Why Catholics drift away from Mass?

8 May

Sometimes you come up against a solid, seemingly impenetrable wall. You are stumped. You back up, turn around and go away. Sometimes, when you have “blank walls” in your spiritual life, going the other way is not the answer. Stop, think. Talk to others who have been stumped in life’s most important experience — the experience of God in your life, the experience of truth, of joy and peace.

Say you have a family member – or a friend – who no longer goes to Mass; or maybe, you are a dropout from Sunday worship.

Among the reasons often given for dropping away from Sunday Mass are poor homilies, lifeless liturgies, impersonal atmosphere. This latter reason is sometimes expressed in the complaint that nobody called to see why the absentee was no longer at Mass. And that means he or she was not known well enough to be missed – or no one really cared.

In our Men’s Bible Study May 7,  it was mentioned that these reasons could be only excuses, but I’ve been around long enough to know that foundation exists for such complaints. However, rest easy pastor of St. Mary Magdalen, we all quickly agreed that our own parish is actually a vibrant, loving and inviting parish whose clergy and staff work hard to preach the Word and to include everyone in the life of the parish.

What do you see as the reasons for Catholics drifting away from the Mass – and even joining other Christian denominations – even those who describe themselves “non-denominational?” (A wise old friend once said, “The minute you say you are ‘non-demoninational’ you have become a denomination.”)

What do you think? Consider, too, the possible reasons below:

Lack of proper catechesis regarding the Mass;

 Insufficient knowledge of and/or experience in the nature of our communion as Body of Christ;

Distractions in life or even in the Mass itself;

Lack of a personal, vibrant relationship with Christ;

No awareness of the role of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life, and/or,

Lack of being formed into wholesome discipleship.

So, what do think?

(One great aid to understanding the Mass is Father David Knight’s “Experiencing the Mass.” In less than  a hundred pages, he gives us “Five Moments of Mystery.” He leads us slowly and deeply through the Mass from the Entrance Procession to the sending after Communion. It’s worth a parish investment to put it in the hands of parish liturgical and formation leaders and to be used in education and formation programs. For this book and other spiritual treasures, go to www.immersedinchrist.com .)


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