Christian Era |OT| W.W.J.D

Thanks, everyone, for all the salient responses. You're right. It's probably mostly projection on my end. I'm too worried about "fitting in," I guess. Which, in a way, makes me feel like a bad Catholic at times.

Anyway, you've all given very good advice, and I appreciate it a lot. Next time I stop in here I promise it will be to contribute to discussion and not ask for help with something, haha.
Hey, in Christianity, the best kind of discussion is helping other people. Don't feel bad at all!
 
Thanks, everyone, for all the salient responses. You're right. It's probably mostly projection on my end. I'm too worried about "fitting in," I guess. Which, in a way, makes me feel like a bad Catholic at times.
Don't feel bad, feel that you can better and in doing so make the church itself better too because we make up the church. Us Catholics tend to be brought up with a lot of guilt and fear association with regards to what our religion is, and that sucks. It's wrong and one of the things that needs to be better on a fundamental level in terms of education within the church, how parents relate to their children, how parishioners relate to each other, and how ministries do outreach.

I can totally relate, and I think that the Catechism of the Catholic Church as it is taught, doesn't equip us well for tackling the challenges of society in a secular world. Evangelism is weak for us Catholics for many reasons, and not equipping teenagers and young adults properly to own their faith is one that those reasons. If religion is just family tradition and culture, it becomes hard to share because it feels too compartmentalized. It becomes something we share only within family and church mates because we feel a little ashamed of it outside of that bubble. Your relationship with Christ is more than you being born in a Catholic family or going to mass because your parents told you to. It has to be. If you can truly own that relationship, tap into what that means to you, and let that guide you.

Jesus is not an obligation, He is a lifestyle. Always hated how we talked about "days of obligation" for that reason. Such a silly thing. Telling people that you "must" go to mass at the minimum for these occasions is a really terrible way to motivate people to be excited for the faith. So for example it becomes "oh no, Assumption is coming up, ugh, gotta make time for church" when it should be a person being excited to make time for Assumption because of their appreciation for Mary's role and all she has done as mother of the church. It should be a time to reflect on Mary's life as the ideal faithful servant of God, answering His call with no hesitation and concern for what others would have thought of her situation. But instead it's just another "day of obligation" for many people.

It's the same reason I used to hate Lent because it was the season of "oh no lets be sad and guilty" where I maybe fast a little and generally psyche myself to be miserable for a month. Until I learned that wasn't the right approach at all. It was simply a time of reflection, and again appreciation - appreciation for the sacrifice Jesus made for us and what it REALLY means. That we ourselves are worthy of His sacrifice and He gave his like because we are worth it. It's uplifting, not sad. The abstinence we can practice during Lent is not to make us miserable but a part of our reflection on how if we accept our worthiness for the Lord's sacrifice, how we can better ourselves and how we can detach from indulgences to spend a bit more time with Him instead. A lot of Catholic traditions don't have to be negative, they should be positive because God is a positive force.
 
Thanks, everyone, for all the salient responses. You're right. It's probably mostly projection on my end. I'm too worried about "fitting in," I guess. Which, in a way, makes me feel like a bad Catholic at times.

Anyway, you've all given very good advice, and I appreciate it a lot. Next time I stop in here I promise it will be to contribute to discussion and not ask for help with something, haha.
There is no problem in asking for help here, so if you ever need any advice or to talk you can count on us.
 
Don't feel bad, feel that you can better and in doing so make the church itself better too because we make up the church. Us Catholics tend to be brought up with a lot of guilt and fear association with regards to what our religion is, and that sucks. It's wrong and one of the things that needs to be better on a fundamental level in terms of education within the church, how parents relate to their children, how parishioners relate to each other, and how ministries do outreach.

I can totally relate, and I think that the Catechism of the Catholic Church as it is taught, doesn't equip us well for tackling the challenges of society in a secular world. Evangelism is weak for us Catholics for many reasons, and not equipping teenagers and young adults properly to own their faith is one that those reasons. If religion is just family tradition and culture, it becomes hard to share because it feels too compartmentalized. It becomes something we share only within family and church mates because we feel a little ashamed of it outside of that bubble. Your relationship with Christ is more than you being born in a Catholic family or going to mass because your parents told you to. It has to be. If you can truly own that relationship, tap into what that means to you, and let that guide you.

Jesus is not an obligation, He is a lifestyle. Always hated how we talked about "days of obligation" for that reason. Such a silly thing. Telling people that you "must" go to mass at the minimum for these occasions is a really terrible way to motivate people to be excited for the faith. So for example it becomes "oh no, Assumption is coming up, ugh, gotta make time for church" when it should be a person being excited to make time for Assumption because of their appreciation for Mary's role and all she has done as mother of the church. It should be a time to reflect on Mary's life as the ideal faithful servant of God, answering His call with no hesitation and concern for what others would have thought of her situation. But instead it's just another "day of obligation" for many people.

