The Mass as a tool for evangelization?


#1

I am surprised to see how people think that the mass can be used as a tool for evangelization. If it is, then it is the worst tool yet devised by Rome.

I was a slave in the Roman church. “Baptized” (if you can call it that) as a infant, I didn’t know what I was getting into, and attended for years without so much of a WORD that Jesus was my savior and I could enter into a relationship with him.

I would like to keep the topic focused on the mass as a tool for evangelization. Sorry if I digressed, but I cannot stomach the thought of sitting through that litany once again. By leaving the church of Rome I have grown in relationship with Jesus, my savior.


#2

One way to use the mass for evangelization would be in discussion to see -

the use of Scripture in the Mass, not only in the readings but as the basis for the prayers and pretty much everything else

the way the Mass, the different parts of the service, the Eucharist, the role of the ministerial priest, the presence of Jesus in the Mass etc, relates not only to Scripture but to the teachings of the church from the 1st to the 21st centuries, and what they mean to our lives not just as theories but in terms of our relationship with God and with each other

the basic beliefs of the Church in the creed

how we can relate to the conception, birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection, ascension and future coming in glory of our Saviour all of which are referred to in the Mass

the wonderful Sacrament that Jesus left us and how that relates to Scripture, to the teaching of the Church through history and to our own lives today individually and as the communion/family of the Church.

the way the Mass shows the depths of God’s love for us and the depths of his call for our lives

and many other things too - but I’m limited in time to think of them.

The Mass was not devised as a tool for evangelisation so we can expect other things to be better tools for that purpose. However, a study of the mysteries of the Mass superbly illustrates our faith, God’s movement in our lives and in history, and our response to God.

As someone I know says, “you could study the Mass for a lifetime and not get to the end of it”. When I first heard him say that I didn’t believe it and thought it nonsense. But over the last couple of years (it’s only 2 years since I started to attend Mass after 14 years in other churches) I have started to understand the truth of what he says.

It is very sad if you never heard as a Catholic about entering into a relationship with Jesus. The whole of Catholic life should be about a relationship with Jesus, loving service to Jesus and about bringing, through our lives, Jesus and indeed the Trinity to the world. (‘bringing’ might not be the best word there, sorry). Indeed, what is the Mass if it does not include a relationship with Jesus in a most intimate way?

It is also very sad if you didn’t hear that Jesus was the Saviour. He is the Saviour, the Way, the Truth, the Life. That’s Catholic teaching. Unfortunately there are Catholic churches around the place where such teaching has been lacking. Hopefully teaching, catechetics will continue to improve as the years progress. On behalf of the Catholic Church I apologise for the lack of teaching you received. It is probably not really my place to do that but I’ll do it anyway!

I too am a slave. I am in good company there. Paul was a slave too, a slave, or bond-servant, to Christ. But I am also free because Christ has set me free.

Anyway, my God bless you Only Scripture on your journey into Christ. That’s an interesting name you’ve chosen for yourself. What exactly do you mean by it, and can you justify what you mean using only Scripture to do so?


#3

It is the duty of Catholic parents to evangelize their children. If you were never evangelized at home, blame your parents not the Catholic Church.

The Mass is not designed as an evangelization tool per se; the Mass is the public worship of those who have already been initiated into mysteries of the Christian faith, spiritual men. To the natural man the Mass may appear absurdity but to the spiritual man the Mass, from beginning to end, screams, JESUS CHRIST IS LORD! (Romans 2:13-15).

For instance, each Mass begins with the sign of the Cross, the seal of the living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Revelation 7:2-3) Each Catholic marks himself with the sign of the Cross, the Cross of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who, by dying on the Cross, redeemed the Catholic from his sins that he might walk in newness of life as an adopted child of God and in those good works which his Lord has prepared for him. Touching his forehead (mind), the Catholic is reminded that his new purpose in life is to know his Lord Jesus Christ; touching his breast (heart), to love his Lord Jesus Christ; and, touching his shoulders, to serve his Lord Jesus Christ and bear his Lord’s easy yoke. One could write a book just on the sign of the Cross and in fact someone already has. here.


#4

Nope. Not a tool. It is worship “in spirit and in truth”.

“Baptized” (if you can call it that) as a infant,

Indeed, that is what it is called.

I didn’t know what I was getting into, and attended for years without so much of a WORD that Jesus was my savior and I could enter into a relationship with him.

Then you were not paying attention. One from among many similar prayers:
Father, calling to mind the death your Son endured for our salvation, his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven, and ready to greet him when he comes again, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.

I would like to keep the topic focused on the mass as a tool for evangelization. Sorry if I digressed, but I cannot stomach the thought of sitting through that litany once again. By leaving the church of Rome I have grown in relationship with Jesus, my savior.

