Saturday, August 11, 2007

Church...or the lack thereof

I consider myself a lifelong Christian and someone who truly loves his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Yet, for the last couple of years I've had a really difficult time attending church. The problem is that I just don't feel that I'm getting much out of it.

Now, the conservative Catholic bloggers I read on a normal basis would say that my problem is that I'm focusing on feelings, and the Mass isn't about feeling. And, intellectually, I know they're correct. But what am I supposed to do when I don't believe that I'm growing and maturing spiritually by my attendance at Mass.

Perhaps this all goes back to my upbringing as a United Methodist. I don't know.

I feel the need to attend a Methodist Church, if only to see whether this trouble is confined to Catholicism or other strains of Christianity for me. The problem is, though, that I simply can't stomach the liberal leanings of the Protestants I've found thus far in the North.

The liberal, welcoming, rainbow flying Protestant chuches I've come across both here in NY state and in Boston, just don't mesh with my southern understanding of Protestantism. They may as well not be Christians...well, perhaps that's a little harsh.

The other problem I have with Protestantism is that I've truly come to believe what the Catholic Church teaches. Even when I have gone out and attended a Protestant service, I just have this big rock in my gut, because I know I believe something they don't.

Which leads me back to feeling I have no spiritual home and leaves me sitting at home on Sunday's when I should be at Church (never mind the whole mortal sin problem).

What do I do? Where should I turn? I just don't know?


At 2:03 AM, Blogger Melessa said...

Wish I could help, but I'm struggling with my own faith right now. While the faiths are different, I could have written much of what you have here. I believe strongly, but am having lots of trouble going to church myself right now. We're about the same age, and I wonder if it isn't related to that too. I just wanted you to know you weren't alone.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Rebecca said...

All people experience this loneliness for God at least once in their lives. Both JPII and Mother Teresa wrote extensively about their experiences with it. It does not mean that God is not there, just that He is silent for now.

Have you tried Eucharistic Adoration?I find that a little bit of time with Our Lord can help me find clarity in almost any situation. Also, you might go to Confession and discuss it with the priest.

And for goodness sakes, go to Mass, if for no other reason than meeting other Catholics (and it's a Mortal Sin not to go).

I'm praying for you. This afternoon's rosary is all yours!

God Bless you, and may His Mother comfort you.

At 4:19 PM, Blogger YoungCatholicSTL said...

Interesting post about the need to "feel" more at Mass. I'm not sure about your situation or the location of the nearest one, but have you considered attending a Traditional Latin Mass (TLM)? Now before you reach for the delete button, think about it:

1. You seem to be a conservative, and conservatives generally like the TLM. 2. You say you need to feel, but don't seem to be getting those feelings from a modern Novus Ordo Mass. 3. Maybe your need to feel is a need to feel closer to Christ, not to other people. 4. The TLM is much more Christ-focused than a Novus Ordo mass. 5. Attending a TLM might allow you to internalize your relationship with Christ better and develop a closer relationship with Him.

Again, I don't know your situation (maybe you don't have a car, maybe there's no TLM for 50 miles, etc.), but it might be something worth looking into. Maybe the problem is you converted to Catholicism, but don't see much difference between your previous church and the church where the Novus Ordo is taking place. Just a thought, and good luck with your struggles. I'm sure God will answer your questions!

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey friend,

Just remember Mass isn't about you; its about Christ. If you believe Christ is fully present in the Eucharist then Go and receive His Gift of Self. Believe it or not the best answer to your problem is Jesus (this is also the best answer for every problem), and the best place to go for Jesus is Mass. So next time you go instead of making it about how you're not "feeling" like you want...just focus on Christ. Receive His Gift and then (and this part is important) give yourself back to Him! and then do that the rest of the week! God Bless!

-A Buckeye Catholic

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Steve said...

I know I'm late to comment on this post but...Scotty, I know how you feel. I am a former Methodist, now Catholic and I struggle with the same feelings you are having.

Since you are Catholic, I would suggest seeing if there is a local Eastern Rite Catholic Church you could attend (Melkite, Byzantine, etc). I went to Melkite Vespers last Saturday. It was just what I needed to "feel" (for want of a better word) something.


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