Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | October 30, 2009


Many years ago when I taught laboratory for physics class, I gave my students who failed my tests an option to have an oral exam…1 question that’d have to be presented in front of me, 5 min to prepare, and depending on how they did on the oral exam, I’d raise the grade they got on the written test by a letter.

That semester there weren’t that many that did super horrible on my exams. (And my exams are extremely hard)…of the 20 that I had, only 5 of them needed to use the oral exam option.

One of the things that I believe as an educator, is that tests don’t always reflect the knowledge of a student. There could be factors affecting performance on a test. By giving the oral exam option, that eliminated the performance factor on my tests. I had an “A” student fail 2 of my exams. They were able to do well in my class because of the oral test option, which allowed them to show me what they knew.

Unfortunately, in the vast majority of programs that are geared to the teens…The people in charge assume the stupidity of teens and that they’re not able to fully comprehend Church things, so they dumb it down completely.

Now, you’re not going to find the words “Teens are stupid” written within any of the materials that are given. Effectively that’s what’s being said by playing rock music and protestant hymns and the dumbing down of Church vocabulary.

I was grading my Confirmation students’ homework this weekend, and I was amazed by the intelligence shown by my students in their work. They knew the answers to the majority of the questions that I asked them on their homework. (Good job previous teachers’)…

Back when I was in Confirmation, we had pet rocks, and nothing of substance to actually learn. We didn’t have to memorize prayers, let alone any doctrines. Yet it was just assumed that we’d all gravitate to the praise band and pick up on these things later.

Many of these things turned me away from the Faith. That is to say they had the opposite effect on me. Why? Well for one, I had my rock music at home (and it was much better than anything played at Church), I didn’t see the purpose of going somewhere, where I could effectively get the same thing at home with my stereo system. Another thing, the emphasis on people also turned me away. I am a total introvert, of course reading this blog, you’d have no idea, but it’s true. I don’t need people. I’m not a people person. I do everything I can to divert the attention from me.

I did not fully comprehend these things as a high schooler, most of these thoughts are upon later reflection.

The reference point for Mass is Calvary, and from Calvary flows out everything else. It is precisely because of this that we believe as Catholics, that many things that are in the culture are out of place at Mass.

The reason applause isn’t appropriate at ANY POINT IN CHURCH is precisely because of Calvary. What are you going to do, applaud at Crucifixion? You’re looking at Jesus on the Cross, and you’re going to start clapping and go “yay Romans, do it again, do it again?” Of course not!, if that sounds ridiculous, think about it next time at Mass you attempt to clap :p.

And if you’re going to say, that we only clap to thank the musicians…the music should NOT be putting the focus on the choir. If the choir becomes the center of attention, the music has FAILED liturgically. Music is supposed to assist in prayer. It’s supposed to bring you outside of your comfort zone. If you feel like dancing, again, the music has failed form a Liturgical perspective.

The Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I saw many people treat Him as if he was just an ordinary cookie, or cracker. To put Our Lord in our hands is to control Him in our own image. We do enough of that on a daily basis dontcha think? Now one may not think these things, but it’s de facto what’s being done by our actions. We are controlling where God goes, whether to our mouths, to the floor, or in our pockets. We literally can put God where we please. Don’t we do that enough by making him 2nd and 3rd in our lives constantly by sinning? Also, our Catholic Faith, is a gift from God. Because it is a gift, our posture should indeed reflect such a thinking. It’s not something ordinary that we are receiving, but God himself…how about we act like it 🙂

Just saying that as a youth, all I wanted was the Truth, nothing more, nothing less. I didn’t want to be treated as if I was stupid. Why can’t teens handle a regular Mass, or a TLM? I know that if these things had been made known to me earlier, I wouldn’t of left the Church for the time that I did.

Expose our teens to all that the Church offers, the Truth will set them free, the Truth is self attractive. The Truth will always win, when we have the grace to cooperate with it. Give them options, they will stay because of the Truth.


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