Would you help me with this issue, please?


#1

Hi all,

I haven’t been attending Mass for quite awhile because I’ve been struggling, asking myself why I ought to go when I don’t “get anything out of the Mass”.

I rationalized that if I did attend I’d be going only to avoid going to Hell, which would make me a hypocrite.

So, there it is out in the open and in a nutshell!

Any suggestions? BTW, I am asking for God’s help with this.

Stuart


#2

Have you ever done something you don’t like because you have a friend that loves it?


#3

Pray for a LOVE of the Mass.


#4

Thanks Elf,

Great point taken!


#5
  1. You do not attend mass to “get” anything.
  2. You do not attend for good music.
  3. You do not attend for stirring homilies.
  4. You do not attend for fellowship.
  5. You do not even attend necessarily to receive the Eucharist.

You attend because Christ commanded it.

You attend to offer yourself as a living sacrifice to God.

As it is with business: no investment, no return.


#6

You’re spending time with Jesus and doing something that makes Him happy.

That should be the main, overarching reason why you go. Not to “get something out of it”.

Think of it like spending the day with your mom or dad doing something they enjoy but you don’t, but you’re doing it because it makes them happy you’re there.

If you don’t enjoy it, offer it up as a sacrifice for reparation and the Poor Souls in Purgatory.

Also, at least some of the time, I find the homilies to be somewhat interesting.


#7

First of all - what do you put into it ? - to get something out of it -

It’s a chance to pray - along with the church -
And to participate in the Eucharist -
Receiving Jesus -
Many churches have adoration -
Maybe go then and talk with the Lord -
He will bless you - sit there and let him speak to you.

Go to confession -
The Priest would love to help you out.
It’s easy to be distracted at masses -
and lose concentration to why your really there.
Stay - with going !


#8

Yeah, I mean, seriously, this is the greatest gift of all right there.

You get to have God join you. GOD. With you!

What more are you looking to “get”?


#9

Thank you all for your responses. You’re all making sense.

I intend to go to Confession this Saturday to start with a new slate.


#10

I think you’re going to get a lot of answers along the lines of “you don’t have to get anything out of it, that’s not what the Mass is for.” Frankly, that kind of answer leaves me cold. Spending time with God shouldn’t turn into something you simply must endure.

You used to go to Mass but have stopped, right? Did anything change to make you think it was no longer worth going?

What would you like to get from Mass? If you think of attending your ideal Mass in your ideal church, what would have happened there? And how would you feel as you walked out? Is there any way to get close to that ideal?

Are there things that can help you prepare yourself to have a good experience at Mass? Two things that help me are reviewing the readings ahead of time and having quiet time before Mass to prepare myself.

I find that if I have spent time with the readings during the week, they’re like old friends when I get to Mass. I know what to expect from them, I know what I think about them, I know what questions I have about them, I know where they have moved me. It draws me in much more.

The other thing I need is some time before Mass to collect myself. If I rush in at the last minute, I’m not in the right frame of mind to pray. But that changes if I spend some time before Mass starts…to get out of the everyday time of alarm clocks and deadlines, and into the eternal “now” of God’s time.

A few meandering thoughts…


#11

Great suggestion! Thank for it!!!


#12

Same here. It is not about duty. It is about personal relationship and encounter and being faithful to it even when it seems dark, cold or empty.


#13

I think the “you don’t have to get anything out of it” recognizes that if you go to Mass regularly, there are going to be Masses, and even periods of time that can go for a long time, when Mass will be “dark, cold and empty”, perhaps for a long time, and we just need to push through that and continue to go.

It could be a time of spiritual dryness.
It could be a time when you’re distracted or upset by other things going on in your life and it’s hard to get in a good frame of mind for Mass because you’re tired, grieving, preoccupied with caregiver responsibilities, worried about your job etc.
It could be a time when you’re stuck going to a parish with a style of Mass you don’t particularly enjoy, or the priest doesn’t preach very well, or the music is just so bad by your standards, etc.

it’s fine to try to do something about that to engage yourself more with the Mass, but if that doesn’t work out for you, you’re still expected to be there. Sometimes it is duty.


#14

No offense, but I also don’t believe that going to the Mass is a duty. You can connect with God wherever you are. He doesn’t stay in the church alone. If you feel good about going to the church, go for it. If you don’t, there are other things do to ensure that you are following His path.


#15

Dear Pete,

I guess that I may indeed be in a spiritual dry spell, and been in it for quite a while. I’ve been attempting to define an acceptable concept of God that I could live with. Well, there’s more than that, but I’m not sure I could explain it properly. As I said, I don’t want to attend Mass as a "hypocrite’.

Could you please elaborate about doing “other things” that could help me “ensure that I am following His path”? I truly need suggestions.


#16

Are you Catholic? Catholics are obligated to attend Sunday Mass. To miss it without a good reason like illness is a sin.

The OP is looking for a Catholic perspective here, not some guy to tell him “Yeah go ahead and skip Mass, you can catch up to God another time.” WRONG!

I personally skipped a lot of Masses in my youth because the priest was boring, I didn’t fit in with the demographic of the parish, and knew no one there. This led me down a slippery slope of eventually not practicing my faith at all for years. It was NOT a good place to be in. Therefore, I must say again, your advice is WRONG.


#17

Tis,

Yes, I am Catholic. Your point is well taken. Thank you for your response. I’ll be back to Church. That’s what my heart tells me to do. Time to go Home!


#18

I found that attending daily mass, which is usually quieter, less “populated” and not as lengthy as Sunday mass, to be a big factor in drawing me closer in my relationship to God. Mass became something that I looked forward to and would try to get to several times a week in addition to Sunday. Once a week did not connect the dots for me any longer.


#19

Remember that you’re only obligated to go to Mass on Sundays, although irishmom2’s point about the weekday Masses being quieter and shorter etc is well taken.

If on weekdays, or even after Mass on Sundays, you would like to explore some other way of being close to God, such as Adoration, prayers, walking through the park and talking to God, etc. you are free to do so.


#20

There is nothing hypocritical about going to hell.

God will only save those who want to save themselves. He does not force it on anybody.


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