Reflections on Catholic Mass

This is a paper I wrote over the summer describing my visit to a Catholic Mass for my MC500 class. Part of the assignment was to make observations and see ways that there are similarities and differences in the way we worship. It was a wonderful experience and eye opening for me as it was my first time visiting a Catholic Mass.

Ethnic Church Immersion Experience: Catholic Church Visit

Coming from a rather ethnic Asian church and having seen various churches on the Protestant side, I decided to go to a much more structured and traditional service by visiting the Catholic Church. In preparing for the Catholic church visit, I started by thinking back at some of the classes I took for church history, systematic theology, and talking to some of my Catholic friends. Some of them told me of their past experiences and jokingly suggested that Catholic Mass is an exercise of standing, sitting and kneeling. In reaching out to one of my Fuller Catholic classmates Kristen, I arranged to visit Catholic Mass the coming Sunday at the Holy Family Church.

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Affirmations

Affirmations have definitely been interesting lately whether it be through things I have been learning in class or through talking to different people.  Finding my past intersect with the present has been interesting lately at the most random places.

Simple lanyard sparking conversations

Simple lanyard sparking conversations

At food distribution this past week, I had my name tag on and was there passing out numbers at the start.  I had replaced the string lanyard with a Sony PlayStation lanyard to make it easier to remove and untangle from the rest that I had gotten some time back at E3 2011.  Funny how fast time is flying these days and it has almost been a year since then.  While at food distribution, one of the people who I passed a number out to started chatting and asked me about the Sony lanyard and if played any games.  It was the second person to start talking to me about it so I found it interesting that I could somehow relate to some of these people simply by virtue of gaming and my past experience with doing the game design minor while at USC.  We talked a bit about Street Fighter and some of the games I played in the past as well as some of the games on PC and PS3 and how some of it evolved before talking about how I am now at Fuller Seminary studying for the M.Div.  Definitely quite a shift, but also an affirmation to see how some parts of my gaming life is being used to strike up conversations and talk about the way God is moving in my life going from work to seminary.  It reminded me that we often think simple things from our experience and past as insignificant, when it is often a way that God uses to help us relate to others in our vicinity.

Wisdom has been a topic of late in my Old Testament Writings class and I feel this strongly correlates with affirmations and how we relate with others.  While I am 3 quarters into Fuller, I find it scary sometimes knowing that people are asking me for advice on different things like schedule or degrees as I represent Fuller as a Fuller Ambassador meeting with perspective students for lunch sometimes.  However, it has been an interesting journey as well as one of my friends from class who was debating between switching programs asked me some questions in which he felt was affirming when we talked through his thoughts.  In some ways, it was a learning exercise for me in just listening and talking through some of my perspectives and reasoning while trying to be encouraging as well.

Stopped by my high school band director’s retirement celebration today and got a chance to celebrate the legacy and reflected some on the fact that eight years have passed since I was there.  Seeing the old faces and the new brought a sense of continuation almost as if the time I spent in marching band was not wasted, but part of the process in shaping who I am today.  Shall see as time goes on how these things correlate and intersect.