Too many rules?

I was checking out a Catholic Apologetics site and came across something interesting. It was a Q and A type article of liturgical abuses, meaning abuses of rules regarding celebration of the Mass. The link is It had bunches of rules, some of which make sense, others less so. Most notably being that the Chalise (the cup used for the wine) cannot be made from clay, glass, any other breakable material, or of a metal that will deteriorate (ie rust). Now I can see the arguement that you don't want the Sacred Blood spilling everywhere if the cup breaks, but it will spill if you drop it and it doesn't break.

Anyway, it got me thinking about whether or not there are too many rules in the Catholic church. Recently, the new liturgical norms came out. There was much heartache, argueing, and wrangling by our musical groups just over the rules that applied to us. Forget all the other rules that govern how the Mass is said and that govern every day life. It reminds me of Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisees about setting all these rules for the faithful to follow but having hearts far from God. Are we concentrating too much on the rules and not enough on the faith? St. Paul told us that following the law, even to the letter, will not justify you and get you to Heaven. Faith and love were the most important things. He still had rules to follow, but they were all based on love.

Call me a rebel, but I've never been one big on rules. I tend to boil things down to the essentials. I mean, if I drink the Blood of Christ from a metal chalise or a glass goblet, does it make it less the Blood of Christ? Is the Body of Christ less so if the host isn't made of unleavened bread made from wheat? (Use of anything other than wheat to make it is prohibited.) We have a few people within our church that are these strict legalists. If the rule doesn't specifically state something can be done, it can't be. An extreme example was an arguement over whether something should be done a certain way in the Mass. The "rule" stated that this "may" be done. That got interpreted as since it may be done, that is the only option. No alternatives were possible. Now that sounds like nitpicking, but when there are several volumes to encompass the liturgical rules alone, maybe we've lost sight of what's truly important.

Anyway, I don't have any plans to become a Protestant. My personal belief is that the faith is the key. I try to live the faith and am reverent when I need to be at Mass. That's my time to recharge for the week and gain the strenght to go 7 more days. Still, I can see why many of the people around me get all bent out of shape every time we try to talk about all these liturgical changes. It's too easy to get confused when nothing gets explained and changes are implemented without any effort to educate the congregation on the changes. But that's another rant.


Anonymous said…
Being a former "CATHOLIC", I would like to say....Right on. The bible says that only those that have faith in the Lord and ask for him to be be in their heart or in other words to be "SAVED" will inherit the Kingdom of God. You hit right on the head what i found missing from the Catholic church. The word of the lord. As Catholics, can you remember the last time we carried our bibles into church. Yes there were passages from the missal. I personally think people need to hear more of the word...for instance in the homily...refer to the bible...speak the word, or at least reference to it. That is why we are learn, praise and rejoice in the Lord, Jesus Christ.

We are all sinners...always will be. But there is a way for us to be forgiven and inherit heaven. Believe in and give your life to the Lord. He gave his one and only son, to be crucified so that we could be forgiven of our sins. Those that believe and ask him into their hearts to lead their lives, will inherit the kingdom of God, those who do not will perish.

Just because you go to church, and try to do what is right, and are a "GOOD" person, does not insure your entrance into his kingdom.

Most people when asked..will say they think of themselves as a "good" person.

God judges us by the 10 commandments. and by them, we are all guilty. Ask yourself some of his questions for us.

Have you ever told a lie? All of us at some point have told even the smallest of white lies.

Have you ever stolen something. even something very small, or used something with out permission. Again, we all have.

Have you ever looked at another person with lust. IF so, the word says that you have committed adultry of the heart, even if you have never had physical contact.

Have you ever hated someone? The word says that hating someone is murder in the heart.

so on judgement day, when we have to answer these questions, we will all be guilty of sin.

The Lord gave his son's life, so that we might be saved from our sins. His only request is that we ask for it, and follow him, through him.

I know you believe, and love the lord. I hope you have asked him to lead your life, and not just be with him on Sundays, but always.

I have been reborn in the love and life of Jesus Christ, I hope you will see the need too.

He is our light and our shepard....

God Bless you and your family......

John 3:16-21
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[6] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[7] 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

Acts 4:12
12"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Acts 16:29-31
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."

Titus 3:4-7
4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

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