Mass Can Be REALLY Boring… Here Is Why You Should Go Anyway

We were walking out of the door for mass last Sunday and I turned off the worship music to which I had been listening. The singers were on key and the words were truly meaningful in a way that reminded me of the Truth in which I have chosen to believe. It was a pleasant experience that put me in the perfect posture for mass. Ready for my amazing interior Sunday hour at church, I walked in with my worship face on. For the next hour, I was completely bored and unaffected. So much for my amazing mass. I walked out annoyed and critical.

Honestly, why is it so hard for parish leaders to understand that good song selections, good preaching and a little bit of enthusiasm can make or break a mass experience. I know that the mass is about the Eucharist but when most of the attendees don’t believe in the Eucharist, it would be nice to see a universal effort to make mass pleasing to the human experience while beautiful to the God we worship.

Is it every parish? Of course not. I have been to regular Sunday masses that have transcended my soul and brought me to tears but they are much rarer than they should be.

So, to all of those who were raised going to mass every Sunday and stopped, I am here to tell you that I get it. Just because I am a missionary doesn’t mean that I don’t see what you see or feel what you feel. Our world is so entertaining. With so much to do and experience, why should you waste your time walking into a sanctuary looks like it was excavated from the seventies and participating in a ritual that you may never have understood in the first place.

Because I love you, and because I love the mass. I would like to invite you back. I make no promises. On the outside, you might have the same experience as usual, but there is more here than meets the eye and that makes all the difference.

Here are four things to think about:

1. The ritual of the mass is the oldest form of Christian worship

In the year 155, St. Justin wrote a letter explaining Christian worship. In his description he states the following:

Christians gathered together on the day of the sun and began their worship by reading the memoirs and writings of the apostles. This was followed by a speech on the readings, prayers offered by the congregation, the kiss of peace, and the celebration communion. The presider prayed over the bread and wine in a prayer of thanksgiving (eucharistian) to which the congregation responded in agreeance (amen). The communion was then distributed.

Sound familiar? When we attend mass, we are worshipping God in the exact same way that Catholics around the world have for 2000 years. The saints of every generation worshipped in this way. When we go to mass, we truly are connected to the body of Christ that has existed in every generation.

2. There is more to the mass than what meets the eyes and ears.

If the mass is worship for God, who is spirit, then there must be spiritual happenings going on and they are more important than our physical experience.

The Church teaches that in the mass, we are literally transported spiritually to heaven during the celebration of the Eucharist. The entire body of Christ, all the saints, all the angels, and all of us on earth are joined together in worship. This means that the spiritual barrier is removed and we are all worshipping God together, as one! THAT’S AWESOME!

Even more, there is a mass happening around the world at every hour of the day which means that at every moment, somewhere In the world humanity is joining the communion of saints in total worship of the God of the universe. My friends, that’s incredible. The mass that can bore so many of us to tears is Literally lifting our spirits off of earth and into heaven.

3. The Eucharist is Real

This could be a whole other post but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Jesus Christ no only died for you but wants to be one with you. Catholicism’s most important teaching is that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. Jesus loves us so much that He literally wants to change us from the inside out and so He becomes one with us body and spirit. This is the fullness of the incarnation and it is available to us whenever we want.

4. If God allows himself to be worshipped in this way, then who are we to say we won’t worship Him in this way?

God Himself who is all perfect, all knowing and all powerful allows Himself to be worshipped by our puny attempts to praise His perfection. Even the most amazing worship service done most perfectly in the entire history of Christendom is not even close to the worship that God deserves and yet He accepts it. If He will accept all of the bad worship services around the world, then who am I to say that I am too good to go and be part of them. It’s prideful and it doesn’t make sense. The mere fact that I am allowed to worship God should have me worshipping Him.

After all, worship is meant to be a gift of myself to the Almighty whose ways are not my ways and whose thoughts are not my thoughts. The Christian God is good enough that He goes even further than that in order to become one with His people. I can not show up at a consumer, even if my annoyances are valid. In the presence of the God of the universe, and all His angels and saints, they shouldn’t even matter.

Inheritance: Why is it so Easy to Walk Away From Catholicism and Why I Care

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I once heard a story of a father who gave his son a graduation gift. The father was wealthy and so the son expected to be wowed as he was completing his life’s greatest milestone thus far. The son however, was horrified when he opened his gift only to see a bible. A bible. Out of everything he could have been given, the father gave the son a bible. Consumed with anger, the son took the book and never spoke to his father again.

