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, January 02, 2018

True Worship vs Emotions

I just read an article by an evangelical Protestant convert to Catholicism . It reminded me so much of my own experiences that I wrote this in their com-box;

Great article! I identify with this so much! I was born Catholic but left the Church at 14 years of age and joined evangelical charismatic Protestant Christianity. I found Jesus personally which was good, but promptly lost His Church which was not good. I was a musician in the worship bands and bible studies and revival meetings for 31 years. The last charismatic church I was a member of put such a premium value on how we “looked and felt” as we worshipped that it pushed me to a calmer evangelical Methodist church for a few years till I was called to come Home. I used to have members of the community tap me on the shoulder and ask “Are you ok brother?” “Why aren’t you feeling His love” etc etc many times. I used to be prophesied over and called out because I wasn’t raising my arms and dancing around. Even despite my lack of emotion, I loved God and never doubted his presence with me despite not “feeling it.” However, in these type of Christian communities, the barometer of your relationship with God was entirely based on your feelings and emotive behavior expressed during a “worship" service.  I always knew something was wrong with this but unfortunately was so brain washed against Catholicism and liturgy that I wouldn't consider that maybe the Church was right and I was wrong! 
Catholic worship is beautiful and true, whether you “feel” it or not. Some of the greatest saints who ever lived never had the consolations of emotion that others did, but they persisted to trust and obey and become examples of great faith for the rest of us. Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta is my hero for this! 
I have been Catholic now for almost 14 years and not once in 14 years of Sunday (and almost daily Mass) have I heard someone say: "Russ isn’t worshipping today or is struggling etc.” Why? Catholics know it is judging to assess someone else’s spiritual life and won’t do it. We know that our relationship with God is not based on how we feel or look. Most importantly our worship is based on receiving the actual body and blood of our God, infusing our soul with His divinity, healing us, cleansing us, empowering us etc. This happens at every Mass, and is the closest I will ever get to God on this side of eternity, regardless of how I feel or look. Ironically, I have cried more tears of joy during the consecration and reception of the Eucharist than in 31 years of altar calls, jumping up and down, falling on the floor etc etc.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know about "This Catholic Family." Thank you for sharing the article. It is a very good article, with a lot of great comments including yours. Julie

January 06, 2018 1:04 PM  
Blogger Lorelei said...

I love this comment so much! Thank you for your beautiful reflections on our This Catholic Family post. I can so relate to what you said- actually towards the end of my time in Protestantism, I began avoiding things I was invited to, such as prophecy nights and what not. It almost repelled me at that point, how hyper emotional and dramatic everything was. And, as I well knew, it is far too easy to pretend.

Also- side note, she was Blessed Mother Teresa at the time, but she was my confirmation Saint :).



January 12, 2018 11:43 AM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Thanks Lorelei!
True worship as the apostles and early Christians showed us had little to no resemblance to what we were told is " normative " Christian worship. My heart goes out to all the folks who still attend those churches but can't put their finger on why it doesn't seem right. Instead of thinking they are sinning, away from the Lord, etc, they could be feasting on the True body blood soul and divinity of God himself. And no one judging them because of how they " appear" in worship!

January 12, 2018 12:16 PM  

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