I’ll admit it, I’ve had an up and down, at times very rocky relationship with the God and more specifically the Catholic Church. But one thing that all my travels have not only brought to my attention and taught me, is how lucky I am that I’m Catholic.
With Catholics and Catholic Masses, you pretty much know what you’re going to get each and every time, the only thing that really differs is the homily (sermon), which depends on the celebrant, was he trained as a diocesan priest or by a particular religious order. It’s a sort of touchstone, at least for me, that no matter where I am in the world, I can walk inside a Catholic church and be at home.
While I’ve abroad, I’ve always been lucky not only to have a nearby parish to join, there’s usually been a Mass that was partly in English. For my friends who are Protestant, they have to visit each and every Protestant church in the area to see if the local minister teaches something close to their beliefs, even if its isn’t the same branch of Protestantism. But unfortunately for some, they can’t find a place that shares their beliefs and so they don’t worship at all.
After I checked my e-mail this morning, on the Yahoo! news scroll thing, there was a link to some controversy on rewriting a more “conservative” (Protestant) Bible. It did strike me as a bit funny to hear about there being some Bible historians/translators who wanted to remove a famous quote from Luke, Jesus’ quote, “Father, forgive them for they know what they do,” because Liberals placed it in the Bible to make Jesus more like “social worker.”
Say what you will about the Catholic Church, but one of the greatest strengths of the Church is the uniformity, I know no matter what Mass I’m attending, weekday, Saturday night vigil, Sunday, Holy Day of Obligation, etc. that my friends around the world are listening to and reading from the same Liturgy of the Word, the same scriptures and the same Gospel being read by their lectures. That they’re taking part in the same Liturgy of the Eucharist, from the same body of Christ and the same blood of Christ. It’s a comforting feeling.