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Why we goto church

What follows is a letter from my Dad to PJ about why we goto church. What I like most about it is it’s modesty and ambivalence. I find it far more convicing than most clarion calls to faith.

PJ, sorry for not responding to the question on why we go to church two days in a row at Christmas…so I will try now.

  • first, when Christmas immediately precedes or follows a Sunday, the church says you need to meet both obligations…..first the Sunday and second the Christmas mass.
  • second, perhaps a broader question is why attend church at all…..when you are young like you are, you tend to be fearless and believe death is in the distant future, so you say “I don’t need to go”.  As one ages, death and other bad things tend to be more of a reality, so when this occurs, one looks for someone or something that might help…and maybe the church is that answer. *. third, for me the Catholic Church provides a “process” for life……babies thru old folks.  The process is not perfect, however, it makes more sense when you have children.  There exists a set of “rules”, most of which make sense. 
  • fourth, I had a model Catholic with my mother, who had converted from being a Lutheran…she used the process on her 4 boys, and it mostly worked
  • prayer…. altho you can pray anywhere, the church provides a special place.  Prayer by the way is superstitious behavior……when you pray for something and it occurs - you say, praying worked; and when you pray for something and nothing happens, the church might say you didn’t pray enough.  When you face death, or have a potential deadly disease, like cancer, you pray out of fear.
  • your friend Tony Stallings “overused” God, religion, and prayer…he went to church and prayed when he could not pay his bills and had his heat turned off