As I said below, Clueless

| | Comments (11) | TrackBacks (1)

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.

1 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: As I said below, Clueless.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

The need to know from Fathers Know Best on August 25, 2004 11:36 PM

There was a flurry of comments over at Fructus Ventris as a result of a post about Celiac Disease, Deal Hudson and John Kerry and a second comment to a response. It is amazing the things that can come to... Read More



You don't owe NHM any explanations. She obviously had some problems of her own, scanned your post, and then lashed out at you!

99.9% of everyone else who read it got what you were trying to say and appreciated your well thought out blog post.

Great reply, Alicia.

And your initial point was spot on without qualification.

Great reply, Alicia.

And your initial point was spot on without qualification.

And I suppose calling people "clueless" would fall into your version of Christian charity?

I got what you were saying. It's your need, and the continued and constant need for the majority of Catholic bloggers to say it, that frustrates me so. Are you aware of just how negative the overwhelming majority of the posts on "Catholic" blogs are? It is such a rarity to see a Catholic blogger write something uplifting or joyous or kind or compassionate or enlightening. 99.9% of "Catholic" blogs serve mostly to point out everyone _else's_ faults, or the state of everyone _else's_ souls, or who's following the rules and who isn't.

People like myself leave the Church because of this kind of nonsense and because of the kind of response such as the one above this one. People struggle. They desperately want to make sense of things that don't often seem logical and some people, such as myself, spend years trying to come to terms with these things. We're not "clueless" and to be brushed aside by the holier-than-thous. Most of us don't leave because we don't want to try and make sense out of this stuff or because we're selfish or stupid or any of the other reasons people like yourself usually throw in my face. They leave because of people like you who feel so driven to remind us all the time of our imperfections and our sins and failings and and who can't wait to reach down from their pedestals and rub our noses in our own faults.

Read through a handful of Catholic blogs, pretend you've never heard of Christ, and then ask yourself why anyone in their right mind would want to be like you. Try it. You all make Catholicism sound like Holy High School with yourselves as self-appointed hall monitors.

As for Confession, maybe it's because people know there are people like you lurking in the shadows waiting to see who went and who stayed in the longest and who was crying when they came out. Maybe it's because they don't trust their priests anymore, either because of the scandal or because of the cliquishness so many parishes are given to these days (like mine, where a certain priest gossips all the time with the usual cassock sniffers).

No, "Ell", my post wasn't lashing out. It was addressing a public statement that I see all too often and which seems to be God's way of telling me that the Church is NOT where I belong at all, nor my children.

Frankly, no one else knows what graces God bestows on any other person either through the sacraments of the Catholic Church or other channels. No one knows what God may be accomplishing through the gift of the Eucharist whether the recipient has confessed previously or not. It's always between the individual and God, and maybe the individual's confessor and/or Bishop, but never between the individual and the busybody sitting next to them.

Also, there's something seriously wrong with thinking you can spend Monday through Friday pointing your finger at other people, speculating on what percentage of your neighbors are fornicating or using the pill or who's had an abortion or who "had" to get married or who probably cheated on their taxes, or who only has two children because they really want an SUV more and so on, head off for the Holy Enema (to continue your lovely metaphor) on Saturday afternoon and then receive on Sunday.

Don't worry. I get it. I'm not as clueless as you, oh superior one, thinks. I don't belong. Gotcha. Heard you loud and clear.

Alicia, both the original and reply posts were good. After reading nmm's reply here, I think there's only one way to deal with it ... "Lord have mercy on me and bless nmm."

Alicia do you have controls on your comment section? I'd use them if you catch my drift.

For the record, I find stuff on St. Blogs that is uplifting, funny, thought provoking and informative. I think there are lots of really talented people in this little section of cyberspace.

However, some people will only see what they want to see - a cloud to go with every silver lining. Why such folks continue to visit places that bother them or that they don't get is beyond me.

It's a compassionate thing to exercise some discipline for them when they can't seem to do it for themselves.

I don't mean to be judgemental, but I think nmm is hiding something. Needs to go to confession.

It sounds to me like nmm is expressing a good deal of spiritual pain and frustration. It - the emotions and reasons for them - may not be logical, but that doesn't make it any less real.

Hi, I read the original post and nmm's comments and I have to say that I didn't find her comments warranted for that particular post. Perhaps nmm is on to something in general, I don't know because I'm in RCIA, but I honestly didn't detect a trace of Holier than Thouness in the post. Alicia, I'm with you on this one.

New to this blog for now but I think it's very nice,

NMM, you are being completely unfair to Alicia. There are indeed people out there like those you have in mind, but she is not one of them. Reread her words for what she is actually saying without making assumptions about what kind of person she "must" be.


The tragic irony of both your comments is that you've judged Alicia--deemed her to be one of "them," a "holier-than-thou". You are doing to her would you feel has been done to you. Is that fair?

FWIW, in my five years of Catholicism, I've heard less than five comments about the dangers of personal sin from others, laity or religious. But I have heard dozens upon dozens of warnings about the dangers of "judgmentalism." The latter surely *is* a danger, a constant trap for the unwary. But becoming deadened to the former is far worse. And today, it's far, far easier.

February 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28    
The WeatherPixie

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by alicia published on August 23, 2004 10:40 PM.

Contraceptive is linked to was the previous entry in this blog.

comments on comments is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.