March 27, 2008


Many have asked me: Why go to Mass at a openly dissident parish? Why go to Mass at a parish where everything is not just perfect? Why not just leave them alone? Why be with them?

If you are going to ask questions like that why not ask: Why bother correcting errors spouted by your Catholic brothers and sisters? Why bother writing letters when the press gets our Faith all wrong? Why bother objecting when a local university stages a blasphemous play? Why stand up for life outside an abortion clinic?

Why not just hide out and mind your own business? Because I don't think Jesus intended us to just sit back and let people continue in the darkness or let evil flourish without a fight.

Have you ever been part of an intervention? I have: twice. Both occasions were with the same friend. He was suicidal and he was using drugs heavily. As far as I know he's still alive. He's moved out of the area and no one seems to know where he is. Pray for him will you, please?

An intervention is where friends and/or family go to the person in crisis (it's usually a surprise-not always a pleasant one) and share their concerns about the person in troubles behavior, assure them they are loved, give them options for help, promise to be there and help them. It's best if a licensed professional of some kind is also there. In some cases, a clergyman may be there as well.

It can be a very draining experience. Sometimes its works, sometimes it doesn't. It can get ugly because the loved one is not always receptive or open. It can get violent because there can be a lot of yelling. It can be beautiful because sometimes it works or there are little moments where everyone is laughing. It can be cathartic because there is usually a lot of crying.

Is going to Mass in a parish that may need "improvement" an intervention of sorts?

What is to be served if we only enroll and only ever attend parishes that we find perfect? How can our other brothers and sisters learn or see appropriate Mass behavior if they are never exposed to it? How many teaching moments are lost when someone after Mass may ask:"Why do you incline your head everytime you hear the name of Jesus?" "Why do you pray both before and after Mass?" "Why do you kneel for the part when they ring the bell?" (some Catholics not only don't know that is called the Consecration; they also don't know what it means) "Why do you dress up every week?"

How can our brothers and sisters in Christ, who's knowledge of the Faith is so poor that they don't even know that they are in serious trouble, be helped if there siblings and friends never reach out to them?

I know some of you out there have hard-hearts and you still think everyone should just be left to worship in their own way and no one should be "meddling": not me, not the Archbishop, not a priest, no one.

When people love you, REALLY love you, they will tell you to your face that you are wrong and you need help. They will be there. They won't walk away. Anyone who just leaves you to your own devices, flawed as they may be, is not a real friend and does not really love you. Someone who loves you, will allow themselves to be abused for your sake. Sometimes that means taking abuse from you.

Intervention should always involve prayer. Absolutely, yes, we should always and constantly be praying for those who need help. However, sometimes you need to take the prayer straight to 'em.

Where am I going with this? I have just explained to you why I'm going to St. Stephens on Divine Mercy Sunday. I know many are opposed to it and I've been thinking and praying very seriously on your words. Thank you.

By going, I have absolutely no plans for a big "splash". No banners, no slogans, no trimphalism. I have not gathered a big group of people. It's not about that anyway. It shouldn't be about that. Our brothers and sisters and St. Stephens need to know that they are part of a much larger family than the nuclear one they've become accustomed to.

I'm not planning to speak with anyone while I'm there. I'm just going to worship with my brothers and sisters. I'm not going to blog on what happens either. In fact, this is probably the last time I'm even mentioning it. I say, probably, because if something happens in future that may be worth a comment I may step in.

This begs the question: if you are going there, why not go back to your old dissident Catholic stomping grounds, St. Joan of Arc? I'll tell you why: because that would be like returning to a house I used to buy drugs at. Too dangerous and scary for me. I can't see ever going back to that particular place. St. Stephens is, to me, a neutral site. Intervention worked for me. Perhaps, I can pay it forward now.


Blogger Vincenzo said...

"He's moved out of the area and no one seems to know where he is. Pray for him will you, please?"

I will. Great post Cathy! You're such a wonderful and compassionate caring person (how could you have been nominated for best blog by a Catholic Crank? ;-)) God bless you.

March 27, 2008 7:25 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Vin: You must be taking the Divine Mercy to heart! :-) You know I can be a crank. Well, everyone reading this blog knows that...:-)

Thank you for your prayers. I will not mention his name because I need to preserve his privacy as much as possible. God knows

March 27, 2008 7:51 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Yep - so this seals it - I'm not goin' to St. Stephen's - no one is going to do an intervention on me...

Rehab... I said, no, no, no!

March 28, 2008 2:45 PM  
Blogger ArchAngel's Advocate said...

It’s so much fun to be the provocateur and drop the Spiritually Correct thing into the situation when everyone is trying to be Politically Correct. The expressions are timeless!

March 28, 2008 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will pray for your friend.

"When people love you, REALLY love you, they will tell you to your face that you are wrong and you need help. They will be there. They won't walk away."

Friends love you, not just the "good" parts but all of you--they love you when you need them the most--when your at your worst--they help to pick you up when you fall, help clean you up, and love you--until your feeling better again--thanks for posting this Cathy.

March 28, 2008 10:58 PM  

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