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.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"The Mass is So Boring"

When I left the Church in 1973, I was immediately impressed with the spontaneity and excitement that was found in the independent charismatic church I started to attend. The prayers were spontaneous, the singing was often spontaneous and the pastor with no formal education was even more spontaneous! Having never experienced this before, it was a delight to my senses and being newly converted I was told this was "normative Christianity." Meaning; this is how the church normally operated.
Fast forward 25 years. At this point my senses were more than overstimulated and perhaps my middle age was showing but I began to dread the spontaneity of the services. Would the worship time go for 30 minutes , or an hour or two? Would the sermon be cancelled because of the Spirit was directing us to have an altar call? Would the service come to a grinding halt when an individual felt led to give a prophecy? Or would the worship leader feeling we weren't "quite "breaking through yet" signal for the musicians to put down their instruments and stop the music? All of these things were certainly done with the attitude of allowing God to be in control and I was always impressed with the humility of my pastor putting away his sermon in order to allow the service to proceed in another direction.... But..., was this "normative Christianity?"

For the past two years, my study of the early church presented through the writings of the Early Church Fathers and other historical documents has led me to a different conclusion. I blogged on this before so I won't go into the details, but normative Christian worship has always been centered on the Liturgy of the Mass with the Eucharist being the focal point. Now that I am Catholic and have experienced yet another conversion, I can see the Mass as anything but boring .

In America where LCD projectors, audiophile-quality sound sytems, professional dance and drama presentations rule the day on Sunday mornings, a liturgical based worship could "look" boring. Once I realized what the liturgy meant and knowing that the priest uses some of the same prayers used in the 1st century church, I get chills! At the point of consecration, heaven opens and all the angels on earth and in heaven adore the Holy One! Then, I have the privilege of participating in this grand feast and receiving Christ physically in the Eucharist.

No, I'm not bored anymore.

An excellent book that can help us to see and understand the beauty of the Mass is Thomas Howard's "If your Mind Wanders At Mass." (Thomas Howard is Elizabeth Elliot's brother and a renowned scholar and convert)


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