QUESTION: hi! I have an important question. I hope you aren't biased with your answer because you are Catholic. For some time now I have felt anxiety when I think of attending mass or reading any Catholic stuff. I don't feel attached to Mary and I don't pray the rosary. I don't believe in their version of the Eucharist..No I do not expect to be entertained which is a common answer I get..but I do want to leave feeling good rather than sad and that Jesus loves me.
I think I like the Protestant faith because I love contemporary music (no I do not want to be entertained..I listen to the WORDS and they speak to my heart..I don't dance around like I'm at a disco) I also find it freeing, the protestant version of grace. "We are saved thru faith, not by our own works" rather than grace being handed out to me when I Follow sacraments.
So what is my problem? I went to Catholic grade school and had religion class every day. We went to mass 6 days a week. As a little girl, I wasn't very popular so I Found mass, lent, stations of the cross to be comforting. I also went to Catholic high school w/ religion class every day. As a rebelious teenager I didn't practice any religion.
A few yrs ago I felt Jesus calling me back to him. I was baptized in the protestant church and since than have went back and forth. My main reason I don't just dump the Catholic church is because of that old Catholic guilt. (mainly coming from my mom as she was always very pushy that I went to church) Somehow my niece was able to convert to Lutheran but I guess her mother isn't as judgemental. Plus I used to let my mom rule my life before she got alzheimers. And then there's the saying by the Dalai Lama "I don't recommend anyone to convert (to Buddhism) because it is very difficult to change ones faith as a child. But if you find comfort in Buddhism, then go ahead."
Someone said "Why don't you just go to mass on saturday and then the protestant church sunday morning"
But the two dogmas are like apples and oranges. Although I'm not there to be like Thomas Aquanas or CS Lewis. I'm just there to praise Jesus.
Sorry this is so long but it has been bothering me for a long time.
First Christ calls all persons to himself, the way He does this is through the witness of His Church and those members that are faithful to His Will.
Second I feel Protestantism many sects are not of His Will; however there may be Christians within their membership.
I am glad you don't be merely entertained at Mass or a Protestant service. Mass is based on the 2000 plus years of the Churches witness through the use of Sacred Scripture and riturals. Protestant sects base their rites upon some of the Catholic witness but more and more its based on the whims of a given sect or a local pastor.
Below is some links to to Catholic liturgical related sites you might find interesting:
Below is a quote from the former pope Benedict, its from a book he wrote before he was pope.
"The Liturgy is not about us, but about God. Forgetting about God is the most imminent danger of our age. As against this, the Liturgy should be setting up a sign of God's presence. Yet what happens if the habit of forgetting about God makes itself at home in the Liturgy itself and if in the Liturgy we are thinking only of ourselves? In any and every liturgical reform, and every liturgical celebration, the primacy of God should be kept in view first and foremost."
If you have any questions, I will try to answer them.
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QUESTION: Thanks for the links. I'll read a bit at a time as it is heavy reading for me.
I do wish the Catholic church would have donuts and coffee before or after mass.
I would like to make friends with the congregation and feel more like a family.
I don't know of any church that does this on a regular basis.
I can't make friends before mass because people are praying and a lot of them unfortunately leave really fast.
Well not all parishes have donuts/coffee before or after Mass, but some do. My current parish has been doing it after Masses for over 30 years; the parish is about 60 years old. Another nearby parish does donuts once a month; I believe it has a pizza night every 3rd Sat, to celebrate community and well new members.
My parish has "welcome to the parish" at least 2 times a year. Yes, its hard to make friends with someone while they are praying or if they leave to quickly after Mass. Perhaps, you can join a parish prayer or study group or become active in a ministry of the parish or even ask to start a new one that related to your interests/tastes?