The things I like about Catholicism

It’s easy to focus on distinctives, but the reality is I didn’t come to these forums - specifically a Catholic forum- because I enjoy talking about what I disagree with. I came because there are certain aspects of Catholicism and some forms of Catholic spirituality that I am attracted to and I like to fellowship with like minded Christians.

-The church building as a place for private prayer.
Sometimes I feel the need to go somewhere to pray, not just my own room and house. It helps me cut off distractions. Inevitably protestant churches are always closed and locked when they are not being used for communal gatherings, but some Catholic churches are often open, or they have set times when they are open for private prayer. I really enjoy this, but I do not like to go to the Catholic Church because I am conscious that the protocol is to kneel to the tabernacle and my conscience won’t allow this (though I like to kneel to pray, just not that genuflection when taking my seat). So I long for the reverent quiet of a Catholic church, but find myself unable to go.

-I love the spirituality. When it is Christ-centred I love the fact that people are willing to talk about prayer and piety and spiritual growth. I find it harder to find protestants who like to talk about spirituality and growth in holiness.

There’s plenty I don’t agree with but I guess these are the things that brought me here.

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Thank you for your kind words.

Peace!!!

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We are kneeling to God the Father Son and Holy Spirit Who is in the Tabernacle.

If I go to a non Catholic Church I feel something/one is missing. I just feel like I am not home. NOT meaning that in any way derogatory to my non Catholic brothers and sisters. Praying in a Catholic Church especially when Our Lord is exposed in Adoration is such a peaceful, spirt filled time. I can’t even truly give the right words to give it credit.

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I feel this way too. The church my parents and I attend feels so empty.

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Over the years I’ve realised that this is a distinguishing aspect of Catholicism. Years after we were married my husband (who’d been a lapsed Catholic) said to me that I’m the only person he knows that can talk about God all the time and not be a turn off. It was just how I was raised to relate everything we did to Gods grace and mercy. To know that in every moment of your life you are in the palm of Gods hands is… well I don’t know how I could live without knowing that fact!

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I agree. I love the crucifix particularly as an image. Don’t get me wrong. I am not demeaning the Protestant use of the empty cross. It is a powerful image of the resurrection. “He is not here.” My love for the crucifix with the corpus comes from the idea that it wasn’t the resurrection of Jesus that saves us, it was His suffering and death that saves us. As Pope Benedict XVI write in his “Jesus of Nazareth “ series, the resurrection was the proof that Jesus was who He said he was.

I do not feel in any way that the church has a special feel to it, rather that I love the ability to have a quiet place to meet with God. That is a rarity and a real gift.

I agree wholeheartedly that a Catholic church has a “feel” to it that no other church has, and that can be very easily explained by the Real Presence. Part of it might also be that you are finally in the One True Church, the place that is truly the house of God in all of its fullness.

I would like to add, as well, that one thing I found instantly appealing about Catholicism was not a place, but a concept. Traditional Catholic morality is the same for everybody — there are no exceptions based upon “conscience” and there is no room for “I just don’t believe” this or that. You subordinate your own ideas, preconceptions, wishes, likes, or dislikes, to the teaching Church, and everybody is supposed to be on the same page and get with the same program. It’s like everyone is part of a massive spiritual “army” — a thumbnail definition of the “Church Militant”. There is no concept of “this is right for me” and “that is right for my neighbor but not for me”. There are, to be sure, individual exceptions based on one’s own problems or weaknesses — for instance, an alcoholic shouldn’t tend bar or work in a liquor store, a pedophilia-attracted person shouldn’t work in child care, and a kleptomaniac shouldn’t work retail — but that is due to the person’s abnormal situation, not because there are different rules for different people dependent on what that person “believes”. I found this so refreshing. There is no relativism in traditional Catholicism, and everyone plays by the same set of rules, everyone is equally expected to try their best to follow all of the Church’s teachings, not just the ones they “like” or the ones that don’t cause them any problems. It’s just so fair.

Modern-day “cafeteria” or “conscience” Catholicism, of course, puts all of this through the shredder.

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That’s probably quite personal. Like another poster up thread qualified their post by saying they don’t mean in a derogatory way, I’m going to do the same.

I don’t mean this to be derogatory (since we’re just talking about feelings), but the feeling I get when going to Mass with my wife and kids is one of feeling out of place. Since I’m not Catholic, I don’t belong there.

When we go back to my hometown where we attend my church, or the few times I’ve gone to the non-denominational church where we live now I feel so…so much more comfortable and “at home”.

Really? I find that interesting. I wonder if that’s a location thing.

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I will grant that this is entirely subjective. That is just how intuitive feelings work.

