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Catholics?

Recently I attended church with my inlaws and my husband. They are catholic. My DH doesnt go to church very often, but his family is super religious. I figured Id give it a try and see how it was. I know every church will be different but I was looking around and it seemed that 85% of the people there were only there out of habbit and obligation, they were not really paying attention to what was going on, one lady was actually filing her nails! then when the time comes every one would say the mechanical amens or whatever in response to what the pastor was saying, but still not really paying attention.... whats the point then? It made me feel like church is meaningless.
How many of you go to church out of habit and obligation?
even if you do believe in your religion, why go to church to not pay attention? do you feel you HAVE TO attend to be a "good" catholic?

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urromancelady

Asked by urromancelady at 7:25 AM on Jul. 18, 2008 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • You're right it's pointless to go, if your just going to be a bench warmer. :) I will admit there are times I'm like the one filling her nails, Well I don't really file them, but that's my attitude.

    Sometimes it's because of WHO has mass, (i.e. the priest). I've found certain priest to be a turn off for me. Sometimes it's because I'm restless and I want to be doing something else too: I want to be MULTI-tasking! more next post.

    SAHMinIL

    Answer by SAHMinIL at 8:35 AM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • continue from previous post.
    So many of us spend our days doing many things at once that at times I feel like I have to be doing something else along side with the Mass. (I find that to be more true for me when my children are behaving)

    Also, when I lost my Dad, I was very angry, and I went then just out of habit, out of what I felt was an obligation. I was a true bench warmer then, but being that bench warmer for that year every Sunday is what saw me out of my anger and out of my spiritual drought....I'm back and actually happy to be there, and I do 95% of the time FULLY participate, but I do have my days where I don't, but that just makes me human!
    SAHMinIL

    Answer by SAHMinIL at 8:37 AM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • i was raised catholic and led to believe if i didn't go to church every sunday i would go to hell when i died. now i've pretty much rejected just about everything the official church teaches, i enjoy going to mass, especially on weekday mornings, when the church is mostly empty and the service is pared down to its most essential parts. what i particularly enjoy is the lack of a sermon - i always hated listening to the priest pontificate on subjects i could tell he had no first hand experience of.
    anniekelleher

    Answer by anniekelleher at 8:45 AM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • I agree with SAHMinIL 100% I want to add that presence shouldn't be discounted either. Many times at mass I have heard just one thing that gets me thinking and it probably looks like I'm daydreaming but I'm reflecting. My hubby always listens to the liturgy with his his head down, but he pays attention to every word. Also, I never felt that the responses were "mechanical" I feel a deep sense of community when 400 people pray in unison. In fact, that's part of what drew me to the Catholic church - you'll never see a regular guy up there just making stuff up as he goes while random people shout "amen" from the congregation.
    Gotoyourmoms

    Answer by Gotoyourmoms at 8:52 AM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • Also, we don't go every Sunday, sometimes we miss. Everybody does.
    Gotoyourmoms

    Answer by Gotoyourmoms at 8:55 AM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • i go because i have to and because i love to. there's nothing wrong with following the teachings of our faith that were set by Jesus Christ which includes weekly Mass and Holy Days of Obligation. but more importantly i love going. i cant imagine my week without it. yes it can be frutrating with a toddler and an infant, and i dont get to pay attention as much as id like, but that is the point in my life i am in right now. God sees that and knows my heart. i would imagine in any church, any parish,any denomination you would find people who go only b/c they have to [and file their nails, talk on their cell phone, gossip etc]. that is sad for them b/c they are not fully appreciating the beautiful sacrifice they are witnessing in the Eucharist. but it happens to everyone at some point i imagine...we forget why we are there and become just bodies in the pew. that's when we need a spiritual renewal!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:10 AM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • also, just b/c someone seems to be there just b/c they have to you dont know what is going on in their lives, in their minds and in their hearts. that is between them and God. generally i try to concentrate on myself and not worry about what other people are doing [even though of course it can be hard to ignore sometimes]. if you were interesting in learning more about the Catholic faith i hope you would not just look at this one church, or just these people. we are human just like everyone else and prone to mistake and sins. even priests. i hope this helped, God Bless.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:11 AM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • It is not just the Catholic faith where you can find people attending church purely out of obligation, you will see that in almost every religion out there. Just please understand that this is not just something you will find in a catholic church, my husband is catholic and I am missionary baptist, you will find people like this in both. I am sorry that had to be your experience with the catholic religion as I know how confusing it can seem at first to go from being used to one thing and seem like you are emersed in another world. I really like the catholic faith now and the church we attend.
    Anubis8733

    Answer by Anubis8733 at 9:20 AM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • hahahaha, welcome to my childhood. I think I was 9 or so when I realized the same thing you did. I went to a Catholic school so we went to Mass once a week and I remember trying to be so attentive because that was what we were supposed to do. I sat quietly, tried to listen and understand but always fell asleep. I remember looking around one day and realizing I was the ONLY one in my class paying attention and sitting still. Everyone else was passing notes and screwing around and getting the whole class in trouble. And they were the "good Catholic" kids. I was the heathen. I wasn't baptized and my family didn't go to church. I was only at the school because it was better then the public schools. It all seemed so pointless.
    justanotherjen

    Answer by justanotherjen at 10:00 AM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • Thank you for your responses. I know every religion will have those people who are just there out of obligation, and I know not every catholic church will be the same. This one they sang alot more than the catholic church I went to with my Aunt. I liked that better, it kept it interesting, at least for me. the songs were beautiful, but the people in that church did not make me feel like there was a point or welcome you know? I kind of felt that you should feel sort of at home in the church you attend and this one was not like that at all.
    urromancelady

    Answer by urromancelady at 10:17 AM on Jul. 18, 2008

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