I totally had this idea last night, and since we’re just 21 days (can you believe that?) from Easter vigil, I’m pretty sure I can squeeze in 5 a day and we’ll make it to 100 just in time. Consider it something to think about while we are (impatiently) waiting for April 23rd. I’m open to suggestions, so if you can think of something you want me to post, especially you long-term and cradle Catholics, by all means let me know.
And so, I introduce you to my very own list of…
100 Things I Love about the Catholic Church
(in no particular order or significance)
100. The music.
This is one of the first things that got me excited about going to Mass. I have a hard time paying attention to someone speak about a few verses of the Bible for an hour or more, but we have music all over the place. We sing at the beginning, in the middle of the Liturgy of the Word, several times during the Liturgy of the Eucharist… and I am all over that. I love music, and the more the better. I’ve also been told that when you sing, you pray twice. Cool!
99. Stained glass.
There’s two sides to this story. Catholic churches generally (but not as a rule) have awesome architecture and fantastically colorful stained glass. I’ve never seen so much color outside of a kindergarten classroom, and when the light hits it, it’s awe-inspiring. One time I was trying to explain what I perceived to be the main differences between Protestant denominations and the Catholic faith in terms of stained glass: Protestant churches tend to not have as much stained glass, and it tends to be just a few colors, like… blue and orange. They focus on God, Jesus, the Bible, baptism… Catholic churches have all sorts of colors, and we have such a rich faith – the Holy Trinity, the Bible (and extra books), the seven Sacraments, our blessed mother Mary, all the angels and saints… It’s just full of awesome, not just a portion of awesome. Another reason I’m making the switch, right there.
98. Holy water.
In addition to the music we hear and the colors we see, we have holy water. Something to touch and remind us of our baptism. Before I started RCIA this year, I visited another church’s program and the catechist there told us that holy water was only for those who had already been baptized. I don’t know if that’s something official or just symbolic (nobody’s called me out on it yet), but I have issues with that. I may not be baptized yet, but holy water reminds me of my call to be God’s, to walk and grow in faith in preparation for the sacrament. And it absolutely does ward off evil. I’m all over that good stuff.
I absolutely do a little happy dance in my head whenever I hear church bells ringing. One of my best friends knows that whenever I’m around and we’re at church when the bells start, I have no issue with hollering, “Bells!” like a toddler who just learned the word. (If you sorority sisters ever meet me in person, you’ll find that is -absolutely- true.) I don’t have a problem with computer-driven bells, but there is something amazing about the percussiveness of the real thing echoing off of buildings. Awesome.
96. Being able to kneel.
I think it’s awesome that we can kneel and be reverent at Mass. And I love how praying isn’t just something you do on your own or when someone leads the congregation in prayer like I’ve seen in other churches – I can kneel down and pray before Mass, stay for a few minutes after and pray, pray the rosary… And who wants to just sit down in church the whole time? I’m itching to move after five minutes.
Alright, your turn – go!