There are always reasons why people lapse as Catholics.
Their husband leaves them and they find another man, or they turn gay, or they find a significant other who isn’t Catholic and they convince them to stop going to Church. There is always a reason.
It takes courage to ask the question, well what went wrong? because it is the kind of question Jesus would ask I think. Its incisive, it gets the person its asked to think about the events that got the better of them and confront the fact that whatever it was, and often it wasn’t 100% their fault, it probably wasn’t worth leaving the sacraments for.
Just one question can set someone on the path back to Jesus, God is bigger than the reasons why we disobey him, but God is also interested in the minutia of our day to day lives.
Often we blow our problems out of proportion just so we can distance ourselves from His love, because God’s love can sometimes highlight some of the bad choices we’ve made, or the pain we have suffered. People can have overly harsh interpretations of ‘the rules’ of religion and feel like they were written especially to ostracise them when more often than not a more loving and attentive interpretation is more in line with the Church’s teaching.
People are relational beings and so is our Trinitarian God. Its important to stay in relationship with lapsed Catholics, let them know that God loves them and that the love of members of the Church for one another is real. Something which can easily get lost in parish life which can sometimes feel a bit like a sacrament factory rather than a community life.
On a more upbeat note, my Mum’s arm doesn’t need to be pinned, praise be to God!