The Catholic Experience

This past Saturday was my first experience with a Roman Catholic mass. It was a different experience, but it was an insightful experience. I want to preface this post by saying that I realize that it is almost impossible to lump all congregations of a certain denomination into one little mold from one experience at one place. If it could be done, the Roman Catholic church would probably be the one that could because of the strict liturgy, but that's another thought for another time.

Here are some of my observations from my first mass...

  • Prayer plays a big part.
    One of the first things I thought about as I left the service was the amount of time spent in prayer. Of the hour-long service, I would say that half of it was spent in prayer either corporately or individually. This made me ask why don't we as Protestants spend more time on prayer in our services?

  • The stoic mood was strangely refreshing.
    At first, it was strange not seeing screens with words to songs or showing points to the sermon. As it went along, I found myself drawn not to the theatrics but simply meditation on the Word and spending time in prayer to God.

  • Though I disagreed with some points, I was introduced to some brothers and sisters in Christ.
    Sadly, the Church has a reputation of hating each other if you're not in the same denomination. Where did we come to think that just because we don't agree 100% then we aren't family? I know that my earthly family does not see eye to eye on everything, but we're still family. I know that there are still some issues that I will not agree on with my Catholic brothers and sisters, but just because they attend a mass instead of a Baptist church does not mean that we aren't family.

  • I walked away from this experience with a greater appreciation for prayer, my brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic church, and the work of the Holy Spirit in our world today. I would encourage every follower of Jesus Christ to not get stuck in a rut but to see how our awesome God is moving in the lives of His children throughout the world... even if they see things a little different than we do.


    Mark Dobson said...


    I found your blog through writing my own blog entry with Zemanta.

    You made me chuckle a bit with your comment about the strict liturgy (because plenty of Catholics I know feel that priests are much too liturgically lax), but I'm really glad you came away from the mass with a positive attitude.

    G.K. Chesterton once said that Catholics agree about everything; it is only everything _else_ they disagree about.

    I'm a convert myself; I remember being struck by how much scripture there is in the mass. A Christian friend of mine who came to the Easter Vigil (that's the most full-on mass of the year btw, I'd highly recommend it) at my church one year was quite overwhelmed by it.

    Anyway, nice to find your blog.