It's the same reason I used to hate Lent because it was the season of "oh no lets be sad and guilty" where I maybe fast a little and generally psyche myself to be miserable for a month. Until I learned that wasn't the right approach at all. It was simply a time of reflection, and again appreciation - appreciation for the sacrifice Jesus made for us and what it REALLY means. That we ourselves are worthy of His sacrifice and He gave his like because we are worth it. It's uplifting, not sad. The abstinence we can practice during Lent is not to make us miserable but a part of our reflection on how if we accept our worthiness for the Lord's sacrifice, how we can better ourselves and how we can detach from indulgences to spend a bit more time with Him instead. A lot of Catholic traditions don't have to be negative, they should be positive because God is a positive force.
This is a fascinating reflection for me. My parents were lapsed Catholic. I typically refer to the lifestyle as "culturally Catholic"-- because it encapsulates the idea of being surrounded by Catholicism but at a remove from it at the same time. Taking it on the family's terms, for better or for worse-- which meant baptism into communion with Masses for special occasions, and even that inconsistently. As I've mentioned before in the thread, I'm obsessive compulsive and it affects my religion. As might be suspected, it makes me feel obligated to pursue certain actions or ideas and includes a lot of repetition. With a lot of personal reflection, it became obvious to me that the resulting sense of obligation-- the eponymous sense of compulsion that I feel in the due course of living-- is more hindrance than help in a lot of respects. I feel most in-tune with God when religion comes free, organically, spontaneously. Whereas hollow ritual barely provides a dopamine rush. A few pages back I discussed how I approach prayer and how I believe that a freeform, free-verse component to daily prayer is a constructive practice to see God as... well, the phrase "the living God" is used in the Bible over and over for a reason. Our relationship with God is supposed to be dynamic, it's supposed to be a constant flow-- it's this sense and this fact that informs the use of this phrase and that informs the distinction between cleaving to God and the practice of, say, idolatry. A real relationship with a living Being, as opposed to a perfunctory, hollow, and transactional obligation to something inert and desolate. That isn't to say, of course, that catechism or ceremony or formal observations should be thrown out of hand immediately-- it's clear, for example, that your reflection of Assumption is building that real and organic connection with God. You're actually engaging with the concepts behind the ceremony, using those to mindfully build a bridge with God. That's good. I'm mostly sharing my thing because I feel like I want to cosign what you're saying about a sense of obligation and ritual obscuring the deeper truths that actually bring people closer to God.

I really like what you said-- Jesus isn't an obligation. He is a lifestyle. He is a friend-- the best friend! He wants to be a part of your life and He wants you to be happy. He values you as an individual just as you are. In my opinion, our considerations of God should be informed by this view. The phrase "God loves you" isn't just a comforting platitude-- it's fundamental to the practice of worship in the first place. Rejoicing and celebrating aren't referenced in the Bible for nothing-- they're a real component of faith. At least, I think so.
 
Does anybody watch the Allen Parr YT channel?
https://www.youtube.com/user/thebeatagp

I was a big fan of his up until his video on "Are Catholics Christians?" (As you guys probably know, I am not Catholic but Orthodox but his misguided views apply equally to Orthodoxy)

I think he means well, but he steps out of his comfort zone and talks about other denominations, he is out of his depth.
 
Does anybody watch the Allen Parr YT channel?
https://www.youtube.com/user/thebeatagp

I was a big fan of his up until his video on "Are Catholics Christians?" (As you guys probably know, I am not Catholic but Orthodox but his misguided views apply equally to Orthodoxy)

I think he means well, but he steps out of his comfort zone and talks about other denominations, he is out of his depth.
I don't, but since you mentioned it I watched a bit of the video and eh, for a topic like this, especially in good faith, if a non-Catholic is talking about the subject maybe get a practicing Catholic who is happy to engage on this subject as a guest to compare notes instead? It kinda feels like the sort of video we see where non-religious people talk about religion and what religious people believe... haha. Dude definitely isn't trying to offend, but a lot of it is.... just not accurate. ^^;

The phrase "God loves you" isn't just a comforting platitude-- it's fundamental to the practice of worship in the first place. Rejoicing and celebrating aren't referenced in the Bible for nothing-- they're a real component of faith. At least, I think so.
Yesssssss. As a friend said a few weeks ago, and that really resonated with me - to truly embrace the love of Christ, we have to love ourselves. Because if we don't love ourselves and aren't confident in who we are, that will continue to be a barrier to really understand God's love for us because it introduces doubt that we can be loved. If we can truly accept that God loves us unconditionally, and that we can be loved as such, then we should love ourselves and see ourselves as precious. Once that falls into place, we can better love others and share that love because then we truly understand what it means to love others has He loved us.
 
I think it's a good idea to search a place in your area where people like you gather to to k about the faith. I don't know how old you are and what your situation is, but there's probably something to find on the internet.

You don't have to replace something in order to do this. Maybe you don't like the environment and be done with it after the first try. But I think looking for a discussion group or a church where it's less listening and more interactive is a good thing. In my area, there are lots of small gatherings that come together on workdays, so it doesn't have to cost you your Sunday either.

I think it's worth the Google Search, SolVanderlyn :)
 
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