Message in mass to 2nd graders

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11JB68

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Message in mass to 2nd graders
« on: October 24, 2018, 12:25:05 AM »
If this is inappropriate to post here, feel free to move it or remove it...I apologize as it's not a 'positive' comment....
I am not religious, and was not raised Catholic. I did attend a Presbyterian church as a child/young person with my great grandmother, until I became disenchanted.
Updh was raised Catholic but doesn't practice, was never confirmed.
We attended a mass on Sunday with fil. (Whole other long pd story)...
I feel like often when I do attend church, I'm reminded why I became disenchanted.
The priest had the 2nd graders come to the front and did a short children's mass. In a nutshell, he was touting 'being a servant'. And basically gave a message that we should obey without questioning, and therefore will be 'heroes'. This has stuck with me and been bothering me... Blind obedience=heroism?

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Julian R

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Re: Message in mass to 2nd graders
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2018, 07:24:04 AM »
I am willing to engage with this question and am sorry that your experience of church has been far from good.

I don't really want to judge an institution or a person on the basis of what you say - nevertheless if the priest was teaching "blind obedience" as a pathway to "heroism" then I would personally very much disagree. 

For me both faith and obedience are founded upon understanding, and understanding necessarily grows through questioning, in dialogue with both the Bible and the church community.

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11JB68

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Re: Message in mass to 2nd graders
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2018, 05:19:14 PM »
Thank  you Julian,
I feel like that approach makes more sense to me
I did 'google' the concept and it did come up as one of the 'virtues of Mary' though there did seem to be some variety in interpretations as to whether it is 'blind' obedience or not.
I guess I felt like it's a dangerous message to give young children, especially in a world where children have been victimized by the very people they've been taught to obey.
Also - in terms of growing up with a uPDm and then marrying a uPDh, I feel like my own upbringing was similarly impacted by some of these same ideas of obedience and that it has often not worked out well for me to be an obedient 'servant'

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Julian R

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Re: Message in mass to 2nd graders
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2018, 07:13:54 AM »
Thank you for your kind reply.

I readily admit that the Church/Christians have got a lot wrong, all too frequently and all too seriously.  But in the midst of the mess and brokenness i still believe the genuine article can be found.

I am not so familiar with the teachings of the Catholic church - not being that particular variety of Christian.  My take on Mary would be that her faith was not "blind" but that having more than likely grown up in a pious home she would have had at least some understanding of the jewish scriptures and expectation of what God would do one day.  For me, her response of faith and obedience was rooted in at least a partial understanding of what was going on .  This does not diminish her faith and obedience in any way.

I agree that the priest's message doesn't seem helpful and maybe harmful.  And yes the whole child abuse scandal in the Church is deeply troubling.

My uDPw had very abusive PD parents and amongst other things she was made to work for the family business for nothing or a pittance. Even to this day she is very reluctant and resentful about volunteering to do anything without reasonable recompense because she was made to work for free.  I tell her there is a big difference between the meaning of volunteering and her experience of being forced to do something.  Sadly she likes bossing me around and telling me to do stuff for her, when she does little in return ... but I digress.

My take is that being a "servant" in the christian or Christlike sense - is that it is a deliberate act of self-giving in a context of genuine freedom or choice not to give.  This kind of service is freely given and motivated by love, thankfulness, compassion ...

If we do something because of fear or guilt or because of expectation or manipulation or coercion, I would contend that this is not "service" or "obedience" in the Christian sense of the word - it might be more helpful to describe it as servitude or slavery or some other alternative ...

I hope this is helpful.  I am sorry you have suffered from those who don't see things this way.

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DJCleo

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Re: Message in mass to 2nd graders
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2018, 11:14:22 AM »
If this is inappropriate to post here, feel free to move it or remove it...I apologize as it's not a 'positive' comment....
I am not religious, and was not raised Catholic. I did attend a Presbyterian church as a child/young person with my great grandmother, until I became disenchanted.
Updh was raised Catholic but doesn't practice, was never confirmed.
We attended a mass on Sunday with fil. (Whole other long pd story)...
I feel like often when I do attend church, I'm reminded why I became disenchanted.
The priest had the 2nd graders come to the front and did a short children's mass. In a nutshell, he was touting 'being a servant'. And basically gave a message that we should obey without questioning, and therefore will be 'heroes'. This has stuck with me and been bothering me... Blind obedience=heroism?

I realize that you said that you're not going to mass out of your own full choice. So, let's start there. I think that we are usually not going to get as much out of a religious / spiritual practice if we feel forced in some way. In my opinion, spirituality and religion need to be freely chosen. (I would consider myself a Catholic)

My parents didn't make me go past a certain point in life to church even when I still lived under their roof. Some religious persons are mistaken and believe that they must force others to go to church. I can see nothing more harmful. But I know that you are choosing to go for your own reasons, and I respect your choices. I have friends whose parents forced them to go and they resent it now and hate it whereas I choose to go and I actually find I get something out of it. For a time I searched through other denominations, but found that it was really between me and God and not which building I went into each week.

