The funny thing about fallen away Catholics is that you talk to them and they tell you they know what it means to be Catholic. There is 2000 years worth of teaching and history to unpack, but they've got it all and they know it all, and they can't be convinced otherwise. The sad reality is they don't know what they don't know. I could teach them, some of it anyway, or point them in the right direction if they were willing to listen but they are so convinced they already know that most of them won't listen.
Here are the funniest groups of fallen away Catholics and why I find them so amusing:
1. I attended 12 years of Catholic School!
This one is a bit like telling me that you got your high school diploma and now you know everything you need to know to be a surgeon. To these guys I just want to say, "Woah! put down the scapel, brother, and pick up a book. You've still got a lot of learning to do."
The truth is the Catholic Church has over 2000 years worth of teachings and writings and history. There is no way you covered all that ground in 12 years of schooling, and that's even if you were a star student who was really into the topic every single year of your schooling and if you had master teachers who perfectly understood the faith in every respect every year. Heck, I've done quite a bit of study into the Catholic Church under the tutelage of some of the best she has to offer and I'll tell you honestly I've just begun to learn to swim in those waters. To think that you've mastered a topic in 12 years of Catholic School is just hilarious.
2. I was even an altar server!
Were you? So was I. It means that you can follow the instructions given to you by a priest and that you have received your first communion. Beyond that, it means nothing. You certainly attended Mass, but I doubt you had anybody really explain to you why you were doing the things you were doing or what the real meaning behind the movements in the Mass were. Going back to our earlier analogy, this is a bit like saying you have watched the surgeon perform procedures once a week and that qualifies you to be the surgeon. You might be able to go through the motions, but guarantees nothing about you understanding why he did what he did or when to do it.
3. I was raised Catholic!
This and a buck sixty might buy you a cup of coffee at McDonalds. I was also raised Catholic. It didn't mean I understood anything about the Catholic faith. In fact, most of what I understood about the Catholic Church, most of what I learned from my mother during the 18 years I lived at home, was completely and totally wrong. Your education is only as good as your teacher, and mine didn't know how much she didn't know so there was a whole bunch of stuff she just couldn't tell me or explain to me. She's the reason I left the Church. She's also partly the reason I came back, but that's another story.
4. I taught CCD!
Right now, the Church doesn't have an entrance exam or a qualification requirement for teaching CCD. All you have to do is have a heart beat and a pulse and you, too, can be a CCD teacher. It does not mean you know the faith, and most of the teachers I've worked with over the years know less about their faith than some of the children they are teaching. Worse, many of them "know" their faith wrong or are in rebellion against it.
5. I wasn't getting fed!
This one just cracks me up, but only because of how truly tragic such a statement is. If you aren't getting fed in the Catholic Church it's because nobody has ever shown you how to find the banquet that's right there in the Mass, or taken you to the "kitchen" to see a rich feast awaits you. If you left the Church because you weren't getting fed, please message me. Friend me on Facebook. There is so much more that you could be getting than any protestant Church could ever give you.
If you think I'm laughing at you, it's not that. I've been you at various stages of my faith walk. I'm laughing because it's just so sad. If you really knew the Catholic Church, you would come back home and never leave again.
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