Biggest thing I think that keeps folks away from and scared of the Church is we don't like authority.
That 'relationship in stead of religion' mantra so many regurgitate rotely really means I will not be told what to do.
I interpret for myself (and, so much more, for others it appears);
I decide which scripture passages I will quote out of context for the particular situation I am in right now;
I will worship (or not) how I want to;
and I will never ever be open to listening to why 2000 years of blood and heresy, conversions and forgiveness, mercy and grace, and loving unconditionally like Christ mean anything at all.
The bottom line as I see it (and you know I am a bottom line guy), is the subject of authority.
So many protestors use the Bible as their authority - or rather, THEIR interpretation OF the Bible!
Hence the thousands of protesting sects. And that's what Christ prayed for, right? Thousands of sects all protesting in their own, 'relationship instead of religion' way.
Really sick of the absurd comments from family and friends - all based on what they've heard; NONE ever based on first-hand experience, by reading the Catechism, or attending the Mass.
Father, I give You my angst and defensiveness toward
idiocy and fear.
Please, in Your mercy, give me the grace
to give the reason for my hope,
but only in love,
and only after prayer.