If you want to keep the topic focused, it might help your purpose to refrain from coming into our living room and repeatedly spitting at us. Just a thought.


#5

At what age did you leave the Church?


#6

I am surprised that someone who calls himself/herself Scripture Only fails to see all of the Scripture in the Mass itself.

I am a New Yorker who lived in Texas for 11 years, now in S Carolina for a year and a half, and at the end of this month moving to Florida. In NY and in TX the opportunities abounded for continuing adult education at the Parish level. In SC, not one. I only pray that Fl. is better. So I can understand, in a way, that SA may not have had any opportunity to experience outside of the Mass the Teachings of the Church in a “communal” way.

But I agree, with the above poster: show better manners or we will see the tree by its fruit.


#7

It is interesting that you used the word slave. a slave is someone that is under the power of another person or thing.
If you study the history of the Church at Rome you will learn that it is all about power.
If they can get you to believe the Catholic Chruch is the only true chruch of Jesus Christ, that the Catholic Church gave us the Bible, that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church and you are not save if you do not do the Catholic sacraments and that a only small group of church appointed men can interpret the Bible then you are indeed a slave with no freedom to think or act for yourself. You have given your mind and will to the power of the church at Rome

Proudly forever Baptist
allischamers


#8

allischamers,

it seems to me that you are proud to call Christ a liar and the Holy Spirit ineffective.

See Matthew 16.


#9

You are so right, Allis! The Catholic Church IS all about power: The power of Christ to save, the power of the Holy Spriit to sanctify, the power of the living Word of God to to convert and heal sinners and to bring about the Kingdom of the Father.


#10

Sure allis, because heaven knows non-Catholics thinking and acting for themselves have done so much better a job of interpreting and living both the spirit and the letter of Christ’s message. :rolleyes:

Those who adhere to the successor of Peter realise, rightly, that left to our own individual devices we produce only chaos and confusion and certainly not the Kingdom of God and the orderly spread of the Gospel.


#11

Interesting… I studied the Catholic Church while still an evangelical - that is, with no influence whatsoever from the official hierarchy of the Catholic Church. I came to the conclusion that it is what it claims to be, and converted - again, under no pressure or influence. How did they use their ‘power’ on me when I wasn’t even subject to their authority?

[quote=allischalmers]If they can get you to believe the Catholic Chruch is the only true chruch of Jesus Christ, that the Catholic Church gave us the Bible, that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church and you are not save if you do not do the Catholic sacraments and that a only small group of church appointed men can interpret the Bible then you are indeed a slave with no freedom to think or act for yourself. You have given your mind and will to the power of the church at Rome
[/quote]

Are you quite finished with your rant? Allis, you’ve been here quite long enough to have gotten over these misconceptions.

  1. Yes, the Catholic Church is the Church established by Christ himself. Note that in Matthew 16:18 it says, “upon this rock I will build my church.” (see also John 10:16, Eph. 1:22-23, Col. 1:18,24, Eph. 2:15-16, Eph. 4:4). Not churches, with a multitude of contradictory doctrines, or churches in which doctrines don’t matter (they do - see 1 Timothy 4:1, 1 Timothy 1:3, Eph. 4:14, Titus 1:9). Not an invisible unity of true believers (how can you see an invisible “city on a hill” or “light of the world”? (Mt. 5:14)? How can an invisible church settle disputes (Mt. 18:15-17)?
  2. The Catholic Church DID give us the Bible. If it didn’t, then please explain who convened those 4th century councils in which the canon of scripture was settled (and, as an aside, I’d like to ask you to justify your church’s removal of 7 Old Testament books - that is, by what authority has your church butchered the written word of God?)
  3. Try to understand the teaching of “no salvation outside the Church” before you criticize it. For reference, here are the relevant passages from the Catechism:

**“Outside the Church there is no salvation” **
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

Note that it doesn’t sasy those who are outside the visible bonds of the Catholic Church are automatically doomed to hell. But I’m guessing you knew that already, and just decided to use it as a cudgel against the Church anyways.4) Show me an official magisterial teaching that says you’re not saved without the Catholic sacraments.

I thought for myself, and left the utterly contradictory confines of the evangelical movement. Talk about power - they insisted that drinking alcohol, for example, was sinful for Christians, in clear violation of the scriptures they supposedly interpret literally. Tell me how that’s not abuse of power toward a particular agenda.


#12

What in the world is this supposed to mean? Either you were baptized, or you weren’t.

I’m quite frustrated with the superior attitude held by the ‘believer’s baptism’ crowd, that totally disregards the sacrament if it was given to an individual as an infant. It is particularly interesting in light of the fact that the majority of such folks do so while considering their own baptisms as symbolic (and further interesting that they place such an emphasis on this baptism, while claiming that it actually does nothing for you, which is strange - why would the Lord insist that we do something that has absolutely no effect?)


