Awe-Full: Remembering a Catholic Service from 29 Years Ago

By Rod Friesen

As I worked this morning (drywall taper), I had a question on my mind. Or, to sound more spiritual, it was on my heart.

Am I Awe-Full? As in, am I full of a sense of reverence and awe? My mind, as I worked, was questioning the word awful, and I was confused as to its origin and how it came to mean, in common use, something terrible. That is a bit off track, but it led me to this place: Do I live in a sense of reverence of our Creator and Sustainer?

A memory of Bible college that was tucked away for 29 years came flooding back to me. I attended a small evangelical Bible college in Saskatchewan. As is often the case, admittedly, we had a slant of negativity towards other “so-called” Christians.

One of my profs had a brilliant idea: “Let’s take the first-year students to a Catholic worship service.” I won’t try to assume it was to show us how backwards they were, but it sure seemed that way. How tied to Pharisaical practices of works over faith they were. How they did it all wrong. The follow up class really was meant to show those things. In a sense, we were shown how we were better than they. Our clan had it right. We had freedom in worship.

I’ll tell you what I got out of worshipping with Catholics. I felt a very deep, tangible presence of the Holy Spirit. I didn’t expect that, or, quite frankly, invite it. The chants led my soul to a quiet reverence. The kneeling led me to the feet of Christ in humility. The unfamiliar old songs had a mournful somber feel to them. The statues and stained glass reminded me that others came before me and I am to live accordingly in faith.

My take away from the experience as I reflected with my right-wing-fundamental-Spirit-filled classmates? We chuckled as to how backwards it all was. How we had it right! I condescendingly mocked with them.

How I wish I had shared that tears welled up in my eyes as I entered a deep place of worship. I wish I hadn’t been ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I wish I could have dropped my tinted glasses at the door before I had entered that place of Stained Glass. Take this for what it is without fear.

Rod Friesen

I attend the Bagot Community Chapel (EMMC) and love this community. I thank God for the memory He brought to me this morning of that place and time of worship 29 years ago. It was Awe-Full.

Rod Friesen has connections with MacGregor EMC and Riverton Gospel Chapel. He attends Bagot Community Chapel (EMMC).

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