Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why Not Visit a Catholic Church for Christmas?


Our culture has basically hijacked the Christian holidays and even some churches have gotten caught up in the melee. In several of the churches I was a part of in my past, often times the Christmas service took on an almost carnival atmosphere with skits, plays, live nativities, original songs and 45 minute sermons complete with large and unusual props on stage. The intent was pure and good but it often felt like entertainment vs worship. I felt bad for the pastors because there was a pressure to come up with a bigger and better service each year.

This Christmas, why not wander into a Catholic Church for midnight Mass to experience something completely different. You may like what you find. After all, the word Christmas is derived from The Mass of Christ. See this post for an explanation.

12 Comments:

Blogger Tim A. Troutman said...

TJ, I lost your email address. Just wanted to check in and see how you've been.

December 16, 2008 5:41 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

I thought I read on here you are from the Diocese of Allentown?

My wife and I are also converts and live in the Diocese of Allentown. If you're ever up near Jim Thorpe, drop us a line.
petefeets at gmail dot com

December 16, 2008 8:59 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

postmaster@russrentler.com

December 16, 2008 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Potamiaena said...

Tiber, how can we talk about Christmas, giving presents, love, joy, etc and not mention WHO STARTED IT ALL!!
Our society is so off. Sometimes I just want to put my head in the sand and go away. It is very discouraging.
Never is the Creator, the Giver, the Provider mentioned. We admire the gift but have no recognition for the One who gave it.

December 16, 2008 9:54 PM  
Blogger George Weis said...

First off, I love that photo! Looks similar to St. Joseph's Here in Lancaster!

Second... very interesting... always thought there was that connection, but I never dug into it.

Thanks Russ! I won't be visiting a midnight Mass, but I will be aiding the inlaws in attending theirs!

-g-

December 17, 2008 7:39 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

It can still feel that way, even during a Mass!! For years on Christmas Eve at my parish the children did a Nativity play instead of the Gospel until our new pastor put a stop to it. Now they perform before Mass and the Gospel is read the way it should be. What's sad, though, is that many of the parents take their kids home after the play and don't stay for Mass, because if they're just there to see their children perform, Mass has no point. Ugh.

December 17, 2008 11:41 AM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

I remember as an Evangelical, "sneaking" off to Midnight Mass a few times over the 26 years we were away. It felt so much more "reverent" and so much more "holy." I do think there was a "tugging" way down deep in my heart, too, that I probably quickly hushed once outside the doors. I'm not putting anyone or any services down, but Mass is what it is, Heaven kissing earth! Emmanuel WITH us, in the simple bread and wine, His body and blood. And midnight mass is just so special. To think some evangelical fellowhips don't even have a service on Christmas day anymore, saying it's "family time." Well, that seems to speak "loudly" that some faith communities even consider their worship service more like a "job" or "work" than worship, doesn't it? What would there be better to do with family than to give the Lord an hour on HIS birthday?

December 17, 2008 5:35 PM  
Blogger George Weis said...

Something worries me about all this "feeling" focus. Yeah, a Tridentine Mass or Midnight Mass may evoke the feeling of holiness, but that is emotionalism isn't it? Not that emotions aren't a part of our faith... they are.

I worry not only for this in regard to Catholics, but all Prot denominations as well. Emotions if they lead, can fool us. Candles, mood setting music, beautiful liturgy, lights and so forth... not wrong per se...

Anyway, just thinking about it.

Not meant to jab or anything, just chitty chat :)

I do pray that whatever kind of service any of us are in, that we would truly draw near to the Lord.

-g-

December 17, 2008 9:33 PM  
Blogger George Weis said...

Just noticed that guy wearing a hat looking back at the camera... a little irreverent isn't he?

-g-

December 19, 2008 10:35 PM  
Anonymous byron said...

TJ, it was only today I was able to read your blog. I am a 'cradle Catholic' from the Philippines, and it was so grateful to read these apologetics. It really helped me affirm my faith in Catholicism. The commentaries are so intelligent and insightful. Keep on blogging.

December 23, 2008 4:30 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Byron:
God bless you and thank you so much for the kind comments. If I can bring one person back to the Church or keep one from leaving, then I feel my purpose for blogging has been fulfilled.
God bless your Christmas!

December 23, 2008 6:22 PM  
Blogger Deacon Pat said...

Great blog......

December 19, 2010 12:06 PM  

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