Saturday, 30 April 2011

Are you really a Catholic?

Fr Simon Henry on Offerimus Tibi Domine posted recently and the subject was 'On actually being a Catholic'. That article has gnawed away at me as I am sure the good Father hoped it would, and prompted me to add my small contribution to the cause (less eruditely than OTD). The essence of the post is really, are you just a chattering classes Sunday Mass Catholic? (That's my paraphrased version).

Bishops, as well as laity, need to ensure
Mass is reverent!
When I look around at my fellow Catholics - and, of course, when I examine my own conscience, I am struck by the fact that, we are all rather fixed on the Sunday Mass element and rather slothful  forgetful with regard to other essential practices that will, hopefully, go some way towards ensuring our eventual progression to Heaven.

Here is a brief bullet point checklist of some of the elements that I see missing from today's Catholic society:-

  • Daily Rosary
  • Grace before meals, even in public (especially in public)
  • Reverence for the House of God (there is an unholy chatter that emanates from the congregations both before and after Mass (not the EF Mass though)
  • Morning and evening prayers
  • Educate yourself regarding the Faith, read good books regularly
  • Involve yourself in Catholic culture and society (Juventutum, SVP or whatever)
  • Regular confession - not once every three months but once a week if possible
  • Acts of charity whether that be dropping money into a beggar's hand or planned giving and actual, physical aid to those in need
We have to shake off this concept that being a Catholic is something that you turn on and off as the need arises. It is a mantle that should embrace us and those close to us throughout our lives but we need to work at it.

Finally, the list is not exhaustive, I am sure that you will be able to add more bullet points, feel free to do might be 'Spend less time blogging and more time praying'.....That's a bullet point through the foot for you!


  1. Last evening, I was driving my daughter's friend home and we passed a Tibetan monastery that the monks built with their own hands. There was a lot of activity there with many people carrying flowers into the temple, etc. It got me to consider about how few Catholics live out their faith publicly. It made me sad to think that Buddhists and other non-Christians have their beliefs woven into the fabric of their daily lives, so that you would never mistake who they are and what they believe; yet it is not the case with so many Catholics.

    About 80 miles from where I live, the Amish make their home. While there are many aspects about them that I do not care for, such as how they treat their animals, I do love that their entire lives are lived in simple service to God. When their faith is put to the test, as it was with the Nickel Mines school tragedy a few years back, they do not abdicate their beliefs but instead demonstrate them and adhere to them with remarkable conviction.

    I agree with everything on your list ( and love how you worked the Collins' sense of humor into the non-bulleted point at the end!). The simple act of saying Grace in public is remarkably powerful.

  2. Salve Maria!

    Temos um pequeno grupo, que com a graça de Deus vivemos esta sua lista acima.

    É possível, comece você dando o exemplo e realize tudo isto, aos poucos outros te seguirão!

    Boa reflexão!

    Pax domini.

  3. Wonderful post. I have started to say grace, for the last two years or so. My Father always, blesses himself and asks God to bless the food and help it digest properly. I took, from his example. It sometimes, infuriates the boys, if they are starving, but that just makes me more intent. I remind them, none of us, have ever truly known hunger. never, ever, take food, for granted.Nor the digestion of same, that's a gift too, believe me.
    Then again, I am a regular, active alcoholic, so they have their right to moan, regarding my demands.
    Can I just say Richard, I really like your blog.Truth, plain and simple. Unusual these days. Very nice, non-the-less. Ros.

  4. Diolch yn Fawr Ros, prayers being offered on your behalf.

  5. What we do towards our God reflects in our society; imagine complaining of an 'autistic' MEMBER OF SOCIETY, talking about him , discussing different theories, writing books, taking him to the 'oficial' places, where there is 'official' help avbailable..but never bothering to relate to him more than that.., spend time with him, LISTENING TO HIM, FINDING MORE ABOUT

  6. Oh, dear. I only rate 3 on your seven points of Catholicism and some of those are only halves. I definitely need a kick up the mantilla.