Jun 18, 2015

I Don't Get Anything Out of It

When I was a teen, I went to Mass because my parents made us go. I didn't get anything out of it. I punched my time clock, and fulfilled my duty.

My catechesis was sorely lacking. Between the post Vatican 2 church buildings that looked more like a PTA meeting than a place of worship, and the wahoo what's happening guitar music, and sorry excuses for priests (one comes to mind who swore like a sailor, and wanted to be our friend - no thanks!) I didn't really learn until adulthood what the Mass *was.*

I met RCIA candidates who knew my faith better than I did. How embarrassing. So I decided I'd better learn more.

The first thing I needed to know is that you're not supposed to get anything out of Mass. You're not there to get, you're there to give. Mary, at the foot of the cross, was not there to get something out of it. The sacrifice that Jesus made by His death is present in our hearts and minds at Mass, if you're paying attention, not counting the minutes til you leave. What do you give? How about humble thanks? The body and blood, soul and Divinity is present in the Eucharist. What I "get out of it" is the opportunity to partake in this sacrament.

Another important thing I learned (why didn't they teach us this in Catholic school, for Heaven's sake?) is that Jesus started the Catholic Church. We count our leadership (Apostolic succession) back to the Apostle Peter. For 15 centuries, if you were Christian, you were Catholic. We are the Church. Martin Luther, a disgruntled Catholic priest, started a split that has resulted in over 30,000 Protestant denominations today. They have part of the truth, some of them. The Church is still the Church. It hasn't changed. It doesn't need to.

Don't come for the building. Don't come for the music. Don't come for the priest or the people.

Don't come for the "whee!" Come for the "wow." Come to give thanks, to repent, to worship the one who paid the price so that we could spend eternity  in Heaven. What you hope to get out of it is an eternal destiny.

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