Years later, after the hurt and resentment dulled, the son found himself going through his old things. He came across the bible and the painful memory flashed across his mind. He opened it and inside the flap was a check big enough to buy a brand new car.

The father had given the son an extravagant gift and yet the son through it away because he didn’t know it was there. He never received the car. He lived his life not knowing the value of what he had received, the experience of receiving it or the goodness of his father who loved him.

This was almost my story. I was 24 and I walked out of mass in tears. I knew I couldn’t stay Catholic. I had grown up in a Catholic family, went mass every Sunday, prayed rosaries on road trips and attended twelve years of what I would call better than average Catholic schools.  I had spent so much of my life learning the culture of Catholicism without ever learning the deep truth of the gospel. I never learned what it meant to be saved by Jesus Christ. I never learned why my faith was rational.

Can you relate?

My guess is that if you were one of the 70 million American’s raised in a Catholic home, you can relate.

What does it mean to be Catholic anyway?

Sadly, this is the majority of our stories.

Like the son in the story, we often receive the gift of our faith in the form of rules and rituals. We are taught about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as if they are newer forms of old mythology. By the example of previous generations, we learned that faith is for Sunday, not to interfere with the rest of our lives. We are reared into a culture without ever being made aware of its meaning, it’s depth or its fullness.

We perceive that we are receiving a trinket and then our elders wonder why we don’t treat it as a treasure.

Just as I was about to walk away from my faith, I felt a tugging back. Atheism didn’t make rational sense to me but I didn’t know why the church held half of its beliefs. So I started researching. Day after day I found myself in awe and wonder as I found the answers to my questions. I could not believe I had never learned what I was learning. I couldn’t believe that the Catholic church wasn’t just trying to be unpopular but that the reasons behind the rules actually made a ton of sense if only I had the nerve to ask the question.

My friends, the most glorious, most scandalous, most challenging story ever told is the one of God created man, man giving God the finger and then God becoming a human, entering into our world and allowing himself to be killed by us to save us. He proved that perfect goodness could be lived and in doing so he defeated death itself. THAT’S RIGHT, He defeated Death! The most terrifying thing about it is all true.

I was shocked when I realized that there is evidence for the existence God in the form of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as well as the devil and his minions. I learned that there are rational explanations for faith and that the stories of Christianity turning bad men into heroes are endless. But most of all, I was simply amazed to learn that I could see the world through the eyes and the mind of God.

I finally accepted that if God is real, He is the center of everything, He made everything. It isn’t just true for me; it is true. It is unsearchable, infinite; the most precious thing that exists. The trinket that I almost threw away is the most amazing treasure that I could ever find.

This is why I am beginning this journey with Inheritance. We cannot receive an inheritance that we don’t know we have. The main two stories that I hear in ministry go something like this:

1.     I am 75 and I finally know what it means to be a Catholic. I wish I had learned years ago.

2.     I’m catholic, I went to a catholic school and I am no longer practicing

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are answers to our questions. We don’t have to wait until we have lived our whole lives to find Jesus and His Church. We don’t have to find the gospel elsewhere. It is here, it has always been here.

St Paul says, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.”

My hope for this site is to tell the story of our faith in a way that illuminates this glorious inheritance. I am hoping to do Jesus a little bit of justice by telling His story in the way that He deserves.

Please walk with me and I continue to discover and rediscover these unsearchable riches. I hope they change your life the way they have changed mine.

It’s Time To Accept that Your Worth is NOT in Your Usefulness

I was in week 10 of my pregnancy and I was wondering if I would ever accomplish something of value again. Only five months earlier, I had hit a stride in which I was accomplishing all that I needed to while being able to care for my one-year-old. Writing was easy; working was easy; exercise was easy; mothering was easy. Oh how things change so fast. I admit that I am a total wuss when it comes to physical ailments but the first trimesters of my pregnancy render me exhausted and able to accomplish only the very essentials.

It was when I started to tell myself that I would never accomplish anything again, that I decided to do some blog reading.

Mistake!

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Why You Aren't As Free As You Think You Are

Something Else Will Master Your Life

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