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I joined the Catholic Church in 1990 after a time of searching and being led by God. What I remember the most about the Church at that time was the awe and reverence you felt when you entered the sanctuary. I loved that about the church. After all, we were entering into God’s house, there to praise and worship and pray to Him, so the awe and reverence was normal. Over the years since then, the Church became a little more “Protestant” if you will, trying to be more for all people. In the process, we lost some of the awe and reverence and grew a little more relaxed and perhaps a little more social. Instead of quiet and people praying before Mass, there was more of ‘meet and greet’ and ‘social time’. It was a gradual change and it took me about 10-15 years to actually notice the difference, but once I did I missed the way it used to be. I personally needed that prayer time, that quiet time before Mass began to prepare myself, quiet my mind from the previous week, and prepare for the time of prayer and worship.
Today, before Mass, we did something very “Catholic”. We, as a congregation, prayed a rosary together for our country, for our congress, our President, our Judicial branch, all who serve us including all of our military. It was a wonderful feeling to pray together en masse for ourselves and our elected officials. There was more praying, less visiting and I was better prepared to take part in Mass when it began. It was a wonderful, Catholic thing to do, and I loved it.