Bored youth at mass
Anonymous asked this question on 7/23/2000:
Hi ye all!
I think the RC church would full up and people would pay entrance if the clergy gets modernized in their reunions.
Donít you think the mass is pretty boring?
Always the same!!!
And the parents oblige you to attend.
Why donít they play rock? Young people we would like it! Some strobe lights!
I have heard some churches have chicks dancing. That would be nice!
You can add some more thoughts how to modernize mass.
Please help the young people!
A bored Catholic
Man oh Man you got a problem.
Let me tell you something:
Some 30 years ago in midst of the rip and roar of the liturgical adaptations after the Vatican Council I was responsible for the youth area of my parish. My God, we did some things:
We changed the music and thank God we took the tunes of Negro Spirituals. They had rhythm and the words were easy to spaniolize. We armed at the back of the Church a giant Screen and escorted the prayers and the Bible readings with wonderful images, photos and collages. We had background music and meditations for young people. We taught yoga, Zen and other oriental stuff. Boy we were modern. I remember after one of those silent meditations a guy told me: Please, couldnít you put some cushions in the corner of the church." You can imagine what forÖ
The Lord bestowed on me one privilege that is very rare here in Latin American. I have worked almost 30 years with the same parish in different ministries. So I have observed various generations. I am blessing now the marriages of the children of the marriages I blessed 30 years ago. If I resist some additional year the wear and the tear of this life I will bless the marriage of the grandchildren. I have watched the generations and the development of their faith. Here in Peru they say: "More knows the devil for being old than for being the devil". I have seen it.
It does not work. Those who were foremost in these then newfangled things Ė boy you are resurrecting things we buried 20 years ago! Ė almost all had to be recovered. All the noise and the movies and the togetherness and touch and pray and sing along has not been able to give them the most important thing, FAITH. Forget it if you are looking for something that smells, tastes and feels like the presence of God by your idea of modernizing the church. It doesnít work. You wonít find it the way you are trying to.
And it is not your fault, brother (or is it sister?), and at least not all your fault. When you overtrain one ability generally the other senses shrivel. Probably your "hearing for music" is in overdrive. And probably you are hear impaired and once married you will have to install amplification because you will not wake up when the baby cries. And when your wife or husband whispers sweet things into your ear you will have to say: "Come on, speak up!", and romance will vanish. Too much decibels in young years! So you canít hear the spoken word. Your "hearing for words" is atrophied. How many times has your mother to repeat things to you? It is not your fault, at least not all your fault.
I am sorry. The solution goes through the "hearing for words." Itís in the Bible:
Romans 8 "But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentileóthe same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
16But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
"Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world."
19Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,
"I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding."
20And Isaiah boldly says,
"I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."
21But concerning Israel he says,
"All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people."
I bet you havenít believed in your heart and much less professed with your mouth. And donít tell me you havenít heard the message pronounced. You have, if your parents obliged you to participate in mass. The problem is you are not brain damaged but faith damaged because you were too busy being rebellious. And instead of growing up in your faith you grew down.
Is there a therapy for you? Yes and for two reasons: God loves you and your parents are praying for you.
Would you care to take a calculated risk? Nobody will take away your free will. That is the calculation about the risk I am offering you. The risk? Well, you could experience a "crush", magic, thrill, and obsession regarding Christ. That is the risk. It IS dangerous because you could finish up as a saint. Just kidding. I donít want to scare you off. But I guarantee that you will not be bored ever again. You will fight it out with the Lord, you may feel resentment against Him, you will protest, you will cajole, you will reason with Him, you will perhaps be stubborn and mute before Him. But you will never ever be bored again. Isnít that worth the risk? And any time you can jig out if it all. When it becomes too dangerousÖ
If you want to take that risk read the chapter 11 of Romans and come back with your discovery: Where did you recognize yourself? I will hurry you on then.
And be careful. Donít take down the Bible in the full view of your parents. They might faint.
Anonymous asked this follow-up question on 7/24/2000:
OK, OK, Ok. So my mother has to repeat things. But it is always nag, nag, nag, nag. In the mass the priest amnd everything is always nag, nag, nag. "Donít do this, donít do that". Why do I have to go to mass if mom does fine at it?
You say it is not all my fault. Why?
And Iím no chick. Do you have a new drug of smelling and tasting God? It would like to try.
So what díyou say?
Help the young people.
Dear brother in Christ.
Itís a classic: Mother mouse told child mouse: "Be careful! Beware of the cat." "Oh mother you always nag, nag, nag," said the child mouse and stepped in the open mouth of the cat. Why do you think the people around you nag, nag, nag? Because they love you and want you to suffer no harm. Has it crossed your mind to say "thank you" once in a while? If you define preoccupation as nagging than the whole Bible is one big nagging! If your mother and your father wouldnít nag at you what or where would you? Please answer me that!
Why did I write that your problem is not all your fault? Because gentlemen of your age tend to pay attention and believe their special advisers:
First of all you pay attention and believe eyes closed your peers. Donít deny it. There is scientific proof. Your buddies told you fairy tales about how to be really happy. They told you that it was all right, that it was fun to masturbate (sorry I donít know the educated word), to fornicate (excuse me, having sex, excuse me, making love) with all and sunder and that sex definition is a society thing nothing to do with reality. There are five sexes: letís see if I can complete the list? Male, female, lesbian, homosexual and heterosexual. Oh, and you can do it with animals if you want. Your peers so wise and ever to be trusted. Did they tell you that it is cool to be high? Drugs! Did you have somebody to hold your hand during the terrible post-high depressions of some drugs? Not even sedation helps in that misery. They have to knock you out. Together you have moaned about your sufferings and have graded chicks.
The next adviser in your list has beenÖ?
How many hours daily, weekly, month, yearly? Admittedly the TV directs the messages at perception levels of 9-12 year old persons. So everybody understands. Understands what? The message that happiness is found in the deodorant, in drinking some pop soda and being cool. You are important. I bet that Mother Angelica bored you.
Third, forth, fifth, sixth Ö adviser and special coach: your self-centeredness.
When have you last said "thank you" to your mother and father for all they have done to you. A looooong time agoÖ They donít understand you. They donít let you do what you want to do? How terrible! Do you know the myth of Narcissus? Everybody at your age passes this stage. Some stay on forever and donít grow up.
Strong medicine, huh?
Want some more? Besides I have a new drug of smelling and tasting God. Want to try?
Read those wonderful answers you received, Christians who are happy because they are Christians and they found the "new drug".