Wednesday, May 13, 2015
ALL THOSE NONES AND THE PARISHES THAT MADE THEM SO
Certainly a significant number of the 90% were only cultural Catholics and came because it was the norm for Catholics to do so. They were fulfilling societal expectations about keeping holy the Lord's day. In many places in the USA this was legislated with blue laws that kept many businesses closed on Sunday.
The technical nones of that period would sacrifice their nonehood and go to Mass to please their families or what they felt was good for them due to societal expectations. The Mass may not have had any real discernible impact on their daily lives though, except for the fact that they went to Mass and certainly the Holy Spirit must have had something to do with it and their hardened heart wasn't so hard as to refuse the beckoning.
The nones who went to Mass did not feel that it was necessary to receive Holy Communion as so many really pious and holy people didn't receive either but mostly because they weren't able to fast; they ate before Mass which meant they couldn't receive Holy Communion--no sin in that though. There was no mentality about feeling excluded at Holy Communion time if one didn't approach the altar railing even for a redundant blessing.
Today the nones at heart have no desire even to attend Mass even if that means coming in time for the Gospel and leaving as Holy Communion begins. And on top of that if someone were to drag them to Mass or they simply stopped in to see what it was all about again, for nostalgic purposes, say at Christmas or Easter time, they would receive Holy Communion with the rest of them, popping the Host in their mouth without a thought as to whether "it" brings them health and salvation or condemnation. They'd pop the Host in their mouths as they walked out the door.
And what about parishes that only celebrate the Sacraments: baptism, confirmation, daily and Sunday Mass, confessions, anointings of the sick and Holy Matrimony? What about their bad preaching? What about no youth programs apart from lousy CCD classes? What about no social outreach other than what individual Catholics might do on their own to help the poor? What about no friendliness or fellowship activities?
What about those parishes? I would say that salvation is being offered despite the miserable state of things if the sacraments are valid which in most cases they would be. Isn't that the rock bottom foundation? Isn't that sufficient? Is that what we need for our salvation?