#13

The Mass is not a litany. It may have elements of litanies, and may even use a litany in the Mass, but the Mass is not a litany in itself.


#14

First, if you hold our most holy faith in such contempt, why are you here?

I could assert that I am surprised to see how people think that n-C services can be used as a tool for evangelization yet it certainly is the case.

Apparently, you had an miserably poor knowledge of the Catholic faith. There are two parts to the Mass. The liturgy of the Word, where the Word of God is read and proclaimed and then the liturgy of the Eucharist where we witness and share in the (very scriptural) miracle of communion. So how is the proclamation of the Word of God (as well as a homily based upon it), and the witness of a scripturally promised miracle not a good tool for the winning of souls?

I was a slave in the Roman church. “Baptized” (if you can call it that) as a infant, I didn’t know what I was getting into, and attended for years without so much of a WORD that Jesus was my savior and I could enter into a relationship with him.

This is just anti-Catholic rhetoric.

  1. There are no slaves to the Catholic Church. There are any number of slaves to Our Lord Jesus Christ who are Catholics.

  2. Infant baptism is not only scriptural, (Whole households includes infants and it is compared to circumcision, another infant entrance into the community of faith that was in fact, commanded by God Himself!) but it was common practice in the early church, ( which you would know if you bothered to read what the ECF wrote, like the Martyrdom of Polycarp where the following is said, "Then, the proconsul urging him, and saying, “Swear, and I will set thee at liberty, reproach Christ;” Polycarp declared, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?” Polycarp was 86 years old when that happened, which means he was infant baptized, and it’s entirely possible that he was baptized by St. John the apostle himself. :smiley: )

  3. You must not have paid much attention at Mass, because I hear a great many messages that call me to an ever deepening faith and relationship with God.

I would like to keep the topic focused on the mass as a tool for evangelization.

Done;but I doubt you’ll answer.

Sorry if I digressed, but I cannot stomach the thought of sitting through that litany once again.

More perjorative rhetoric…:rolleyes:
We don’t offer a litany. Guys like me offer facts.

By leaving the church of Rome I have grown in relationship with Jesus, my savior.

I don’t know of any “church of Rome”. I’m Catholic, as are most of the other folks here at “Catholic Answers Forums”.

I’m really happy for you that you seem to feel closer to Our Lord, but if you did that via leaving the Catholic faith, I’ll say that you have been misled and decieved. Here’s my story.
Blackie


#15

This is a load of anti-Catholic “equine fertilizer”, (as one of my Catholic buddies calls it.) With all the anti-Catholic lies perpetrated by Baptists I don’t think some of you would know truth if it barked in your face.

If they can get you to believe the Catholic Chruch is the only true chruch of Jesus Christ, that the Catholic Church gave us the Bible, that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church and you are not save if you do not do the Catholic sacraments and that a only small group of church appointed men can interpret the Bible then you are indeed a slave with no freedom to think or act for yourself. You have given your mind and will to the power of the church at Rome

More rhetorical propaganda. You have yet to EVER produce a valid argument here that supports anything that you have just alleged. You offer a great many cheap shots and rhetorical one liners without substance.

If you have something of substance…bring it on. Otherwise take your Allis Chalmers tractor and dump all that equine fertilizer somewhere where it will appropriately do more good by raising crops. But don’t try to feed it to Catholics here, because we know better.

Proudly forever Baptist
allischamers

Proudly never again Baptist,
Blackie


#16

What’s happened to the OP? Has he gone into hiding?


#17

I don’t know how many years you ‘attended’ Mass, you certainly can’t have listened to a single word of any of it if you didn’t at least get the message that we Catholics believe that Jesus is our Saviour?!?

Who on earth DID you think was your Saviour? Martians? Your mother? Your schoolteacher?


#18

Amen! Amen! And Amen again!!!


#19

SO, how exactly do you know which books belong in the New Testament? If the Catholic Church didn’t give you the New Testament then I take it you prayerfully read all 200 (at least) “Gospels” that exploded out of Jerusalem after Jesus’ resurection as well as the thousands of other books the “Roman” church had to consider (including the Didache and the Letter of Clement to the Romans, just to name a couple). And I suppose it was only then that the Holy Spirit led you to pick the exact same 27 books for your New Testament and then you painstakenly translated them from the Greek into your native tongue?

Proudly never, ever again a Southern Freewill Baptist.


#20

You know the drill. He is so free of Catholicism that he was compelled to come back to us and let us know how free he is from us. No doubt, the itch is now scratched for a while until he once again feels the compulsion. It’s almost as if they’re still…not free.


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