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Why It All Comes Down to What Catholics Will Do and What They Won't Do: A Letter to Catholics Comments

Our faith is a gift, not a threat. Our faith does not teach us to follow the rules and we "will be just fine." Our faith does not teach us to view the good life as a road burdened by the weight of dreary obligations. Our faith does not teach us to just get by, to be there, follow the rules, and keep the obligations. Our faith is not that of a tribe, into which we happen to be born. Our faith is not a list of minimum requirements that get us into ... Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 24 Comments

  1. Thom
    10 months ago

    Thank you Trinbabonian for your positive comments.

  2. Robert Podesfinski
    10 months ago


    "It is better to light one light than to curse the darkness."
    I came back to the Roman Catholic Church after being away for a decade and half. It has very dear things that make a wonderful church. What people do with each other after going to church would surprise you. They volunteer time and they donate to each other. If you look for something to criticize, I assure you that you will find it.

    What I would wish more to happen is to have every parish visit and bless the homes of every parishioner during Christmas and during Easter, as was done in my childhood. This connect our home with the blessings of God, and reminded me that the church exists throughout the world and not just in church on Sundays. I have applied my Catholic faith often in life circumstances. Our doctor was Jewish, and I have been friends with Christians of all faiths.

    Yes, I graduated Catholic parochial school, Catholic prep school and Catholic university. I have learned how the Catholic Church has sometimes stumbled throughout history, but it has gotten up to carry its cross again and again. Christians are a forgiven people.

    When a Protestant evangelical asked me "Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?" At first, I was taken aback by the question, but then I thought receiving Jesus Christ in the form of communion is definitely a personal relationship. "Yes," I replied. But I pay attention to the sermons of all ministers of the New Testament. If someone has specific suggestions on how to do something, they should make them. But generalizations are just that: generalizations. The basis of Christianity is contrary to tribalism.

  3. David
    11 months ago

    What a fantastic article!!
    I am 48 and spent most of my adult life attending different churches. I would often pray that I wanted to serve but didn't know which church was truly God's church (The Church). I then spent 13 years attending my local Catholic Church and wondered why no one ever asked me about converting.
    While I felt a connection to the Catholic Church I wanted to be sure as I was tired of "shopping", so I started studying everything I could find and started listening to Catholic Answers Live. Long story short I converted Easter 2012 and am the happiest and humblest I have been in my life.
    Dr. Hudson's letter is accurate from this converts point of view and I try to engage people whenever possible to be active in our parish and our K of C.
    Good article!!

  4. Vance
    11 months ago

    My new prayer to God is that he fire all bad and useless Liberal priests and Bishops and replace them good and holy men who will be strong church leaders. This is what the church has lacked for the past 50 years. EWTN shows a great example of good and holy priests.

  5. Rob
    11 months ago

    We have not preached conversion. No encounter with the living Christ...no conversion.

    People need to make a decision. Not a decision about who to vote for...but instead a decision to love someone. There are many errors in mainline protestanism, but one thing they have nailed is the call to conversion.

    At some point we will figure it out.

  6. Trinbagonian
    11 months ago

    I think we can act, as the good lady in the article who became a greeter, and make a contribution to the Church. However, once we do this we must not speak ill of the situation we met (we may lose our heavenly reward) but must do our charitable work in love and gentleness, and patience.
    It hurts me that many persons may be going to Church just to fulfill an obligation but it also hurts me that the converted ones may be spending a lot of time checking a bad list of actions against Church members.

    I Love to go to Mass. I would go daily if I could. I will go to any Catholic Church. I go to the nearest. I participate at Mass because of my lively Caribbean background and because God rescued me in a mighty way. I am well aware that others don't participate like me. I pray about it, not wanting to be the cause of another's downfall. I marvel at how God reached for me over others...I can't understand why. "Why me God?" I often ask.
    My participation is the Holy Spirit's Work in me ... not me. This puts me into a spirit of thanksgiving for me and all persons around me. My soul is taken up into an unceasing prayer for all those around me that everyone may come to know God's Love and that we all may be drawn closer to Him.

    Many persons are shouting and praising but are not truly converted. They are shouting for what they want from God or because they feel hopeless or because it feels good or because they think that is what they ought to do etc.. They may be "evangelical" in actions but away from the Church, they are missing Her richness and fullness and are in conflict with Church. Similarly, many quiet persons have experienced God's Love and are true disciples. We can't always judge a person's spirituality by their actions.
    And for the visitors who may be turned away from the Church because of persons' lukewarm participation, if it wasn't this that would make them not enter the faith, it would have been something else. I believe in the Holy Spirit ... if the Holy Spirit wants that visitor at that time, it is so appointed.

