Some background to maybe keep you reading, before I get into why I think there should be no flags. My dad served for almost 30 years in the US Air Force. I server for 13 years in the USAF Reserves. I have lost friends and do whatever I can to support our military. I was even the president of the Randolph AFB Air Power Community Council. I served proudly and continue to show support whenever I can. I am also the one that stops and stands during the national anthem every time I hear it. If I can’t stand, I will stop talking. I am a proud vet and American.
That said, I do not believe that flags belong in the Sanctuary of a church.
I was told this by a young person after asking, why do you think “x” is a sin. The full answer was “I don’t think it is a sin, but I’m afraid of hell and am ‘hedging’ my bets.” This betrays a belief that God can be “played” or that God really doesn’t know what is in our hearts. More importantly, it points to what in my opinion and that of a few priest friends is an abuse of the sacrament of Reconciliation. No wonder our protestant brothers and sisters have serious questions about that sacrament.
In an effort to save time or make things simpler and to make things easier for servers, I have heard people suggest we can skip the offertory procession or the presentation of the gifts. This brings me back to that sad survey showing that less than half of all Catholics believe in the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence. I hope this is in part because we have not done a good enough job teaching what we believe, and not a massive crisis of faith.
People often question their faith and then worry about the fact that they question it. Plato and Socrates are know for the phrase that an un-examined life isn’t worth living and I think that applies to faith. An unquestioned faith is by nature shallow. I even heard a homily where the deacon said that not having faith is a sin. Faith is a gift and a quick reading of the some of the stories of Mother Theresa at the end of her life, proves that. Maybe giving up on our relationship with God could be a sin… Continue reading “Faith and Knowledge”
How much of Mass do I really need to attend to meet my Mass obligation?I love this question, not really. It isn’t about what counts and what doesn’t count. It is about trying to enter into a deeper relationship with our God. And to ask “what counts” I think of Sheldon on “Big Bang” and his relationship contracts. I really don’t think it works that way and in fact much time is spent showing that we are in a covenant, not a contract with our God!
I frequently answer this question with, “Well, who was the only one to leave the Last Supper early”? When they look at me I just leave it at that, and smile. But this really is a much deeper question about our relationship with our community and God.