Sunday, March 13, 2011

Conditional Christian?

I fear I have opened a can of worms, and I guess I will now dump them out and have a look.

I was a little bit shocked at some of the comments on my post about an unfriendly church.

Do I need a friendly church in order to worship God?  Nope.  What do I need?  Not much of anything.  Just everything the Church gives me - and that is immeasurable.  Not much else is necessary.

I wonder how many times I have played a starring role in someone's story about some awful woman at mass.  I pray that no one has left the church because of anything I have ever done.  And I would be truly contrite if I knew that I contributed to anyone's ill feeling toward the church.

But I know that ultimately we are all responsible for our own decisions and actions.

The people at my current church aren't friendly.  But ultimately, what does that matter?  I am an adult.  I have the ability to reach out to others if I want to take the risk to do so.    There is a wonderful priest at the church, and that is why I have made the decision, like a reasonable adult, to attend that church instead of the friendly one down the road.

If the friendliness of my fellow parishioners was really that important to me, I would go to my former parish down the road.  But going to mass is not about socializing.  It is not about "feeling good" and getting my ego stroked.  It is about God, not me.

And I would ask that you keep a charitable tone in your comments.  It's God's job to judge, not ours.

Thank you and God bless you all.


  1. As I have said, I think it is entirely possible, and in fact I do manage it myself, to maintain the sacred silence and be receptive to those in need of an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry upon. For a very long time, I got the reaction that you got at the breakfast you attended. I realized that in my own case, my shyness was coming across as aloofness or even snobbiness to people. When I read one of the ways in which St Therese practiced her little way, I decided to give it a try, and that is to smile at people before they smile at me. There are still some who are unmoved, but more often than not, it breaks the ice. One of the hardest things for me was leaving the Anglo-catholic church I attended before coming back "home". It had people who were engaging, ministries that needed my help, beautiful music, exhilarating sermons and an interior conducive to meditation and prayer. But it lacked One Thing - the Real Presence. So by "sacrificing" the music and the aesthetics and the soup kitchen etc I gained something of infinite value. And that's how I choose to look at it. Thanks for posting this.

  2. LOL, that thread did get a lot of comments. I may be at the heart of the dispute, or I stated that position first. Sorry. But love thy neighbor is as important a commandment as love God. It dawns on me now from reading Joyce's comment above that perhaps because I'm not an introvert I feel God in the act of friendship, if that makes any sense. And thinking over the Gospels, I don't believe Christ was an introvert either. He brought people into Him. He befriended all sorts of people, tax collectors, prostitutes, Samaritans, etc. What does that teach us? What is that little bit of time after mass to reach oout beyond one's inner core?

    Yikes, I went off again...

  3. btw, I love the new name of the blog!