Two Churches

I’ve been rethinking my rejection of the Catholicism I was raised in and wanted to give it another try.  There are a lot of Catholic writers that I respect and Catholicism embraces mysticism as I do.

So, I did attended Mass earlier this week. Did a Confession (so I could receive the Eucharist) and then went to two more Masses this weekend which were very different from each other.

The first was last night (Saturday). It was a local church. The service itself wasn’t too bad (it was very traditional, except for the newer changes) but at the very end, they did something I’ve never seen or heard of before in a Catholic church. The singer and organist led everyone to sing “God Bless America”. The overt nationalism of this turned me off.  It’s not a church I would go back to.

So when I got home from last night’s Mass, I did a Google search for progressive Catholic churches in my area. I found one that was a bit of a drive away but still relatively ‘local’. I went tonight and really enjoyed what I saw.

There were no crucifixes hanging up. No statues. Just an icon on the wall or two of Jesus.  Also, nearly everything but the homily was sung. What I especially liked about this part was that they were joyful songs. Particularly the ending song.

You could tell that the church was built during the late 60s or 70s. It had that  look about it, where it was modern at the time but it ends up looking incredibly dated right now. No matter.

The best part of this Mass was that the homily emphasized the love of Jesus in ALL people, regardless of race, sexual orientation, political party or anything.  It emphasized the struggle of the poor and how when we feed or help the poor, we are doing Christ’s work. We are seeing Jesus in them.

My recent interest in Catholicism has been inspired by the liberal element within the Church, that places an emphasis on compassion and love for all rather than condemning sinners. I love Catholics that work towards social justice like Thomas Merton who protested against the Vietnam War or Catholic Worker co-founder Dorothy Day, or the Berrigan brothers. Liberation theology. That sort of thing.

How wonderful it is to find a Catholic church that focuses on that.  It’s just too bad it’s so far away. I would go back if I lived closer.

I’m still unsure whether or not I’ll return to Catholicism. I’m trying it out. But having a church that emphasizes social justice and is accepting of gay people is a very good start. I’ve been going to UU services regularly for years and while I love the emphasis on politics, I find there’s a lack of worship in UU. Since everyone believes differently and some don’t believe in any God at all.

I still have major issues with Church doctrine. So we’ll see how this goes.

 

~ by sacredblasphemies on 04/22/2012.

2 Responses to “Two Churches”

  1. I think any member of the Church who doesn’t have SOME problem with SOME behavior of the Church isn’t paying attention. We’re imperfect, we’re sinners, and we screw things up. So by definition there are problems. But what do we do about them? Leave in disgust? Stay and try to fix from within? I’m in the second camp, myself. (Well, as much as a convert can be, anyway.)

    Like

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