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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Responding to the Call to Worship

When I look at the depth of Catholic faith, I wonder why anyone would ever look anywhere else. Everything we need for spiritual meaning and salvation is here. Nevertheless, some inquirers dismiss the Church and others walk away. Speaking for myself, I would not want to forfeit the Eucharistic sacrifice or presence for anything. Why is it then that so many abandon or refuse to come home to the Catholic Church? I think the answer has to do with people wanting to feel wanted and the consolation that comes with close fellowship and the acceptance of others. Catholicism is a ritualistic church. Like the Jews before us, we have our traditions, priesthood, cultic oblation, and authority. We have formulas for everything. We dip our fingers into the water fount, we genuflect, we sit quietly, we cross ourselves, we pound our chests, we touch our foreheads, lips and hearts, we say, “Amen,” “And with your Spirit,” and offer a hand with the words, “Peace be with you.” There is no unnecessary talking in church. We do our duty, try not to snore during the homily, are careful not to drop the wafer and then head out the door. The first one to get to his or her car and start the engine wins. At least, this is what we imply by our mad race to the door.

One Response

  1. Dear Fr Joe,

    Your little tongue in cheek ending actually is ‘spot-on’. I have been to many ‘born again’ and protestant-lite services and there is usually a call for fellowship after the service, socialising and much; really good friendship. I have experienced much the same and more over 26 years in AA. Unfortunately I have very rarely if ever felt anything like this after Mass, and if I’m a visitor to a new parish I might just as well be invisible, rarely, if ever, is even eye contact made……..and that is just so sad.

    I think that it’s more to do with the Protestants wanting to go to church and wanting to be friendly, whereas us Catholics HAVE to go to Mass because, even if we miss one single Sunday in a lifetime, we will be consigned to the Fires of Hell for all eternity. So most Catholics go to Mass out of fear and duty rather than out of love. (I’m certainly not undervaluing the strength of the Sacrament of Confession, I know that all sin can be forgiven as long as true repentance is present)

    I try to hit a happy medium, and, if I’m really honest, I don’t really believe that not going to Mass on a Sunday (as long as it’s not a deliberate rejection of God) will merit eternal damnation as long as the rest is in order. But we are not unique as the Church of England, several hundred years ago now, used to fine it’s parishioners for non attendance, it was a little like treason. I believe it’s all to do with power and money, but I don’t reject the need to keep holy The Sabbath entirely….certainly not. But it should be more like a fellowship of joyous Christians rather that a disperate group of reluctant and impatient humans who have been Baptised into a Church without choice even if it the only genuine one.

    Just a thought, Love Paul

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