Posts Tagged ‘Church’

I don’t think a lot of people realize that what a huge role church plays in their lives. I’m not talking about THE church as a whole or about the old guys in Rome who seem to know a thing or two about God. I mean the actual structure of a church and the people alive. It drives me crazy when people say “I don’t need a building to worship God. I can worship him quite comfortably at home.” Okay yes, the second part of that statement is true, personal prayer at home with the Lord is so important, but there are some crucial things that a person is missing if they aren’t making a commitment to their church. So I have compiled a list of 4 easy things to do at church (aside from attending mass) in order to make the most of what the Lord has to offer through  your church:

A. Be a family member

It is so tempting to simply rush into mass with your children or your parents then pile back into the car and go home. Catholicism gets a bad rep when people say the church is outdated and full of old people. The church is actually very alive and active, except the people aren’t sticking around long enough after mass to be part of it. Get to know the people in your church. Stay for the donuts after morning mass and get to know that woman who sits behind you with the amazing vocal range. Shake hands with your priest and allow him to remember your name and face so he can pray for you and your intentions.

The Church was built because Christ brought together a group of extraordinary people and allowed his spirit to work through them to build the church we know today. Allow the same Spirit to work through your relationships with the folks in your church too and you could gain some truly amazing and godly companionships.

Their is a reason the priest uses the words “my brothers and sisters….” in the mass.

B. Be a Servant

Get involved in your church because they are always looking for extra helping hands. Individual churches always need help in their Religious Education and Youth Ministry departments because the children of the Church need people who they can look up to and aspire to be like, thus holding onto their faith into their adult lives.

Be a small group leader in the RCIA program, offer your public speaking skills to the church by reading in mass. Have a deep passion for the Eucharist? Hold the body and blood of Christ in your hands and give it to your brothers and sisters to share the great mystery of Communion.

C. Be a Witness

How have you encountered the Lord in your day to day life? One of my favorite things is listening to some one talk about how the Lord as impacted them in their lives and changed it for the better. I love it because I can hear the story and gain hope because if the Lord does that kind of work in that person’s life, what can/will he do in my own life?

Share your testemony and your encounter with Christ with those in your parish. You never know when you will help them find the glimmer of faith that the Lord has not abandoned them in their trials.

D. Be Understood

Show the members of your parish who you are so they can understand your passion and love for Christ and aspire to do the same. Be real with them and don’t pretend. It does not do anyone any good when you sugar coat when you are having a difficult time because your brothers and sisters in your parish can pray for you and for clarity of mind. Remember to remain humble and honest.

It’s okay to admit that you don’t have it all figured out because nobody does, not even the holiest of God’s creation do. Be unafraid to share how you are still working on yourself with God.

 

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One of the things that drives me crazy when talking with someone who isn’t Catholic (or particularly religious) is when they make the claim that the Catholic Church is boring, outdated, and needs to consider rethinking its teaching to appeal to the modern world.  Let me go on a quick little tangent here about why the Catholic church is awesome.

  1. We have a patron saint against oversleeping (Saint Vitus)
  2. There are a lot of us. With over 1.2 billion Catholics world wide, not to mention our buddies the angels and saints, we are not a force to be reckoned with
  3. Our protestant brothers like to say we don’t know The Bible, but guess who put The Bible together?
  4. We have awesome Popes. Pope John Paul II used to sneak out of the Vatican to go skiing in the Alps. Who said Catholics can’t have a good time?

That’s just to name a few things. Note that none of that mentions the Eucharist, how awesome Mary is,  or how awesome the Sacraments are. If I go into details on any of those, I’ll be talking all day… However, as a Catholic in a modern world, it is really hard to keep up with the church doctrine. There is over 2000 years of sacred writings and doctrines and writings from saints. It’s hard for me to find time to pick up my Bible, let alone read everything the church has released about every subject imaginable.

Part of that is also the way society runs now.  We are constantly on the go, go, go.  We can quickly access the things we want to know with a few clicks.  I have access to an unending amount of information and it sits comfortably in my back pocket.  When I want information, I want it now.  It takes a lot of patience to read, reflect, and interpret the documents that come my way. Usually it’s a quick skim of the first page and I’m done with no plans to think about it again.

In my personal, humble, unprofessional opinion, the Church isn’t utilizing a key tool that can be used to bring those who have lost the faith, back into church on Sundays. The tool that can be used to allow the voices of liturgical geniuses like St. Paul, St, Augustine, and St. Francis to be heard world wide, to make them go “viral”.

Obviously the church is trying. There is this adorable picture of Papa Benny trying to understand twitter:

Taken from abcnews.com

Taken from abcnews.com

Or this adorable picture of Papa Franny taking selfies with some excited Catholic youth:

theverge.com

theverge.com

We have our foot in the door when it comes to seriously using the media in a positive way to help us, we just have yet to bust down the door with our awesomeness.  Some people do have it figured out.  They’ve been able to use the media and modern technology.   For instance, Cardinal Sean O’Malley runs a very popular blog which attempts to appeal to the younger members of the Catholic Church or Jennifer Fulwiler, a woman who grew up a hard-core atheist, but became Catholic and recorded all of it in an inspirational blog about her journey.

The New Media is our new link to the Sacred Tradition. With the new media, we don’t need to spend hours translating the Saint’s words and writings, we don’t have to carry a 100lbs copy of St. Faustina’s diary when we can easily access it on our E-Readers, we don’t have to be helplessly confused about St. Augustine’s Confessions when we can get help from bloggers who have made it a mission to read and understand the texts with just a few clicks.

Jesus Christ promised to make his apostles “fisher’s of men” (Matthew 4:19) following his death, resurrection, and ascension. They went out and preached, some dying for the cause. Their words were heard around the world. The faith spread like wild fire. The new media is a bigger, stronger, thicker net and it will keep their lives and their words alive.  If used right, the media could be the key to giving the church its rightful place in human heart.

And remember

Taken from catholicmemes.con

Taken from catholicmemes.con

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