Monday, November 9, 2009

Learning from Protestants

So, I feel like I was a little harsh on our Protestant brothers and sisters last time, so I decided to take a moment to share a few things I think we Catholics could certainly learn from them:

1. It's not about following rules.

Sometimes I think that Catholics tend to go through the motions.
We think that if we just follow a set of rules and obligations then we will be okay. Often we get lost in a pattern of going to church and saying the prayers and tend to forget why we are really there. We are there to give glory to God and fall more in love with Christ. I’m not saying that the rules and obligations are bad—they are necessary to give us guidance and stability in our rather messy lives. Many graces come from going to church every Sunday even if we do it only out of obligation. Even our repetitious and pre-determined prayers can give us comfort in times when we don’t know what to say. But we can achieve a much greater relationship with God if we search for the truth behind the repetitious prayers we recite and the obligations we follow. There is so much we can learn about God and His love for us just by learning about the Mass, but often we are too bored in Mass to even pay attention. Let’s learn a little something from our Protestant friends who proclaim a relationship with God that allows them to want to go to church and listen to His Word.

2. The Bible is worth the read

It’s cliché, I know, but I know you’ve heard the joke at Catholic conferences:
“If you forgot your Bible, just look over the shoulder of your Protestant friend next to you…” We Catholics don’t read our Bibles nearly enough. We take it for granted that it will be read to us on Sundays, or we think that it’s only for those priests, much holier than us, to read. It’s only the most beautiful love story ever written. If we would just take a minute to sit down with the Great Book or maybe attend a Bible study, then our faith could grow so much. Maybe we could take the readings every day and meditate on them, or read what a theologian has to say about them. We can even take a minute to memorize a few verses that might help us when discussing theology with our fellow Protestants. (I suggest 150 Bible Verses Every Catholic Should Know, Patrick Madrid) Protestants are like walking Bibles themselves, so why should we stand there dumbfounded? After all, it was members of our Church who wrote the New Testament (along with the Holy Spirit of course). So if we follow the Catholic Church today, why not read what they wrote nearly 2,000 years ago? There might be something of value in there.

3. It’s not that scary to share your faith

Why is it that many Catholics don’t like to talk about being Catholic? It’s as if they think it’s some sad condition they have that no one else wants to hear about. Surely not. We should be joyful about our faith. It’s the most important thing we’ve got. Without God we are nothing, so why wouldn’t we want to share our joy in Him with everyone we know? It is so easy for many Protestants to praise God in the presence of anyone and talk about Christ as if they just spoke to him that morning (which they probably did…). Faith is normal to them—a part of everyday life. That how it should be for all of us. We should be unafraid to talk about what the priest said last Sunday, or what the Catholic Bishops say about health care, or just about God our Creator. If we really care about our neighbor, then we should care about their faith as well. Let’s not be selfish—share the faith.

No comments:

Post a Comment