I will freely admit that I haven’t read this yet. I’m saving it (here is convenient, no?) to read later. It’s a doozy, mind you. Very long. But I know that Hubby and I have been praying for Catholics we know who have fallen away, and the Mass seems to be an obstacle. Somehow, some people seem to think that the Catholic Mass isn’t Biblical or something. I don’t know. Someone questioned if we even use the Bible. Um…if you think that Catholics don’t use Scripture at Mass, you have either never been to Mass or you didn’t pay attention while you were there. We might not each carry a Bible with us, but the Mass is FULL of Scripture!
This post at the blog “Postscripts from the Catholic Spitfire Grill” (a new favorite of mine!) goes into detail in explaining the Biblical roots of the Mass, giving lengthy Scriptural references for the entire thing. I’ll give a bit of a sampling of the beginning of the post (really, the introduction to it), but you should just head over there and read the whole thing. And then poke around the site, because the apologetics there are top-notch.
Jesus in the Catholic Mass…
This is an expanded version of this post here (http://www.sonlight-forums.com/showpost.php?p=187669&postcount=245) at the request of MomtoEli who asked me to fill in where I had “lightened up” and as long as this is (be careful what you ask for), I assure you there is still more, much more, that could be said. As I worked on this, I was constantly…continuously ….overwhelmed at the task of conveying into finite words the infinite that is only glimpsed in the Mass. The more I said, the more I knew could be said and the more I realized that as far as I have come in understanding these Mysteries, I have done nothing more than skim along the surface of impossibly deep richness. I would like to also state categorically that I am not worthy to do this. I am not trained in theology in any way; therefore, any errors in expression or theology should be blamed on me alone and not held against either the Roman Catholic Church that I love, nor my brothers and sisters in the Catholic faith. I hope that my brothers and sisters would not hesitate to correct me in the places where I have said things poorly or even incorrectly and I welcome them to add their own personal observations as well. In this version, I have tried to integrate the scripture references of the Mass taken from Scripture in the Mass and any other place I could get them with my extended remarks on what God says to me in the Mass and what I in return, offer up to Him. On a technical note, I found myself flummoxed with the use of pronouns. The Unity expressed in the Liturgy of the Mass is sometimes difficult to break away from; however, I recognize that not everyone in the congregation is as devout as I suspect Our Lord would like them to be. I tried to use the first person plural where my personal reflections do not substantially reflect some well-known traditional practice and in places where although I join the action of the community, I am particularly involved as an individual such as during the penitential rite. Some of this is rather strongly stated. I understand that may cause distress in my brothers and sisters who do not share my view of the Truth; however, in order to adequately convey what I have found in the worship of the Roman Catholic Church, I cannot shy away from those aspects of it that are less palatable to those who prefer a more symbolic approach to unity, authority, and sacrament.
And from a little later on in the post, there’s this:
Unfortunately, it is a sad fact of the divisions in the Our Lord’s Church that sometimes we must use words other than simply “Christian” to define what we believe. I assure you that my “identity as a Roman Catholic” IS my faith in Jesus Christ. Period. I have said something about a “fullness of faith” in the Roman Catholic Church that is not present in any Protestant denomination that I have been a part of. I want to state for the record that I did not leave my Evangelical Roots because I was unhappy there. In fact, I left my Evangelical roots loudly protesting to the Lord that I was very happy where I was thank you very much and did He really think this was necessary. In fact, there was a time in my life when I would have said to me, exactly the same things you have said. I also said that I was pretty sure that you couldn’t be Catholic and be saved. Catholics didn’t know Sacred Scripture. They didn’t respect Sacred Scripture. They believed in Saints and Mary not Jesus. Some of them even worshipped Mary. In fact, I have heard very little said about Catholics here on this forum that I did not say myself at one time. What I found in the Roman Catholic Church instead was a deep love and respect for Sacred Scripture. In fact, in the context of the Liturgy which is simultaneously drawn from and serves to explain scripture, I found a fullness of Sacred Scripture that I never had before. I found that far from elevating Sacred Scripture, the doctrine of sola scriptura had the effect of subordinating it to the intellect of the individual. In spite of the fact that I am no longer sola scriptura, the scriptures mean more to me now than ever before and I have the sense of believing it all instead of turning away from the uncomfortable parts. It is ironic to me that I gave the Lord my idols of my intellect and the scriptures and He gave them back to me breathed full of a new life. When I submitted to the authority that He deemed best for His Church and for me his daughter, I found a freedom I never had before. Just as I when I submit to the other authority structures created by God, in my family as a daughter and in my marriage as a wife…life just works better.
And I found Jesus everywhere I looked. Every nook and cranny. In the very air I breathed. The Mass that I had heard was empty of Jesus and nothing more than meaningless words and purposeless gestures from beginning to end, was suffused with Jesus.
I would like to tell you about The Mass because I want to show you in my own paltry pathetic words how I can say that my faith is dependent on Jesus Christ. Period. And how my RC faith supports that and does not detract from it.
Really, I cannot wait to delve deeper into this post. Like I said, half of why I’m posting this is so I can find the post later on and share it with Hubby. You, dear readers, are the other reason. The more Scripture I read, the more I am grateful that I am Catholic!
(Sidenote: If you are looking to get a very good understanding of the Bible, and would like to work your way through things in approximately a year, check out the podcasts for Understanding the Scriptures. Hubby is taking this class at a local parish, and I’m using the podcasts to keep up with him and learn more about the Bible.)