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Sunday, August 15, 2010

The fate/faith of religion

A sermon by the priest in the local church I go to, made a very shocking revelation during mass yesterday (Sunday)

He talked about the catechism classes and how children do not seem to taking them to heart.
The church has done a huge move to shift the catechism classes to Saturday instead of Sunday (I used to go to Sunday school on Sundays, well, don't the name sound something?), and at 4pm.

The notice had been given to parents since as early as November last year to make necessary arrangements for their children's tuition classes.

Yet, a recent meeting with the Catechetical team had highlighted issues such as children not showing up at the classes, or arriving late and yet being nonchalant about it. When the teacher asked, they simply replied, "My Mum dropped me late"
That was interesting, as they could show up 45 minutes late into the class and did not feel guilty about it.

If that is not bad enough, there is also the part where the church had contributed to the textbooks and used the funds to provide catechism classes on loan to the students so that they do not have to finance additionally on the books they use in class. It was a kind gesture by the parish, and obviously one which was uncalled for as they discovered that most of the books were never returned.

I feel shocked and sad at this news, and it prompted me to reminisce my childhood days when I was attending Sunday school/church masses.

I am not a perfect Catholic, I have my flaws too, and of course, being a mere mortal, I commit sins too.

I remember myself being closer to the church, after the passing of my dear and beloved grandfather when I was in Standard Five.
It was also a time when our whole family relived the faith and brought us closer to God.

For me, it was my first time experiencing loss in my own family; and it was definitely not pretty in my memory.
It's not that I was naive enough to think that my grandparents would live forever and ever, but it is never easy dealing with loss.

It was then that I felt the comforting presence of God and daily prayers.
I felt strongly towards my religion; and I am thankful that I have been brought up in the right direction as well.

My family were never extremists in their faith, but my dad and uncle were always there to share their childhood tales on how they would go to church in a taxi on Christmas and Easter despite being poor at that time.

I believed in God, and HIS great existence, despite being cajoled into the arts of science and being questioned on my faith again and again by people who are into free thinking.
I may not be the best person in my faith, nor can I read out any line from the bible if you were to ask me, but my belief in God is not to be questionable.

Our parents send us to Catechism classes, encouraged us to attend masses, and to read the Bible, and never ever do something which is wrong.
We were taught the right and wrong, and besides parenting from home, Sunday School was there to teach us about GOD, and guide us towards the right direction.

I remember how my Catechism teacher used to tell us, "To believe, you must have faith. People will always question your faith, because we are living amongst people who are all different in their own ways"

This is one of the main reason I felt that it is disheartening that the younger generation no longer feel the same way.

I have read articles on the Web, magazines, books and even newspapers to realize that we (Catholics) are not alone, as all the other religions are facing the same problem whereby the younger generation no longer feel the need to connect with God.
Most chose to be free thinkers, or staunch science followers as everything which we used to be believe in can be explained by science.

Furthermore, the Catholic foundation was also threatened two years ago, with the fame of a FICTION book which questioned the origins of Christ.

We are not the only one, and today, we are living in a world of science and modern technology, and is it necessarily a good thing?

The creation of man can be explained from science; in fact, they can even clone human beings if they want.
There is no room to justify God's existence.

People don't find religion important anymore, and they don't spend time praying, unless they face life/death matters or they need desperate help.

Don't think the Buddists/Taoists/Hindus/Muslims do not face the same thing.
Some people who grew up praying to God with joss sticks, no longer want to set up an altar in their new homes for fear of the effect of smoke on their newly painted and fresh glossy paint on the walls.

It is a responsibility of the parents to instill these values into their children's lives, and to guide them towards that direction of faith.

Children are always imitating their parents; when their parents place more importance on tuition classes, they too, have the same thought that their academic performance should surpass the priority of learning about faith.
After all, what is an hour or two per week going to make?

I am not here to judge on the above issue, but rather to think about the perspectives and consequences of the whole losing faith issue.

If we do not do something about this fast, religion may soon become a thing in the past....and do we really want to see the faith we grew up with go obsolete?

I pray to God for guidance, and for inspirations, that faith can be strengthened and that we can all be enlightened on the future of our faith and what we can do about it...