Today at church, I battled with my heavy eyelids whilst going through the motions of mass. As the priest went up to the podium to speak, I was getting my eyes ready for some shut eye. I had a long day the night before, and couldn’t concentrate that well. I told myself I would try to resist sleep, this sloth that constantly took over me ever so often.
The priest today however intrigued me. He talked about his recent pilgrimage, and about how he was so saddened by what the Roman Catholic Churches had become in Europe. He named a few, but i did not catch it. He spoke of shells, and how a church which once had so many living people praying in it, had become not a place of worship- but one to take nice photos for the architecture and tour groups. He went on to say that he hoped that the churches in Singapore would never become this way. Because the very foundation that the church should be built on would be the faith of the people.
He went on again to talk about why these churches were becoming shells. His explanation reasoned and resonated so well with me, and struck a chord in me. He said the mistake we had made in the Catholic faith were the teachings through rules, rules, and more rules and regulations of the faith, and not the faith itself. For example, that we had to attend mass once a week, come in our best dressed, do confession. But the children were never taught why it was important to come to mass and what was the significance of confession. This was particularly true for me on so many levels.
He spoke of how parishioners in need of a miracle flocked to the Novena church because it was the “understood” action. He asked the congregation: are you sure Jesus will only bring a miracle to the same place over and over again? A dress code that a parishioner asked him to enforce, only for him to reject it saying, “who are we to judge? What if that person had no other pants other than bermudas?”
So the bottom line I got from today was one thing:If we don’t have the hearts to learn and know what the faith we share is really about, then all we will be passing to the future generation will be nothing but our empty shells. And that is something to be very sad about. To deny not ever knowing that there is a God out there.
Just something to think about. Or just something that really struck me in a nutshell.