However, I am not always pleased with everything that is said during a mass. I would consider it "food for thought" and weigh each homily each week and discuss perhaps with someone you feel comfortable discussing with. Maybe you might get some kernel of wisdom out of the mass, maybe not. I find the time to be reflective in mass and sometimes I get nothing much else out of it on a particular day. Sometimes I read the readings in the book in the pew over a few times and wonder. Other times I listen to a bible podcast... just a few ideas from a catholic. :) I fully acknowledge that mass can be boring at least some of the time too.... So, feel free to post whatever questions you have even about catholic "stuff".

Being a blind servant.... I would say that there might be a time and place for that, but it has to be taken within its greater context. If you're in the army and your commanding officer tells you to "x" or "y" and it's in the middle of the battle, you might save lives by jumping to what your CO says right away. However, we also have FREE WILL and it is one of the strongest themes in the Christian faith. We can CHOOSE to serve or we can choose not to serve. I wonder what the rest of the context was of this sermon you heard? Sometimes, since mass is only an hour, they choose to make a message on a particular topic, but with children, you have to help them see grey areas as well, but I think that's up to their parents and families... I still think your concerns are valid, but I wonder how they might be better addressed?

I mean, in the greater context, if you think about it, God gave us the ability to choose and set it up right away in the garden of Eden. Yes, consequences came, but we were free to choose.

Christianity is supposed to have faith in it, but also helping others...

So, I would look at the greater context of the faith / religion together. Maybe blind faith works in some circumstances and blind servitude, but I'd also say that it really "depends on the situation". Sometimes it's best to resist, and there are biblical stories of people resisting all sorts of issues.

That said, I wouldn't be afraid to talk to a priest, but keep in mind some are closed minded. You might have to find the "right fit" to discuss some of your questions with. You might get a lot more out of such conversations than you might think. You may never agree 100% with the Catholic church and that's your own free will and intellect that should be respected. But, you might like to discuss with someone who can explain context?

Sorry for the long winded answer. I also recommend the book "The Four Agreements" as it deals with the topic of how we teach children about the world.


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SonofThunder

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Re: Message in mass to 2nd graders
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2018, 12:32:41 PM »
Hello 11JB68.  “Obey without questioning” not for me.  I’m personally not a fan of ‘religion’ and so therefore I tend to throw denomination and/or religious affiliation (Catholic, Protestant, etc..) or religious practices aside.  I am a believer of, and a fan of one creator, God, and the trinity his existence as Father, Christ the son and the Holy Spirit.  As his creation, I am also a fan of having a growing relationship with him and learning from his teaching and example. 

Imo, Christ the son’s living human example here on Earth was purposefully done by the Trinity so we have a free gift of forever relationship to accept by Christ’s ‘one and done’ sacrifice on the cross, a human model to learn from and attempt to emulate during my stay on Earth, and a handful of writings to continue to reference and learn additionally by studying His life and the lives of others whom he directed to write.

So, for me, I always look toward Christ’s example and the examples of right (and wrong) as found in the Bible.  With regard to obedience and serving, I have to ask myself how Christ modeled that for me, his creation.  He aimed to follow the directive of God the father at all times, and as fully human also, he had to mentally and physically press on when the humanity he created tried to end his life prematurely and then at a time and manner of his own choosing, humanly pressed on through death as planned by God.   Surely not ‘blind obedience’ but rather extremely focused obedience to his own plan.  He remained obedient to his own plan at all times no matter what pressures he faced as a human on the Earth. 

When it comes to serving, he served all in a manner he chose based on what was BEST, not in a manner in which the goal of the serving brought happiness or comfort.  BEST was always the guiding principle, founded on his plan.  Humans and Satan always try to thrwart those BEST plan’s but Christ remains steadfast.   

So with regard to being a hero? I never see Christ himself teach/model serving and obedience to his teaching for the purpose of heroics, but rather to serve in emulation of him, for both reasons of love (wanting what is BEST for another) toward his creation and for our growing individual relationship with him.

Christ loves (desires what was BEST as determined by his plan) every human, even those that don’t love him.  So with regard to serving and obedience, and in emulating him, I desire to ask myself  “how did Christ model obedience and serving to abusers?”   I believe that the Pharisees are a good example of abusers.  They are self serving at the expense of others and want to kill the one person who they feel will expose them and end their party.  So, how did Christ model obedience and serving to the Pharisees?   His obedience always was loyal to God the Father and the predetermined plan of the Trinity.  His serving, imo, was to love.  Imo love=desire what is BEST for someone as BEST is determined by the principles of the creator (God/Trinity) and the plan.

So 11JB68, my long winded response/question with regard to your post, with regard to PD’s is “who was Jesus obedient to and how did Jesus serve the Pharisees?”  The answer to that question is, imo, the answer for us to model in relation to PD’s and other difficult people.  With regard to obedience, I feel it is always him.  With regard to serving, I believe it is always to emulate how Jesus served, which was to love them.  But imo, love is always to want/help facilitate what is BEST.   That can look and feel VERY different depending on whom we are loving. 

SoT
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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11JB68

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Re: Message in mass to 2nd graders
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2018, 01:15:31 PM »
Thank you all for your heartfelt and genuine and honest responses to my questions. I knew I could find this here! I truly appreciate the openness and honesty of this community, as well as the healthy diversity of opinions and thoughts.