1. Study Shows Catechesis Helps, But Not Quite Enough
Here’s a nice article from the National Catholic Register about the differences of opinion on Church doctrine and social issues among Catholic who attend Mass, and those who don’t. That’s not how they describe the article, but it is one thing the study demonstrates. The good news: Catholics who say they go to Mass every Sunday are also much more likely to say they agree with the Church on counter-cultural issues. The bad news: Depending on the hot-button topic, between 1/3 and 1/2 of Catholics attending Mass weekly dissent from Church teaching.
(In contrast, this isn’t, say, the good-natured non-Catholic spouse who comes to Mass as a kindness to the Catholic spouse. These adults who both claim to be Catholic, AND claim to attend Mass every Sunday.)
So. In the pews next to you on Sunday, think of the three people you shake hands with during the Sign of Peace. If yours is a typical parish described by this study, you can assume you’ve shaken hands with at least one person who does not in fact believe and accept the Catholic faith.
Thinking of traveling to the far corners of the earth to evangelize? Your parish pews are mission territory.
In choosing best friends, if you can find one whose besetting sins are utterly different from your own . . . golden. Just golden.
A Sunday well-spent is truly a foretaste of Heaven. More coming later. Partly in response to this post.
I read and thoroughly enjoyed The King’s Gambit by John McNichol. My Amazon review is up, and when I get around to it, I’ll post something longer here at the blog. As always on my Catholic-genre youth fiction reviews, let us remember to ask ourselves: Do my tastes run to Thomas Hardy, or Hardy Boys? I’m firmly in the latter camp. I like my adult beverages some combination of bitter, dry, and rarefied; I like my fiction just the opposite.
I can’t remember what else. Have a great week. Happy Conclave-Watching!
4 thoughts on “Monday Thoughts: The Good Life”
Hmm #1…………. I feel like I’m the other end of the spectrum…I have differences with some counter-culture issues and therefore maybe go to Catholic church once on a blue moon… which one is worse? I guess recognizing it, is better than ignoring it? But eitherway both are “lukewarm,” right?
Well, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from attending Mass, whether it’s once in a blue moon or every week. And yes, absolutely, far better to know yourself and be in open disagreement, than to pretend the differences aren’t on the table. I don’t think that’s being lukewarm at all — quite the contrary. My next post is going to be a booklet review treating gay marriage. That’s a subject I detest, for the reason that I have immense respect for the non-Catholics who hold an opposing opinion. I know that the reasons for the pro-gay-marriage belief are founded in some understandable assumptions, and the hurt feelings are founded on some real injuries that are an absolute injustice.
I have much more in common with a non-Catholic or non-practicing-Catholic who honestly thinks the Church is wrong, because that person is intellectually honest. –> And likewise for the guy in the pew who’s out of line with Church teaching due to honest ignorance and lack of catechesis. I go to Mass *all the time*, and I have never heard a sermon on any one of the topics mentioned in the survey I cited. We’ll talk about blaming the guy in the pew for culpable ignorance *after* he’s heard Church teaching explained clearly and charitably. Exactly why should the average mass-goer think this is important or essential to the faith, if his priests and deacons can’t be bothered to teach about it? Yeah, I said that. But my real ire is for the professional Catholics who teach open dissent — those in ministry who aren’t just failing to teach, but the few who are actively promoting something that is plainly contrary to the faith. Because that’s lying. Give me an honest argument over a professional liar any day.
(I think this is not going to help me sell books. Probably just lost a lot of buyers in the form of dissenting DRE’s who now officially hate me. I’m okay with that.)
I’m interested in reading the gay marriage article.
I like reading your viewpoints and talking to you even if we don’t agree because of the intelligent conversation point you made. Being able to talk to people with different viewpoints is the hardest part of being able to envangelize. You don’t win respect yet alone the arguement but simply stating “you’re wrong!’ I really am interested in learning more about the Catholic missionaries to China during the middle age and Renaissance..particularily Matteo who saw Catholicism and Confusicism with many similarities.
Oh nuts – I forgot I was going to write that this afternoon. I have a review copy of “Getting the Marriage Conversation Right”, and I think it hits on the fundamental difference between the points of view.
re: medieval / renaissance missionaries to Asia – yes, me too, interested. As much as I like what gets called “classical” education, I think Dr. Boli summed it up well in opener to the middle ages in his History of the World.
Re: the similarities: Absolutely. When you hear Catholics talking about something called “Natural Law”, it’s not referring to the Laws of Nature (gravity, hormones, seasons, etc), it’s referring to those things that people “just know” — and therefore of course these common themes appear over and again in almost any enduring moral or religious system. Drives me nuts, cause the result is my pagan friends always seem to be much better people than me. Because yeah, doing good isn’t a secret, it’s pretty straightforward to figure out — if you’re not like me, the type who’s always trying to wiggle out of it somehow.