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Thursday, April 11, 2013

On Hearing Mass and Keeping the Faith

SWS survey says there is a huge drop in the percentage of Filipino Catholics going to Mass. The bishops are reported to deny this. They say the number of churches being built and the increased number of church goers each mass, some churches offering six masses each Sunday, just don't add up to support the survey results.

As a Catholic going to church to hear mass albeit irregularly, I can attest to the claim of the bishops. If you don't come at least 15 minutes before the scheduled mass, you will have to stand for the duration of the mass along with hundred others like you. This is true at the Greenbelt Chapel. But definitely there are churches with poor Sunday and Saturday anticipated mass attendance. I can name our parish as one. But poor attendance may be attributed to factors other than a Catholic losing faith in the Church. Who would want to go to a Church whose priest is a drunkard and wakes up late for the mass and who has to be awaken because he was out drinking the previous night? Who would want to go to a Church where the "servants" and "ladies" are blabbermouths? No one. So you go to a decent church.

Yet, faith tells you that the place of worship and the instrument used by God to deliver the good news are of no consequence. He is with you every where.

Pope Francis showed us that. You can hold Mass in a prison with its inmates and God is there. You come from a country that legalizes same sex marriage and God is also there. Pope Francis shows that to us, too.

What the SWS should have surveyed is if Catholics follow what their faith says. The Church does not tell us to be robotics. It tells us to listen to the heart of faith.

If all Catholics going to Church to hear mass follow the faith, (not what they think the Church asks them to do), we will all find life in the living, love in doing the right things, and not count faith by the numbers.

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