I should probably not get drawn into responding to some one who is probably a troll, but I found one of the comments to my post below to be very distressing. I guess I am upset because the reader seemed to totally miss the point of what I was trying to say. which is that we are ALL sinners, we all need the graces of the Sacrament of Penance, and in our culture we all too infrequently avail ourselves of that sacrament. I don't need to sit in the pew with a clicker to know that the majority of those going to Communion were not at Confession the day before. Where your typical parish has only 1/2 hour of scheduled Penance weekly, and that is often not well-attended, yet there are at least 3 Masses meeting the Sunday obligation (and most of those attending those Masses go to communion), well it seems obvious to me that there is an imbalance. But what upset me the most was the final paragraph of the comment:
Sometimes I think people are way more eager to jump on the "brotherly admonishment" bandwagon than they are to actually do something proactive to feed the hungry or house the homeless. It's so much easier to post a blog entry in which you calculate the ratio of Communicants to Confessed and then speculate who among them is a sinner and what those sins might entail than to give away all your wordly goods and live among and attend to the poor, isn't it?
First off, all the works of mercy are important, both the physical and the spiritual. I have never said otherwise. I work in a Community Health Center where I make considerably less than I might in other settings, and I drive 1 hour each way to do this. I attend the poor, and I help them to meet their medical needs. But I have noticed that many of them also have a spiritual poverty, in that they are unhappy and do not even realize that part of their unhappiness comes from choosing to live in a sinful lifestyle. I work to meet their physical needs, I also challenge them to consider their spiritual needs and I have to do this in a way that is not proselytizing. I am not speculating on who is a sinner, I KNOW that I am a sinner, you are a sinner, we are all sinners. You spoke particularly of sexual sins. Alas, this is something that I know more than I would like to, given that I am a primary provider of women's health care. I diagnose and treat STDs on a daily basis, I care for pregnant women the majority of whom are not married, I hear the stories of these women and I hold the details deep within myself under the rule of confidentiality. I KNOW that those who call themselves Catholic contracept, abort, fornicate, divorce, commit adultery at the same rate as the rest of the USA. The data is out there. It is not hard to find. I would imagine that other sins and crimes are practiced at about the same rate, too. I just don't have data on these, and I am not generally confronted daily by a person who calls herself Catholic who is embezzling wealth or lying about her resume or so many other sins. But I do see daily women who are wearing a scapular and who go to church weekly - and have been sterilized. I see women who list their religion as Catholic who are asking for birth control pills. I see women wearing rosaries who are 'living in sin'. I pray for my patients, several times a day. I also provide their medical care. Where I can, I challenge them to consider the harm they are doing themselves through their lifestyle.
Dear commenter, please go back and re-read the whole post. Go back and read some of my other entries. Feel free to continue to challenge us all to live our faith, but please exercise the same charity that you seemed to find lacking in your first reading.