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Chrissy wrote:

Hi, guys —

I think I may be receiving some grace. I have a 12-year-old seventh grade son who has received his First Communion, but is not in CCD for his Confirmation. His father, we're divorced, works at a Methodist church but is not a big believer. However, my son likes attending his church better than coming to the Catholic Mass with me, albeit only on occasion — I don't practice as I should and can't receive Holy Communion because I didn't get my marriage to his father annulled.

He likes that church because it's fun and contemporary. I am drawn to the tradition of the Catholic Church, but my family members are not. My son is a very smart boy, a gifted student, and has been showing me disrespect; consumerism and my spoiling him has done me no favors. I want us to walk with God a little more but struggle because I am worried I haven't taught him as well as I should have. I was a young mom the first time around. My husband now does not want to go to church regularly, but he is a loving man. I might be able to twist his arm.

  • Any suggestions for me on how I can convince my modern family to want to go to Mass?

Chrissy

  { Do you have any suggestions on how I can convince my modern family to want to go to Mass? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Chrissy —

Read the book:

The main point to make is that the goal of Mass is not to "get something out" of it but to "put something into" it. The Mass is not entertainment. It's an act of worship where we offer ourselves and our whole lives, with all our struggles, sins, concerns, and so forth, to God, the Father through Jesus Christ. We enter into the one sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, making it present to us so that our sins may be forgiven.

It may help to:

  1. study about the Eucharist and gain an appreciation for it, and
  2. impart that appreciation to him.

For example, 1 Peter 1:4 says that we are made partakers of the divine nature. This is accomplished through the Eucharist, which we believe is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. You can't get that at the Methodist church. Being the Flesh and Blood of God Himself,
the Eucharist is more holy than anything on the face of this earth ever could be.

  • That Indiana Jones movie about the Holy Grail?

All that effort he went through to get a stupid cup is worth nothing whatsoever compared to what we receive in the Eucharist every Sunday. You're receiving God Himself. You not only touch God, you consume God, and God becomes a part of your being, going into all the parts of your body, your heart, your soul, making you like Him, but only if you are properly disposed to receive Him. You are filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)

  • How cool is that?

St. Ignatius of Antioch (107 A.D.) called it the Medicine of Immortality.

  • What boy would not be entranced by that description?

When the Israelites were in the desert, God miraculously fed them by raining down manna from heaven. (Exodus 16:31) Jesus gives us the new manna, a better manna, in the Eucharist (John 6:31-33) — the bread of angels (Psalm 78:25), just like the manna.

  • Remember the Tree of Life that God forbade Adam and Eve to eat from when they disobeyed him (Genesis 3:22)?

God has granted us access to This Tree in the Eucharist (cf. Acts 5:30, 13:29, 1 Peter 2:24, Revelation 2:7, 22:14). The Eucharist is the Cup of Salvation too. (Psalm 116:13) Consuming the Eucharist is like the angel touching your lips with a coal from the altar in Heaven to cleanse you, as what happened to Isaiah. (Isaiah 6:6-7) The Eucharist washes away our sins and unites us to God. I cannot imagine that anyone who does not meditate on these things during the liturgy would not be fully engaged and positively salivating to receive the Eucharist.

If that's not enough, take him through Hebrews 12:18-29 which describes the heavenly view of earthly worship. Myriads of angels are present. The souls of the saints, the just men made perfect, are present. The Blood of Christ is present. Even Revelation describes the unseen element of Christian worship; read Revelation 4 and 5.

I hope this will give you some ideas.

Eric

Chrissy replied:

Hi, Eric —

Thank you for your reply!

I will read the book. I have always had difficulty believing in transubstantiation, but I try to!

I do try to have faith, but sometimes I question certain issues like:

  • birth control
  • the Eucharist, and
  • the Immaculate Conception.

I always figured that as long as I believed in God, I'd be OK. I'm afraid my own lukewarm approach to Catholicism makes it hard to convince anyone else to go! Still, I have a desire to go, so I must definitely be missing out on something.

I know faith will be so good for my kids.

Chrissy

Eric replied:

Well, Chrissy, faith is a gift, so I encourage you to pray for it.

Open your heart to Christ; surrender everything to Him and He will transform your life. Be open to the truth, for none of us, on our own, can know the truth. Christ revealed it when he came to earth, and he entrusted it to the Church to proclaim, which she does, guided by the Holy Spirit.

It's important to believe the right things because, as in our earthly lives, ideas have consequences. If you didn't believe in germs, you wouldn't be "OK", you'd be sick all the time, and maybe dead, No? Germs are there whether you believe in them or not.

Likewise, certain spiritual principles operate whether you believe in them or not. Christ has the Words of Eternal Life, and the Church has faithfully preserved those teachings, so I encourage you to be open and pray to know the truth with an open heart!

Eric

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