Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Welcome to The Not So Perfect Catholic!

Disclaimer: I am not a theologian, just a Catholic empty-nester trying to figure it all out. The views on this blog are my own.

It Takes Time & Effort

When my husband & I were on vacation, we went to a local parish for Mass. As we walked in to find a place, I almost chose a “half pew” directly behind a longer one, but we ended up sitting in the next pew back. A group of what appeared to be college kids ended up sitting in the 2 pews ahead of us. It was obvious that only 3 of them were Catholic. My first tip-off was that one of the young men who sat in front of us walked in carrying something that looked like chocolate milk, and they all ranked of cigarette smoke. I took a deep breath and thought, “Well, at least they’re taking time out to go to Mass.” The young man with the drink took a couple of swigs during Mass, and at one point, handed it to a young lady in front of him. She took a swig as well. The thing is: this is one of the young ladies who is Catholic, and this was right before communion. She then proceeded to put a piece of gum in her mouth. You have no idea how badly I wanted to say something to her.
The disrespect was just unbearable, and it made me extremely sad. Yes, I should have been paying closer attention to the Mass, but when it happens right under your nose & the Catholic young lady keeps turning around to talk to the young man behind her, it is very difficult to not see it.
Had I thought ahead, I should have shown the young man with the drink where he could follow along in the missalette. He honestly seemed to be paying attention and, if he had the proper direction, would have been more respectful as far as the drink. I actually felt a little sorry for him when, after the Lord’s Prayer, he kept going with the Protestant ending. His Catholic friends should have prepped him for that.

It’s so hard not to judge

Now, about the young lady who took a swig & popped some gum in her mouth: I soooo wanted to say something to her, but had to keep saying to myself “Don’t judge; God will take care of her.” I said a small prayer asking God to direct her. But, man, it was hard to not say anything!
This whole episode reminded me of the mass for the Immaculate Conception at my home parish. Since it was on Wed., the Middle School Youth Group sat together. After it was over, I saw our guitar player roll a soccer ball over to the group. As it turned out, there are children in that group that don’t attend Mass. They haven’t had Formation Classes. Apparently, their parents just drop them off the youth director fuming, and she’s usually pretty even-keel. The priest walked over and had some words with the kids as well.

It takes time & effort

I admit to not giving my boys the strict religious upbringing that they should have had, but I did make sure they went to CCD/Religious Formation. I made sure they knew how to act during Mass. It hurts my heart that kids today don’t know how to be respectful during Mass. Even more, it hurts that the parents don’t realize what a miracle takes place every time a Mass is celebrated. If they did, the kids would have a better understanding. Maybe the parents don’t understand it themselves. In a world where we are all busy, it’s all about getting ahead and trying to get the kids athletic scholarships. Instead of putting their faith first, people are trying to fit their faith into their lives. It takes time to learn the truth about our faith. It takes time and effort to put God first. It takes time and effort to teach our faith to our children. It takes time and effort to answer questions, and, if we don’t know the answers, to find them. But that time is so worth it. Are you putting in the time and effort?


  1. Faith formation begins at home. I hope we have done enough to instill a strong faith in our kids.

  2. We see some of the same things, but we have not been going to Mass lately so I really can't comment. Having problems with our Pope and with things going on in the parish... trying to work through it.

    1. Dear Terri,
      It is difficult when things are going on in our parish and have issues with what the pope said or what was reported. I've gone through some of these things too. But I had someone say to me don't leave Jesus. He is there at every Mass Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. What healed me to forgive is spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament before Our Eucharistic Lord Jesus Christ. I'm praying.


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