What Is Your Criteria For Going to Mass?

What is your criteria for going to church?  Do you even go?  I know that a lot of people come from a twelve year Catholic education, but for whatever reason don't attend Mass.  That's too bad because when you think about it, your soul is your own responsibility.

I've heard every excuse imaginable why someone doesn't attend Mass.  I go out of a sense of obligation and to have something to take back out into the world so I can live my life (hopefully) the way God intended.
First on my list of reasons to go is time.  If I like the time frame I will be there every week.  Second is the music.  If the singing and music is pleasant and hopefully a little bit lively, I'm a happy Catholic.

The third one is a big one.  If the homily is consistently thirty minutes long, the walls and the people of that church will probably never see me again.  I have experienced on several occasions a priest who likes the sound of his own voice.  That would be okay, if he kept on point, but most of the time there is a rambling stream of consciousness that just goes on and on.

My husband and I are fortunately of one mind on these issues and it's rare when one of us is unhappy about where we are attending.  But it has come up and then we usually agree not to attend that particular Mass at least for awhile.
Attending Mass is part of our marriage.  It always has been.  We've incorporated it into our routine so much so, that we would both miss it if we didn't go.

The last line of today's Gospel, Jesus says, 
"I cannot do anything on my own;
I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just,
because I do not seek my own will
but the will of the one who sent me."

It is truly the reason we go.


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  • Are you really asking the real reasons why people don't go to church or were you just looking for a reason to tell us why YOU go to church?

    By the way, you probably won't like the reasons people give for not attending. Are you really ready to hear that?

  • Your first paragraph about folks who attended 12 years of Catholic school not attending Mass reminded me of something the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said among some confidants. He was getting on toward the end of his life, and he told them, "If you want your child to lose his faith in our time, send him to Catholic school. If you want him to defend the faith, send him to public school."

    What a condemnation of our Catholic school system, but I think, in general, he was right. There are exceptions, of course, but they are just that...exceptions. For the most part, our Catholic schools in this country have become nothing more than private schools for rich kids. There's absolutely nothing Catholic about them other than the name. My wife taught religion at a Catholic high school for a couple of years, then left. When she first got there, the children were outdone because they really had to study and learn "this stuff." They were used to using that course as a study hall for the other courses. And the principal, and others of authority in the school, gave preference to those with the most money. It was just the attitude, I guess, that was so appalling! She had a 9th grader standing on his chair cutting up at the beginning of class and she asked him to sit down. He ignored her. She again told him to sit down and be quiet. Another student told her, "You obviously don't know who his father is. He could have your job." You have to know my wife. She's a take-no-prisoners type of gal. She said, "Oh, yeah?" She pulled out her cell phone out of her pocket and told the young man, "Call your dad." He looked with disbelief and said, "Yeah, right." She said, "No. Call him. NOW!" So, he dialed the number. She told him, "Mr. XXXXXXX, this is Mrs. YYYYYY at the school. Your son tells me you are the pillar of the Church and you'll have my job if I try to stop him from disrupting my class. Could you please come over here now, because you need to take over the class while they find someone to take my place." The father, embarrassed, asked my wife what his son was doing, and she explained. He said, "Is he near you? Could you hand him the phone, please?" She said, "Sure." And handed the young man the phone, saying, "He wants to talk to you." The young man turned white as a ghost. The other students could hear his dad screaming at him over the phone six rows away! He gave the phone back to my wife, and the father said, "I'm so sorry, Mrs. YYYYY. I'll be right over to the school to pick Michael up. He won't be back the rest of the day, and tomorrow he may want to stand up in class. I promise you this behavior won't be repeated!" She never had another moment's problem with this child!

    But that's the exception. What's really at the root of this evil trend, like most evil trends in our time, is money. In the "old days," we had mostly nuns teaching class. These nuns lived on campus, lived a subsistence life because they'd taken the vow of poverty, and had some sense of what a real "Catholic education" was all about. Then, when Vatican II came along, a lot of these orders of nuns decided to "modernize," and shucked their habits, crucifixes, etc. They became "worldly." What followed was far fewer vocations by the young girls to be nuns. Why should they be nuns? They could walk around in street clothes just like the nuns now. There was no difference, no visible sign that one could consecrate ones self to God, and be IN the world but NOT OF the world. There was no draw, in other words. So, the schools had to begin hiring lay teachers, many of whom weren't even Catholic! (We had a religion teacher who was Baptist, and insisted on teaching from the KJV, her own theology!) As such, they had to pay them a lot more than a nun who had taken the vow of poverty. Expenses, and therefore, tuition, rose, creating a situation where the "less affluent" children couldn't afford to go to Catholic schools. And, so, here we are.

    Sorry. I kind of went off on a tangent. LOL

  • In reply to Augustin58:

    LOL Not a problem!

    I sent all my kids to Catholic school. My daughter is very religious and still attends mass on a regular basis. My sons stopped going to church. Yet their friends read my blog regularly.

    When I sent the kids to a different Catholic school, I told the principal that if she has a problem with them to call me and I would be there in five minutes and I could guarantee she wouldn't have a problem with mine again. She looked at me astonished and said, "No parent has ever said that to me!"

    I've been in churches where the music directors were not Catholic and, uh, lead questionable lifestyles. It was very bizarre!

    I guess you can teach, but how do you reach someone's heart?

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