    I think those converted are called to participate, carry the burden of non-participation in sacrificial love, and do our best to lead/guide confident in Christ and His Church. This is evangelical. And it is beautiful!

  7. Gabriella
    11 months ago

    Great article! I do believe that to become a true follower of Christ, an absolute belief in the true Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is a must. Without it, we just linger, have nothing to add, or take away from the Mass.
    Once talking to a deacon in our Catholic church here in Ottawa, I was non-nonchalantly told that a great majority of Catholics practice contraception...and do not believe in the real Presence - hence, the sad situation. why is it that most Catholic families do not have more than 1 or 2 children?
    Once one believes in the Presence of the Christ in the Eucharist, one cannot follow the path of the world anymore because one sees the Truth and that Truth sets him/her free.

  8. Jeffrey Caperton
    11 months ago

    Michelle,

    You said it very well in that it is not enough to show a person their sins; we also need to show them the way to love, mercy and forgiveness. Focusing on the first without the second is like U.S. Politics 101; tell them what is wrong, but offer no solutions.

    I would, however, like to comment on the music. We all have an opinion of what constitutes suitable Church music. For me, anything other than Henry Purcell, Johann Sebastian Bach or George Frederick Handel is pointless. There are those who prefer chant, those who prefer traditional hymns and those who love a good guitar mass (I have played the guitar in Church). The Church I attend across the street plays a lot of traditional Mexican music with Spanish guitars during Spanish Mass and I have attended Mass in predominantly African American parishes where they sang a blend of spirituals and traditional hymns. My point is that, while I certainly would not wish to hear something like "Blueberry Hill" or "Cum On Feel the Noize" during Mass, and I am sick to death of Bob Dylan, I think it best that, within reason, we recognize that Church music is a matter of local tastes and preferences. For myself, I would rather have no music at all during Mass as I attend Mass to pray, not sing. But, that is my preference.

  9. youkokun
    11 months ago

    I'm a convert from a Foursquare (very loosely Pentecostal) megachurch. I was attracted to Catholicism by its truth and claim to authority, but also because the first time I went to Mass at the parish right next to my family's chosen church I was blown away by the solemnity and the reverence. Worship, I learned, need not be dependent on feelings; we kneel and make gestures, worshiping with our bodies, and the prayers the priest says we make our own. The words we repeat every Mass are reaffirmations of faith. Love is not a feeling, it is action. When I left that time, I didn't care that there was no "new believers packet" at a resources desk--I was ready to ransack their small library and learn for myself!
    I deeply appreciate the way my parish is set up: the building in which we celebrate Mass is completely separate, across the street from, the Parish Hall, where we may commune; sometimes tamales are sold and sometimes videos of lectures are played. At the Protestant church you pass straight between the sanctuary and lobby, and many observe no difference; socializing takes place in either.
    I'm glad homilies are so short; the Mass is for celebration and worship, not learning, or meeting people and chatting, for that matter. I disagree with Dr. Hudson. The Mass is evangelical enough if done reverently. But we can always put a banner over the parish hall, if you want.

  10. Michelle L.
    11 months ago

    So much truth here, Deal, and so much to think about. It seems to me that the experiments of lightening up the liturgy during the 70's failed miserably, contributing to the departure of many. As a 12 year old in 1970' I began playing my guitar at Mass with a group of teens and college students. Looking back at the majority of the new music we did, it was appalling, lacking in musical value and the words had little to offer in the way of theology and in many cases even in Truth. But it did shake things up! Through the years as I matured, I noticed that the songs which the congregation sang the best were old standard hymns, such as Holy, God We Praise Thy Name. I also came to appreciate quality music and the beauty of the Organ. At my current parish we now have a award winning organist with a degree in sacred music, and one of the best volunteer choirs I have ever heard or been a member of. We regularly sing anthems in Latin, and have recently begun chanting the Introit before the Entrace Processional hymn. I don't hear complaints about the Music, but I have had a few friends say they miss some of the music we did in the past...St. Louis Jesuits, Glory and Praise....but not enough to leave the parish. We have greeters at the door Sunday mornings, active Knights of Columbus, Ladies Auxiliary, youth group, 50+ group, Thursday morning Bible study, St. Vincent de Paul Society and other activities available.
    We need to encourage people to learn the "whys, behind the "what's". Why do we use sacred music for the liturgy rather than secular or pop Christian? Why do we teach that abortion, contraception, and gay "marriage" or wrong? But beyond and before the whys and what's, we must share the Who. Who came to offer mercy and compassion to sinners freely? This, Terry is what Pope Fracis is saying. We do not win souls by teaching them just that they are miserable sinners, without first showing to them the love, mercy and forgiveness available to them. We are not called to preach condemnation but to offer The Way, The Truth, and The Life, the person of Christ Jesus.


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