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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

11 - 20 of 24 Comments

  1. TanMan
    1 year ago

    I don’t understand the need to judge the behaviors of other Catholics. I'm a catholic convert as well. From what I understand, judging the behavior of others instead of praying for someone else’s needs isn’t the Catholic way. I’m here for my brother’s and sister’s in the Catholic Church to help carry their suffering as they carry mine, through prayer. Not to worry or complain about them leaving earlier, or whatever other behavior or protocol they might be breaking. Our parish priests are more than capable of deciding if something needs to be said or adjusted about the behavior of parisher’s as he sees fit. I found that holding my tongue, losing the gossip and putting my observations into prayer instead of worldly thoughts and words, changes my eyes or my brother and sister’s eyes, as God sees fit. I’m am but a vessel to be used by Him, not a judge.

  2. Tom McGuire
    1 year ago

    I travel a lot and celebrate Eucharist in many different Catholic Churches throughout the United States. Dr Hudson gives an accurate description of my experience; I would add one other element. The Word of God is not taken to be as important as it is in other Christian churches. The sound system in many Catholic Churches makes it impossible to even hear the Word proclaimed.

    Francis, Bishop of Rome is opening up doors to bring us alive in Jesus Christ. He proclaims with joy the good news of salvation (Kerygma), which invites conversion of sinners. He identifies himself as a sinner, as we all are. This is something missing when the message becomes focused only on areas of morality (Didache), which is meant primarily for those who have encountered the Risen Lord.

  3. Alexis Papali
    1 year ago

    Dr. Hudson,
    What is the yardstick with which we can measure ourselves and see whether we are real Christians? “My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit, it is then you become my disciple” Jn. 15:8. So we become real Christians (disciples of Jesus) if we bear much fruit (of the Holy Spirit).

    How can we bear much fruit? “Abide in me and I in you, you bear much fruit, without me you can do nothing” Jn.15:5. And how can we abide (live) in Jesus and he in us? “Whoever eats my body and drinks my blood abides in me and I in Him” Jn. 6:56.

    Catholics go for mass and partake in the Eucharistic meal so we can bear much fruit (of the Holy Spirit, Gal. 5:22-23). This is evident from the number of educational and healthcare institutions started by the Catholic community worldwide which no other religious communities including the non-Catholics have done and it started in an era when there was no aircrafts, telephone, internet etc.

    So what was the driving force behind the missionaries who left their homes and loved ones and went to some distant land probably never to return or even visit their loved ones once in awhile? It is LOVE, which is the first and foremost in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. These missionaries got no big fat remuneration for doing this. They probably got the bare minimum (food, clothing and shelter) most of the time or sometimes not even that. And yet they had the drive to do what they were doing.

    Have you ever figured out how this is possible? The power comes from the Holy Eucharist and that invisible power if I am not mistaken is GRACE. Grace is that ‘invisible power that replaces our human (selfish/animal) nature and replaces it with divine nature which is fullness of love’. (Jn. 15:13) which allow us to sacrifice ourselves.

    So the objective of going to Church, to participate in the Eucharistic Meal should be this – to bear much fruit so we can sacrifice ourselves for others. Many Catholics without this realization is actually practicing this because of the grace they receive from the Eucharistic meal.

    Now the presence of fruit of the Holy Spirit in a person will be evident from his/her behavior attitude, character, speech, tone of voice, lifestyle etc. As a result many who come to church need not require to be greeted. If a person wants to be greeted then he/she is suffering from REJECTION. And if one has rejection that person is not ‘bearing much fruit’ and that is why recognition is sought.

    Unfortunately even for many Catholics, as the Holy Father said “money has become God”. So we are unable to love one another we love money more than God. However in His time ’He will make all things beautiful’. All we who are enlightened need to do, is pray (1Tim. 2:1-4). When we pray, all will ‘come to the knowledge of the truth’.

    It is the lack of proper understanding of the truth that lead all, including Catholics, towards a sinful/materialistic life. So what happens when we pray for the ignorant “And when he comes, he will show the world how wrong it was, about sin” Jn. 16:8. It is the Holy Spirit that has to reveal our sin to us not any human. Only when the Holy Spirit reveals our sin, we will have a realization of our shortcomings. If humans try to point their finger at others to highlight their mistakes it will be a futile attempt.

    So let us go partake in the Eucharistic meal to have a communion with CHRIST and not for a communion with CHRISTIANS. Let us also pray so all will come to the knowledge of the truth.

    May all Glory and honor be to Jesus Christ our Lord!

  4. Larry
    1 year ago

    Good article. We have several issues which prevent us from practicing Christianity like others seem to do.

    1) Times that we celebrate Mass/the Eucharist on weekends are crammed back to back so we only have a little time to move our cars for the next group of worshipers. There is no time to hang out much after Mass even if we wanted to.

    2) Many churches have so many members who can attend Mass at many different times you may be in church with many people you don't necessairly know - where you sit and what time you go on any weekend. Unless you go at the same time every weekend or are part of some special group, you may not get to know many people so its harder to create community, though there are some things we can do better

    3) There is not much room for worship using the Sacraments - you can't do much variation so it becomes rituals we do over and over with little leeay for commentary or different expressions. There is something to be said about unity and uniformity but we can all just get lost in our habits and not be present for the moment.

