Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Going to Church on Sunday: A Question for Return to Rome Readers

Consider this post a blogosphere instantiation of Evangelicals and Catholics Together.

Over at his blog, Chris-tocentric.com, my friend Chris Castaldo writes this:
Theologians sometimes use the word “homoliturgicus” to describe the innate desire of humans to worship (why exactly we are drawn to such nomenclature is a subject for another post). Of the various ways in which this desire finds expression, “going to church on Sunday” is undoubtedly one of them. We are left wondering, however, what is it about the experience of corporate worship that draws us into the pew each week?

I am curious to know whether a Protestant perspective on this question differs significantly from a Catholic one. So, I’ve asked my friend, Frank Beckwith, if he would pose the following to Catholic readers of his blog while, at the same time, I ask you. Here it is.

How would you complete the following sentence? I enjoy going to church on Sunday because ____________________.
So, the question has been posed. Catholic readers, answer accordingly!


Joseph Polizzotto said...

FAs a Catholic, I enjoy going to church on Sunday for three principal reasons: 1) I can receive Christ's body, soul, and divinity 2) I can learn to pray as holy church prays and 3) I can meditate on the scriptures through the church's spirit-inspired guidance and wisdom.

John said...

As a Protestant I go to meet with the gathered church for these reasons: (1) To receive the Word of God faithfully proclaimed so as to once again hear the announcement of the good news of the kingdom; (2) To receive the body and blood of Christ in the sacrament in which Christ is mystically present; (3) To sing to God, and to my fellow believers, so as to declare his praises with my whole heart in the company of the saints; (4) To encourage fellow believers in the grace of God through Spirit-given and directed relational (human) contact; and, (5) To give myself again, in body and soul, to the One who has given himself to me in the gospel of his grace. This public offering involves my time, my talent and my treasure.

Public worship, in effect, allows me to once again remember the covenant and to encourage my brothers and sisters as the people of God. This means worship has a God-ward focus and a human focus. A false dichotomy here is neither incarnational nor helpful.

Ruth Ann Pilney said...

I enjoy going to church on Sunday because I want to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. I am Catholic

Athos said...

... the longer I fight cancer the more I realize the extraordinary privilege of (a) spending time in the Real Presence of Our Lord in Adoration before Mass begins (I take and pray from the Handbook of Indulgences as well as for my family members); (b) I receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord as he proscribes in John 6; and (c) I witness the astonishing unity of nationalities, races, and ethnic groups all one before the lamb slain since the foundation of the world in the Catholic Church here in northern Virginia. Passing the Peace is grand.

Finally, I blessed to see the truth of offering up our mortal woes, fears, and the spot of bother that cancer happens to be. Cheers

Gina M. Danaher said...

As an Evangelical, raised Catholic, I go to church faithfully because I desire to worship God in communion with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I also thirst for the expository teaching delivered by my very able and pastor without fail. I have to say, I really love and depend on the teaching.

kkollwitz said...

I go to Mass every Sunday to be connected to the Heavenly Liturgy. I always think of the Mass as a wormhole connecting Heaven and Earth, and through that wormhole Jesus physically comes to us.

DU said...

The reason I went to church as a protestant is the same reason I go as a Catholic: obedience. However, the stakes are higher now. I wouldn't miss Sunday Mass unless it was humanly impossible to attend.

Salvation is my goal. Salvation is a person, Jesus Christ. I remain in Him via obedience to His Word.

As a protestant it was His Word in scripture to which I submitted. "Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves."

As a Catholic, it is His Word through His Body the Church to which I submit for those reasons in scripture and many more.

What a joy to know what I am supposed to do without a shadow of doubt one day a week for the rest of my life!

Rachana Chhin said...

Me: Raised Buddhist, then Protestant, and recently entered the Catholic Church. :D

I go to Mass because in some sense I've been waiting for this all my life. Denial and abstinence of Christ and the Sacraments? ...never again I pray!

The Mass is where I can receive the Body and Blood of our Lord. It's where I worship not only with those in our local church but with the universal Church on earth as well as the Saints and Angels in heaven. "For we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses."

Plus, the music is heavenly.

Unknown said...

Thanks to all for your very thoughtful answers. I love the wormhole metaphor. Brilliant! -Chris

Charles Kinnaird said...

I enjoy going to church on Sunday because I can see that I am part of a community...I can hear the harmony of life through the hymns that are sung...I can sense the presence of God in a sacred place...I can be still to await the Spirit...I can listen to the lessons from scripture...I can be honest in the presence of Christ...I can be thankful that I have been ushered to this life-giving body. I am renewed and strengthened to go forth into the world in peace to do the work that God has given me to do.

kkollwitz said...


Some wormhole thinking from my 6th grade Catechism class: