Daniel Fachting

It is sad to say that many people in our world today see prayer, worship and the sacraments as ways that the Christian community uses to manipulate, reinforce, and indoctrinate believers. These non-Christian people seem to be saying that worship and other Christian activities are simply ways that the Christian community affirms itself, keeps followers in line, and are self-affirming for the individual.  

It seems be their belief that different forms of worship are empty rituals where Christians self-delude themselves, which prevents them from the reality that there is no God and that religion is just something people made up out of weakness of character, and poor self-control. For some non-Christians, religion is necessary for the good of society, because it maintains civility and a smooth-running culture. They seem to say that without religion people would act unethically and eventually destroy society.

While religion may function to promote the civil order, it is not religion’s primary function. Worship, prayer, and the sacraments exist because God is real and deserves to be worshiped. God is the supreme being and the creator of all things. Prayer, worship, sacraments, reading the Bible, Christian meditation and reflection, doing good, enjoying nature, and gathering with other Christians are ways that we encounter God, who is real and who ought to be worshiped.

It is too bad and sad that so many people write-off the Christian way of life and its rituals, morals, and activities. When they do, they write-off many of the ways in which God wishes to break through into our individual and communal life, never even giving God a chance to form a relationship with them.  Many people simply reject God’s invitation and will then miss the real joy and point of life.  

If you are wondering about the real meaning of life, or feeling empty, alone, unwanted, or out of control, why not give prayer, reading the Bible, worship, and the Christian way of living a chance?  Going to church, the mass, and receiving the sacraments are ways that God encounters us and for us to meet him. If you are tired of having to always be in control or are feeling controlled by others or of life’s circumstances, begin by making Jesus the center of your life and trying to live the Christian way.  

We worship God and enjoy his way of life, because he is worthy of it, not because we are trying to self-affirm ourselves or indoctrinate others. We are his creatures and worthy of having a personal relationship with Jesus. Non-Christians are always arguing and proclaiming that we don’t need God, that he doesn’t exist, and that the Christian beliefs are just made up. How is that working for you?  “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”

“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”

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