    4) We focus on the Catechism a lot and though there are bible study groups that is not so much the focus of Catholic celebration - even though we 'hear' or read passages of the Bible during the readings at the Mass, on Sunday celebrations but during the week too. Most of what we hear talked about during a homily/sermon have to do with love of God and little is tied to the readings of the day or not done well so we hear the love part but not understanding that part of the bible we hear.

    5) Preaching is not a great skill most Church leaders develop in the Catholic Church since our celebrations revolve around the Sacraments and not the Bible and explanations of it. We only have 10 - 15 minutes of preaching during the Mass, when most Catholics celebrate together. You can do an effective job in 15 minutes but most Catholic priests or preachers don't do an efficient job and we dare not go longer - not because we won't sit for it but the next group of Catholics are coming so we have to move the cars/vehicles.

  5. Jen B
    1 year ago

    Brilliant. Thanks. Too many of us, convinced of our rightness do not consider how we present ourselves and we loose our audience.

    Terry, I don't think he was saying not to do the right thing in combating the culture, but often we do it with an angry look on our face, or by looking down at those stupid sinners. Do we expect any change of heart when we do this?

    BTW, Mr Hudson, St Francis did NOT ever say "Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words". Check with a Franciscan-we often use that, but it's recently been debunked. We still have to use words, but as you correctly point out-how are we using them?!

  6. rafaelmarie
    1 year ago

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

    Ummm...hopefully what the Catholic Church teaches them to do?

    Especially about abortion?

  7. Ann
    1 year ago

    Great Article, It's Deal Hudson nothing else to say.

  8. jh
    1 year ago

    Appreciated your comments, especially the paragraph beginning, "Our faith is a gift...."

  9. Terry Breen
    1 year ago

    Dr. Hudson,

    Who was the Pope talking about when he said too many Catholics were "obsessive" about abortion, gay marriage, etc?

    Was he talking about the hundreds of thousands of Frenchmen who marched in Paris against gay marriage? Was he talking about the 600K who marched in the teeth of a winter storm in Wash. DC against abortion last Jan (and every Jan. since 1972?) Was he talking about those who work to educate their fellow Catholics about the positions of politicians on the social issues? Was he talking about the crisis pregnancy center volunteers and the Project Rachel volunteers? Was he talking about the Irishmen who worked night and day to try to stop their govt. from passing a pro-abortion bill?

    These are the people I assume he is denigrating as "obsessive." People who spend their time and their money trying to turn the tide of the Culture of Death and are often ridiculed for it by the MSM, and all the "smart people."

    Maybe I am mistaken--I hope I am--but you know what? If I'm mistaken, I am not the only one. Apparently the entire MSM sees his comments just as I did. And I suspect the great majority of practicing Catholics see his comments the same way. So if I am mistaken, the problem is probably not because I'm just too dense to understand what he was saying. The problem is that his statement was so poorly worded that it was misunderstood by most of the public.

    If I am mistaken, and the pope was not referring to those who actively oppose the Culture of Death, then he needs to learn to be clear about what he means when he speaks in public, because his recent statements have the opposite effect of encouraging evangelization or enthusiasm at Mass. They are utterly demoralizing to those of us who take Catholic teaching seriously, and who take the warning of Pope JP II concerning the Culture of Death seriously, and who take the teaching of Benedict XVI about moral relativism seriously.

    In my experience, the ones who man the picket lines at Planned Parenthood are not the ones who are parking their cars in the church parking lot so they can leave as quickly as possible. I seriously doubt that ridiculing some of the most fervent members of any parish as "obsessive" will make the Mass more lively or increase converts to the faith.

    And if he is not talking about the people above--who is he talking about? I am unaware of any group of truly obsessive people on the social issues who are a problem for the church. In my experience, the problem in the church are those who leave their faith behind when they leave the church parking lot, and who's personal views on abortion, homosexual marriage, contraception, etc. are completely at variance with the teaching of the Church.

  10. Clinton C. Somerton
    1 year ago

    While I am in agreement with much of Mr. Hudson's article, I get the impression that there is a desire to stretch as far as possible to embrace the Holy Father's remarks without taking a suitable amount of time for reflection and prayer. It is too soon to know the impact the Pope's interview will have on various communities, including the Catholic Church. Pope Francis has expressed his personal reflections and spiritual and pastoral sensibilities at this point in his life and his pontificate; he has not spoken infallibly with Magisterial authority on any of the subjects addressed.

    I think all Catholics should be united in prayer with and for our beloved Pope as he seeks to follow the will of God and shepherd the Church at an extremely challenging time in history. The pastoral approaches he is indicating in reference to artificial contraception, divorce and remarriage, abortion, and homosexualism carry with them great risks, and as many souls may be lost through confusion, misinterpretation, and frustration as are gained in an apparent openness to change, whatever that may imply.

    On the hopeful side, just one day after the interview made such a splash in the secular media, Pope Francis boldly spoke out against the evil of abortion, recognizing in every aborted child the face of Christ. It was a statement that breathed life back into me, and it reminded me that we do have to hear the fundamentals of our faith repeated frequently and explicitly if we are to survive the evil one's incessant attempts to pummel indifference and pragmatic adaptability into us.

    Please pray for Pope Francis. He himself made this request of us in the very first moments after his election. He is my primary intention every single day and at every single Mass. The enemy is always active and we need to uphold the Holy Father in united prayer and offerings. The fruits of his interview, whether good and bad, have yet to be revealed.

    Jesus, I trust in You.

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