Sunday, May 4, 2014

I know it's taboo to discuss sex, politics, and religion, but today I'm writing about religion.

I am a Catholic, and I will be until I die. But to be honest, I've been struggling a lot lately--going to mass has become more of an obligation (which is probably true for many others), mostly because I still haven't found a church where I feel at home, that gives me the feeling that I truly am spending time with God, and that gives me serenity, the way the best masses do. I used to go to mass every weekday at Tektite, mostly because I really like the priest there--it's like I really feel like God is talking to me. But he says Sunday mass at some far-flung place. I decided to stop going to the church near our house because of the parish woman who rudely and loudly told me in front of other churchgoers that my son was distracting (to her I say: 1) you could have said it nicely--we ended up slinking away in shame, not even finishing the mass; 2) I only took my son to church because my favorite priest suggested that I do; 3) we were actually outside the church because I am aware how distracting a toddler could be; 4) "Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these'"; 5) sigh, maybe you were having a bad day so I really should just let it go). I'm not comfortable going to mass at malls, particularly one mall where the priest once said, "If you're sick, it means that you're sinful." (I kid you not.) I like going to mass at Gesu (I tend to like Jesuit homilies) but I never know when there's a mass there.

Today, I went to mass at a cathedral, which I thought was The One. But in the middle of talking about the Gospel, the priest started yelling--YELLING INTO THE MICROPHONE--at the congregation. For being late, for being so easily distracted, for coming only because we felt like we had to, for not taking advantage of the opportunity "to feel the presence of God." To be honest, I wasn't really feeling the presence of God as he lambasted us all. I felt like I was in the principal's office, getting berated for doing something bad. I felt like I was seated before vengeful Old-Testament God, who was about to unleash a plague because we were all so disobedient. I felt like leaving.

I understand he must have been frustrated, but is shaming churchgoers really the best way to encourage them to find meaning? I struggle to understand the words spoken, the rituals we sit/stand/kneel through every week. And as a good Catholic, I suppose it's up to me to really find answers to my questions. I guess today all I'm asking is: Is there a Catholic church out there that makes going to mass something I would joyfully do, rather than something that makes me tell myself, "It's just one hour for God, suck it up"?   


  1. Gesu masses are on every 1st and 3rd Sundays on the month. :)

  2. Hi there! I know how you fee re 'some priests.' I hope you don't mind if i may suggest to try to attend a Feast by Bro. Bo Sanchez at the PICC. Here's the link: Try mo lang kahit once and then later on if you like it you can comeback or may find a Feast near your place. They do have mass at the PICC before Bro Bo's talk. I'm not very familiar of the exact schedule so you want to call the number on that page. Piling pili ang priests na kinukuha sa Feast - yong mga modern ang thinking i guess. You may also have to come very early kasi jampacked ang sessions sa PICC. I hope this helps. Regards, K.

  3. Here's the thing. Priest and a lot of other churchgoers are human like us. We are all subject to irritation, annoyance, anger, resentment and the rest of the not so nice feelings that are meant to be hidden.

    Unfortunately, for the clergy, certain expectations are set because of their position.

    And the challenge for us, not really just Catholics but for all human kind, is to learn to love, which includes being patient, understanding, compassionate, yadayadayada. I remember the saying that when we ask God for patience, he throws us situations where we need to be patient.

    So yeah, I guess God is saying, be more patient and understanding in that one hour :D Because He doesn't shut us out whenever and even if we get annoying, disrespectful, impatient, etc.

  4. Don't know if you would be reading this as it seems like you haven't been writing lately
    but I am as well, searching for a church that makes me feel good,
    I've been to one before but people didn't seem dedicated. I do hope I find a place where I can truely learn about the existance of Godl


Oh, so sweet of you to drop a line!:)