Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

"At least they're going to church."

I have to confess: those words irritate me.

I've heard them regarding siblings who have fallen away from the Church. You know, Cafeteria Catholics, or C & E's.

When said about those who have never been Catholic, they don't bother me. We have some wonderful Christian neighbors, pretty firm in their faith. We talk religion now and again--okay, frequently--and manage not to get worked up. I like having someone intelligent to explain the Faith to, frankly. When speaking of them, it doesn't bother me to say, "At least they're going to church."

But of those who were raised in the Church? Married in the Church? Had their kids baptized? They made promises they aren't keeping. Both at their wedding and their children's baptism, they gave their word. To whom? To each other, to the child? To the priest officiating? To their friends and family present? Were they just nice words to take up some time, but otherwise meaningless?

No. They made those promises to God. He's not going to call them on those promises yet. He will eventually, but probably not in this lifetime.

So why am I irritated if those promises weren't to me? I'm not sure. The unecumenical answer, I suppose. There is a right Church, and while She is as flawed as the human beings who make her up, She has the truth. It matters not just that you get up Sunday morning, but that you have the right destination.

I'm not referring to people who have been wronged by the Church or someone in it; I'm referring to the indifferent. Those who choose a church based on the pretty windows, or the children's service (they get to go color every week! oooh!), or the "uplifting" music. Churches are not interchangeable, despite what fashionable opinion or your local sock puppet official might say these days.

I know this problem isn't endemic to my experience, so suggestions would be welcome.


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