One of the most common hang-ups against the Catholic Church from an outside perspective is that it is “too ritualistic” or “too rehearsed”. Comments like these lead people to the idea that the Catholic way of worship is completely and utterly man-made. I used to be on the other side of the fence so I do have a bit of perspective to offer on this subject.
First off, it is the understanding of most evangelical Christians that the manner in which we worship should contain a certain degree of spontaneity. Is this spontaneity for its own sake? Not at all, in fact, spontaneity isn’t even the point of evangelical worship, although it is viewed as somewhat necessary. Whether you attend a “service”, a “mass” or the newly-termed “gathering,” the end by which you justify your means rests in the encounter. How might we encounter God? Much of the differences in worship that we find from denomination to denomination depends greatly on a particular group’s interpretation of Scripture. (p.s. Scriptural interpretation is not where we’re going, that’s another blog, or book, altogether…) Believe it or not, the Catholic liturgy is primarily concerned with an authentic encounter with God, as well.
Continue reading “In Defense of the Liturgy: A Catechetical Discussion”
For the better part of the last five years, I have been involved in parish youth ministry and catechetical formation in two parishes, as both a volunteer and as a paid staff member. Anyone who has taken up the mantle of working with teens and adolescents can attest to the fact that this ministry is not for the faint of heart. Many sleepless nights and hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament are how I have coped with the stress that comes with it all. Now, in order to be a catechist training, education, and experience are always a plus but the truth is… catechesis is for everyone! If you’ve labeled yourself as “Catholic” in the “about me” section of your Facebook profile, then you are called to be a catechist. Seriously.
Continue reading “Catechesis: Everyone’s Divine Calling”
Being “on the wrong side of history” is a phrase that finds its way into the media from time to time. When asked why someone would support controversial issues, such as same-sex marriage, abortion, and even the legalization of marijuana, this is a defense to which they often cling. Such a defense has even found its way into the pulpit, the sermon, the homily, and even the Christian blogosphere.
There seems to exist a new breed of Christian in western culture. A politically correct Christian of sorts, who will go so far as to redefine their understanding of the faith in order to avoid being “on the wrong side of history…” Don’t get me wrong, quite the case has been established to support this way of thinking. Extremist groups such as the KKK and more recently, Westboro Baptist Church have both come under the guise of “doing the work of God.” As we learned, both during and after the fact, all Christians supporting these causes were certainly, on the wrong side of history. Add to these two blemishes, the grossly ill-perceived crusades, the sex-abuse scandals, among other things and anyone would seemingly be justified in their opinions towards Christianity.
Continue reading “On the Wrong Side of History.”