Disco or Church

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A recent post on fb shows a church presumably in Latin America with couples singing praise music whole dancing with their partners. The headings asks, “discotheque or church?”.

The story is written and commented on primarily by conservative minded and Bible-Christians that are opposed to excesses in their communities.

Philosophical question; what about your church makes it intrinsically ‘sacred’ other than any other place?

I am formerly a Protestant pastor, I always wanted people to show reverence to church and specifically to the altar and platform area…

But we had no literal altar. Moreover, there was nothing that made the church building more sacred than any other space. What we did there, we could do anywhere; we pray at home, at stores on the street, I listen to and sing praise music in the car, at home and at work. I fellowship with other believers in Homes and in restaurants.

So what makes the Protestant Church more sacred than any other place?

Absolutely nothing.

It’s our “Holy Memory” that we remember when our ancestors had truly sacred spaces in church, when Jesus was truly present on the altar, in communion.

Our catholic ancestors converted from paganism and believed Jesus was truly present under the appearance of bread and wine on the altar and was truly bread from Heaven.

If God is is everywhere,but Jesus is physically present under the appearance of bread and wine in every Tabernacle in every Catholic Church In the world, then we have a reason to be reverent, respectfull and prayerful in the Presence of Our Precious Savior.

Now as a Catholic I recognize that when the priest says the words of consecration, just like St Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians, that what looks like bread and wine, truly and substantially becomes the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord and Savior, and is Our Bread from Heaven.

Let us be pious in the Presence of Our great God and Savior and give the honor due Him.

King Edmund Kept The Faith Unto Death

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St. King Edmund, Pray for us.

In 869, the Great Heathen Army advanced on East Anglia (England).
By tradition he met his death after he refused the Viking’s demand that he renounce Christ: the Vikings beat him, he still refused to renounce Christ.
They shot him with arrows, yet this great King still refused to renounce His Lord Jesus Christ.

When the heathen Vikings saw that Edmund would not waiver in his profession, they beheaded him on the orders of Ivar the Boneless and his brother Ubba.

According to one legend, his head was then thrown into the forest, but was found safe by searchers after following the cries of an ethereal wolf that was calling, in Latin, “Hic, Hic, Hic” – “Here, Here, Here”.

Let us pray for such devotion and steadfastness in our days of temptation and darkness. May Our Lord give us strength to hold our profession of faith.

When Everything Just Makes Sense

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All reverently bow and make the sign of the Cross as the Procession passes them. Young men solemnly carry the repidia and the Cross with honor. The Priest prays and the faithful respond in prayer with one voice. There are prayers, responses, songs, form, tradition, a sacrifice, and more! What is happening here? In a word: Worship! Everything makes sense in this place. Movements are ordered, worship is directed toward Divinity, the Trinity. The entire movement of the service is toward God’s Holiness. This is my refuge, my heaven on earth, where the Eucharist is. The ordered worship in this place is a refuge from the craziness of our modern world.

There is something wrong, something disjointed in our society. Things seem to make less sense as we excuse it all in the name of progress and modernism. Families are torn apart and marriage is now an undefined word.  In our modern world we have been witnesses to many rapid changes: the downfall of the Christian Faith in the West, and its wholesale martyrdom in the East. The rapid destruction, demolition and redefining of sacred institutions such as marriage and family has destabilized society in ways too numerous to count.

Even history is changing! Our children are being taught to revisit historical narratives and reinterpret them with a constant criticism. We seem to be either erasing history or fostering a hatred of it. In this climate of rejecting all that is institutional and traditional, many have even turned to researching their ancestral roots as a way of giving context to their existence. The use of ancestry type websites is nearly that of pornography sites.

As many look for ways to contextualize and give purpose and historicity to their existence, many protestant groups are attempting to bring in Jewish customs, and others are revisiting traditions of the past such as liturgical hymns, but there are many choosing to go all the way, all the way to the religion that once transformed our pagan ancestors into Christians. This was the faith of our fathers; the Christian Faith as taught by the Catholic Church historically.

A Catholic is Sacramental and Liturgical. A sacrament is a mystery, something not fully able to be understand but at the same time, it is revealing.

 

So being a Sacramental Christian doesn’t mean you understand fully a sacrament or a mystery about Our Lord, but indeed that you recognize and believe with faith, without being able to fully fathom.

Sacramental theology lifts us up out of the silly conservative – liberal battle, up to a level of searching for Christ in the mysteries (Sacraments) of the Church.

The first time I had the courage to attend a catholic service; I was completely floored. As one who has spent my life in various forms of protestant church, I saw in the catholic service a devotion and piety toward our Lord I had never seen. I saw in action many things I read about in the Bible my whole life. But most of all, I saw the Sacrificial Pascual Lamb in the Bread of Life, given to the faithful every mass.

And there were questions, among them, how to contextualize my entire Protestant Christian life…At a point though, my desire to receive Sacraments eclipsed all my questions and I knew it would require great change.

To return to the Faith of our fathers would require that I count the cost and be willing to leave it all behind, as I had preached so often, so that I might gain Christ in a measure I never had before.

So many modern movements are built on branding and personality, but I was ready to belong in the body of Christ in a Sacramental way. I was ready for a profoundly heavenly experience in which the Sacrifice of the Cross is clearly portrayed as St. Paul wrote in Galatians 3:1b, “Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.”

And in this, the faith of our fathers, I advocate for all christians of good conscience to come home, especially in these trying times we now live in. Come to where it all began, the apostolic tradition!

And as we see societal norms slipping away, let us look to that faith that once brought our ancestors out of the dark ages, the faith as taught by the apostles, the faith that proclaims every Sunday the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord!