I’ve been part of a discussion over on LinkedIn for the last several days. The question that started the conversation was “can’t the Catholic Mass be more friendly (like Protestant services)”? There was a lot of vitriolic insistence that fun and friendliness has no place in the Mass. Eventually the conversation wound its way to the absolute necessity that the Mass be said in Latin. It was not participated in widely (fewer than a dozen contributed), nonetheless I was frustrated by the majority of the opinion.
The conversation gave me a lot on which to reflect, which I am sure I will do over the coming days. I can already identify my principal concern though. It is this- the public conversation on Catholicism seems to be generally split between the poles. On one side are those who want permission to pursue relativism with a clear conscience and on the other are those who seem hellbent on justifying their own right and goodness with the faith.
I think that latter group is trying to defend the faith. But the faith doesn’t need defending, it needs spreading. In order to effectively evangelize, we must realize it is about them. We must meet the unchurched, under churches, and dechurched where they are and bring them into discipleship. That is a long range commitment.