Here are eight reasons not to go to church:
- I’m too busy to go to church.
- I don’t like the priest(s).
- I don’t like the music (or the choir director).
- The usher was rude to me.
- No one returned my call when I called the rectory and asked about baptism, wedding or funeral arrangements.
- All priests are pedophiles.
- Nobody is going to preach to me and tell me what to do.
- My friend knows a friend who knows a friend who says the Catholic Church (fill in the blank) …
I’m sure that anyone reading this, could add many more to this list.
Going to church, making time for God in our lives is an individual choice. Some people do it without thinking. Some go when the mood strikes. Maybe you feel a bit guilty so you head off to Mass hoping to appease that guilt. Maybe you are one of the “Chreasters” (those who only go at Christmas and Easter).
Then there’s the Cafeteria Catholics who pick and choose what they want to believe.
Another convert once told me, “I go to church for me.” And she’s right. I enter that church hoping for divine intervention! I want to feel Christ’s presence, I want Him to bless those that have gathered in His name, I want to be spiritually nourished by the Eucharist, I want to leave that church singing that last hymn in my head. I want to go back out into the world, armed with His Word and be a Soldier in Christ!
I’ve been to Mass where the music was lacking or the priest’s homily went on for half an hour! I’ve belonged to parishes where the gossiping and rudeness of its people nearly drove me to another faith. I’ve been lied to by people in authority, and I’ve been made to feel unwelcome in my own parish. I just go to another church. Because Christ is in the Eucharist.
Despite it’s people, we are fed by our Lord. Despite the humanness of the people in the church, our Lord resides in that Bread and Wine awaiting us, beckoning to us, reaching out to us in love to come to His table and receive Him.
If you haven’t been to Mass in a while, please go back to church. Try again. One week at a time. Take the time. If you don’t like something about that church, go to another and another until you find that sanctuary. It won’t be perfect, after all, you just walked in, but you will be fed, that I can guarantee. Our Father needs His children. Our Brother needs His siblings. Our Mother needs Her children. And more importantly, we need Them.
“Do you love the church?
Do you pray for the church?
Do you feel a part of this family?
What do you do to make others
feel heard and understood?”
–Pope Francis, May 29
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