Smith, R 12/2/18
Are you OVER-thinking church? Catholic author Matthew Kelly claims that many people who no longer go to church didn’t make a profound decision one day to stop going to church…they just got out of the habit. They missed church one weekend due to a busy schedule; they skipped it the next weekend because they didn’t feel like going. The next thing they knew, they had not attended in a long time. They got out of the habit and simply quit going. And they are probably wondering why they feel something is “missing” in their lives.
There is something to be said for just GOING to church, even if we don’t always feel like it, even if our hearts are not always in it, even if we are not always sure if and what we believe. By participating in the liturgy at Mass, we are at least giving ourselves a chance to “catch” some faith. Are we more likely to have a holy experience of Godly community worshipping with others in church or sitting at home distracting ourselves with technology? As Woody Allen said: “80 percent of success in life is just showing up.”
I am personally VERY GUILTY of over-thinking church. I can really get stuck in my own head, philosophical debates, existential meaning of life questions, faith vs proof, etc. Over the years, I have realized that my life is usually better when my family and I are going to church. PERIOD. If we are at church, there is at least a CHANCE that we can “catch” some faith. That Jesus can reach our hearts. That the Holy Spirit can work through the liturgy. That God can transform US into the body of Christ.
I am always quick to admit that God can show up ANYWHERE, not just in a designated building that we call a “church.” (WE are the living church. :) I am also quick to admit that I seem to be MORE READY for God to show up in my life when I am going to church.
In a way, going to church is like exercising or eating. Sometimes we enjoy a vigorous workout or a delicious meal; other times we just have to tough it out or choke it down because we know it is good for us in the long run. The alternative is to quit moving or eating altogether, which results in atrophy, weakness, and ultimately death. The same can be said for our spirits.
Fight the good fight! Go to church! BE NOT AFRAID!
~ Rick Smith, Youth Minister