attitude of the Mass and teaching. At the start of the mass we state that we have sinned and committed serious failures. Would it not be a better attitude to declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings. A negative attitude (at least to me) is a poor way to start ones day.

Thank You

Frank G.

[/quote]

Welcome back, for you made the angels leap for joy.

I have a yard, and every year up come the weeds. If I don't do something about them, they will take over. So I do the usual maintenance.

We all have maintenance work to do in our spiritual garden, else the weeds take it over. It is just a matter of necessity. And the earlier we kill the weeds, the easier it is on the garden.

Just a thought.


#17

[quote="Frankjg, post:1, topic:331556"]
I am a returned Catholic after 50 years of absence.

My question is why all the accent on sin, failure and fault in the general attitude of the Mass and teaching. At the start of the mass we state that we have sinned and committed serious failures. Would it not be a better attitude to declare our positive growth and our following of Jesus teachings. A negative attitude (at least to me) is a poor way to start ones day.

Thank You

Frank G.

[/quote]

Actually, I think its quite beautiful to start our worship asking God to cleanse us of any sin. We have to remember sin separates us from God and hinders our prayers. What a beautiful way to acknowledge that without God's help, we can do nothing!

Un-confessed sin creates a barrier between us and God. When the priest invites us to acknowledge our sins, (sometimes, they are so quick, its hard to do) so I say, Lord Jesus cleanse me of any thought, word or action that may have been displeasing to you, Amen.

"If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:8-9

ps. by the way, Welcome Home!

fredconty- nice post!:thumbsup:


#18

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