The above two links are to a commentary about New Age classes, often costing $100 or more to take, being held in parish churches.
There are so many reasons why this is wrong, but the above links spoke to that very very well. The comments were good too!
I want to talk about why I think these classes happen and why so many Catholics (and non-Catholics too fall into these traps) take up these activities.
We are community creatures. We need fellowship and not just during the Mass. During Mass we need MASS and the essential connection to God. But during the week? There is a vacuum, a void where fellowship among believers is missing, and into this void comes heretical and heterodox stuff like New Age classes.
At first, I wanted to just blame the Priests in those parishes where the New Age classes happen. Then it hit me: the void is not the fault of the Priest! The void is the fault of the LAITY!
While a Priest with issues of spinelessness or heterodoxy will permit a New Age class in the parish it is not offered BECAUSE of the errors of the Priest. The New Age class is offered because the people in that parish community are starving for fellowship!
Whose job is it to create opportunities for fellowship in our parishes? Why the LAITY is responsible for socials and other forms of fellowship. That these activities, perfectly designed to be provided by Lay Persons, are lacking is the fault of a Laity unwilling to share themselves with each other.
Why do parish Laity fail to share themselves with one another? Selfishness and Laziness are the main reasons. Giving is work, and many of us doubt that it will have anything in it for us. Sad huh?
Sad that those who sew do not gather to sew and fellowship; Sad that those who embroider do not gather to embroider and fellowship; Sad that those who play cards do not gather to play cards and fellowship; Sad that those who play music do not gather to jam and fellowship and maybe share their work with those in the nursing homes; Sad that those who sing do not get together to sing at nursing homes; Sad that those who cook do not get together to teach each other new things to cook and fellowship; Sad that those who ballroom dance do not get together to dance and fellowship; the list can go on and on and on. We are not sharing who we are with one another.
The New Age would not invade so easily if we all went looking for ways to share with each other and fill that void, that deep need for fellowship. The problem is OURS and while our Priests can safeguard orthodoxy they cannot do the job of the LAITY. I am just as guilty as anyone else. I’ve been busy in my own family, but it should be possible to fellowship with fellow Catholics too. We don’t live in isolation and we shouldn’t let how busy we are prevent us from meeting our own need for fellowship by getting involved. Fellowship outside of Mass is a need that is ours to fill as part of our vocations as Lay persons.
We need to seek in prayer to recognize what our individual contributions need to be and then go fill those roles as part of who we are as Catholics. I’m starting a novena to St. Josemaria Escriva for that purpose tonight.
God bless you all!