I will also grant that this is because, obviously, I like Catholicism, and I am predisposed to find something good, and holy, and peaceful about it. However, I do have to note that several years ago, I had major issues with the New Mass (Novus Ordo), but I was forced to attend it both for reasons of necessity and of obedience. I experience the same sense of peace and well-being at the OF that I do at the EF. It’s just “something there” and I don’t have words to describe. That is one thing that led me to drop my opposition to the OF. In that this is basically a “conservative Novus Ordo” forum, I have to think that this would matter to the readership.

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That was the same reason that brought me to the church. I needed a physical place to pray and sometimes, there are those times in life, where you really need personal time to spend with God especially when getting over a difficult decision.

Found it to be the same as you, easier to talk to catholics about prayer and spiritual growth. For protestants, easier to talk about biblical knowledge and application of it to the world.

I will think it’s subjective similar to what HomeschoolDad mentioned. Personally, I feel more drawn to the catholic church because of personality (introverted). When I go to a non-denominational church, I felt pressure to socialise and mingle with others, to be accountable to people who I don’t know. In the catholic church, I felt more at peace, attend the church alone and experience the beauty of the unchanging liturgy.

I know many extroverts who found the catholic church to be boring, since they struggle to find a community and certainly prefer the more outgoing vibe in the christian church. So, I came to see it as subjective matter of preference.

Some OF masses are reverent, some are not. The ones in my country, are more reverent than the ones I experience in Australia. Though I am someone that isn’t easily influenced by the irreverent environment, I do feel that I become acculturated to behave in a lax manner over time. So for now, I prefer to go to the Ordinariate Mass in Australia.

Good word. I was trying to pull subjective from my brain in my initial post and just couldn’t find it.

Actually, I’m introverted too. Fellowshiping in a non-denom church doesn’t effect me though, I feel like I’m able to be more social. Being in a Catholic Church however does trigger anxiety from my introvertedness as I feel I’m seen as an outsider who doesn’t belong there.

Honestly, that is one thing that I really miss. My “home” church really is a family.

I agree with all the things expressed here to like about Catholicism.

Particularly, being introverted as well as going through a difficult time in life, I appreciate being free to quietly attend a Catholic Mass (even as a non-Catholic, as long I don’t take communion), without feeling under any pressure to make myself known or to socialise.

Didn’t really like my experience in a non-denom, they were way too intrusive in asking questions of faith. If I don’t agree with them, they will keep prompting me and try to prove me wrong using the bible. The issue is that I don’t believe the bible to be the only source of divine inspiration, so essentially the conversation goes no where. And even though, I do visit non-denom church from time to time, it’s only to meet old friends rather than to develop a deep and genuine faith.

Yeah, the only couple of non-catholic churches, I found myself appreciating in terms of my spiritual growth, were the non-evangelical ones. I was able to walk in to church, without knowing anyone and just be there to worship God. After the service ends, I go back home. I didn’t come to church to socialise, but to worship God. A lot of christians I know over-value the idea of community. Many of those I met, discourage the idea of going to church alone due to lack of accountability. To some extent, I agree but I found myself to be more rooted in a personal faith, with community faith being supplementary. I also found it to be easier to worship God in the Catholic Mass in my church now, so I go to the church.

I appreciated the feeling of reverence at the Catholic Mass I visited, and that the people at the Mass were quiet when they entered the sanctuary.

I found that refreshing compared to what I am used to, which is an ambiance more like a coffee house prior to the service starting.

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I thought the Son alone was in the tabernacle (the Host)?

Where the Father is so is the Son and the Holy Spirit. They always were, are and will be.

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It also has a very strong intellectual foundation which partly makes up the magisterium.

That is an interesting point, I think as a protestant, I was turned off by the intellectual aspect of the magisterium. It came off to me the other way round, blindly following authority without reason, appeared to be anti-intellectual. I delved into personal search for the truth and I realised that the magisterium embedded in deep history and tradition, was a fundamental aspect of faith. Without the magisterium, the best one can correct themselves is through the scope of the current pastor, whose views might change accordingly or the bible, where your views might differ strongly with others.

As much as I hate to admit, the idea of following the magisterium, is something that I didn’t anticipate myself following. It is highly uncomfortable and humiliating, but it was worth it in the end.

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Welcome! The Lord blesses and grants grace to the seeking heart. if you are Christian, where do you go? Local Pastor? OK. Megachurch minister? Also OK. Rather: Go before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament!

Christ Jesus? Priceless.

Just sit in His presence and tell Him of your questions, your likes and dislikes. Then, be as patient with Him as He has been with you.

And when you become aware that He is there, you will be changed.

  • Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R. †
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