Yesterday, the Blu-Ray player that my son had given me for Christmas quit. It simply quit working. I tried the various steps that you go through to get it working again. I used the remote to turn it on and off. I unplugged the player from television. When I did, the screen came back on, but no matter what, I could not use my blu-ray player to access Netflix. So, I decided that I would let it rest until today.
Well, I tried again to bring this device back to life. The Blu-Ray was dead, so I called Samsung and spoke with their tecnical support. We tried all the things that I had tried yesterday, then the tech asked me an important question. “Have you unplugged the Blu-Ray from the wall socket?” “Ummmmm, no.” At that point I decided it was worth the effort just so that I could say that I had tried everything! Guess what! I unplugged the blu-ray and plugged it in, then…the screen came alive, again, and the Netflix menu was on the screen again.
Being a Catholic is difficult in this “progressive,” secular world. Bit by bit, we are loosing more of our religious freedom. Being labeled a Catholic, much less a Christian, is not a label many people want. As a result, fewer people are attending Mass on Sunday or teaching our faith to their children. In their defense, many Catholics today simply don’t know the faith, and they can’t pass it on to the next generation.
Other times, our faith is tested by God, and He unpluggs us to makes us stronger, or we simply unplug ourselves due to the distractions of living and working in a secular world.
Plugging back into our Catholic faith does not have to be difficult. If you are a Catholic who hasn’t been practicing the faith, your return can be facilitated with the help of a good priest. Make an appointment with the pastor of your church. Ask him how to come back home. He’ll help you, especially if the problem might have been a divorce or a remarriage. I can’t say what he would advise, but, please, be wiling to work with your pastor even if the solution is time consuming and long. Sometimes, the solution would simply be a return to the confessional and a return to attending Mass on a regular basis. Other times, the solution is more complicated. Please be patient and willing to work with the Church on this.
As Catholics, we are required to attend Mass every Sunday. A mortal sin is committed if, without good reason such as illness, you have not been attending Mass. This is why it’s necessary to consult with a priest, especially, if there are other circumstances. A priest knows cannon law and he is the person who can advise you. No matter the issue, return to the church. Go to confession. Attend Mass. The decision to receive the Eucharist on your return should be made in conjunction with the advice of a priest. I know this can seem complicated, but that is the reason to consult a priest.
If the problem is that you are a lukewarm Catholic, begin to pray and develop your prayer life. You might not be able to spend hours in prayer, but you can improve your prayer life by 100% the first day. If you are not praying, and you say a Hail Mary that day, you have improved your prayer life by 100% Isn’t that great? Prayer does take effort, and prayer requires a commitment of time, but this is something you can do. Don’t you make time for the things you really want to do? Of course, you do! If you can’t spare an hour or a half an hour, schedule in 15 minutes. A rosary requires about 20 minutes to pray. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy takes 8-9 minutes. In the course of a day which has 24 hours, that’s not much time. It’s easy to plug back into prayer, but you have to pray in order to plug back into your direct communication with God. That’s what prayer is about, communicating with God. Of course, you can volunteer at church to help plug in, but the first step, and, in my opinion, the most important step is to pray.
In order for my DVD player to work, I had to unplug and plug in again. It took some effort to reconnect, but the solution worked. Reconnecting is work. Reconnecting can be painful and somewhat complicated, but if your goal is to become an active, participating member of the Catholic Church, then there are steps that you need to take. If the goal is prayer, begin to pray. If the goal is to reconnect with the Church after being away, consult a priest for help. They are trained to help you come home again. Don’t be discouraged. That’s a tool of the devil. Stay the course. Jesus is waiting for with open arms and a smile on His face. God Bless You! I’m praying for you.