Sunday, November 07, 2010

"Spiritual Sunday" -- Warning, I'm going to talk about religion!

As a non-Catholic who spends a lot of time in Catholic churches (since Roger and all the kids are Catholic, and I sing in the choir,) I also spend a fair amount of time wondering why Catholics -- whose doctrine claims that "the fullness of the faith subsists in the Catholic Church" -- mostly spend more time thinking about the pancake breakfast, or the school fundraiser, or landscaping the parish grounds, than they do about who God is and what He wants them to do. [There are notable counter-examples, both individuals and parishes, but I'm speaking of the general run of things.]

Even though since Vatican II personal Bible study has been not only allowed but actively encouraged, many more people show up for the card party than for the study group. And the ones who do show up mostly want to be told what the Bible says, rather than reading it and experiencing it for themselves. As a mainline Protestant turned Evangelical turned I-don't-know-what-the-heck-you'd-call-me-except-it-isn't-Catholic, this mystifies me. Why would somebody not want to hear God's voice?

All this by way of bringing up what I did this afternoon: went to an introductory session for a women's study group my parish is trying to start. They are planning on using the ENDOW (Educating on the Nature and Dignity Of Women) program, and personally, I find it awesome. But -- forty women showed up for the intro, and maybe eight signed up for more information. I'm one of them, because I believe I'm supposed to be. But -- two hours EVERY Sunday right after 11:30 mass? For two or three months? Do Catholics only study on Sundays? (Humor me ; I know the answer to that, and I'm just venting.)

Anyway, from everything I've seen and read, anybody who bothers to do the ENDOW program will gain a lot. I just wish I thought a lot of people will do it.......

(We now return to our regularly-scheduled inane ramblings.)


some guy on the street said...

Personal bible study has always been allowed and usually encouraged. There was a period, roughly between 1550 and 1836, when Rome seems to have authorized local bishops to restrict reading of common-language translations of scripture, and the concern was always whether those translations were sufficiently reliable in preserving the inspired senses of the text. (Of which, I read from Mark Shea, there are four!)

As for why these things aren't more popular: some folks are just lukewarm, and it's sad; some don't even have a habit of reading outside of school; some of us (like me) get so much out of schola rehearsals and the Sunday propers that we usually feel very well fed indeed for the rest of the week!

Lindsay said...

One day, when you have time and feel comfortable doing so, either in your blog or through email, you'll have to tell me your faith story. I'm intrigued that you're the lone non-Catholic in the group.

Margaret said...

I did an ENDOW class, the first on JP2's Letter to Women. I loved it, and recently did a one day intensive of the same material and am now trained as a facilitator. I really like what they are doing as an organization- I hope the class works out for you!