Explaining "Offering it up"

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A very very good former Baptist friend who is now Methodist, asked me about the Stations and part of my explanation included ‘Offering it up’ She said she needs to read over it a couple of times and will probably have more questions.

I used to find this term everywhere while I was learning about the Church, but now I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Anyone out there got some good links?
IME, this one is hard for some protestants to grasp b/c the Catholic understanding of the economy of salvation is so different than theirs. When we “offer [something, it] up,” we offer some suffering, pain, inconvenience, etc to God and ask Him to redistribute the grace we would have received to someone else, e.g., a soul in purgatory or someone in need of conversion. We are in essence joining our suffering w/ that of Christ on the cross, thereby sanctifying the suffering.

Another way of thinking of it is that prayer takes many forms. We tend to think of it as talking to God, entering into conversation w/ Him. However, our actions are also prayers when we join them to God’s will and offer them to Him. This means that we can sanctify our labors, like the work we do at our job or our household chores. [A good reference on this is the book Holiness for Housewives.] It follows naturally then that we can offer any action or experience as a prayer, provided it is not sinful and in God’s will, of course. So, when we suffer, we offer it to God as a prayer of sorts.

When I grew up, we were always encouraged to “offer it up” for someone else; however, this need not necessarily be so. One can pray for one’s own needs as well.

I don’t know if this helps. This is a tough one to explain. A scriptural reference that may help is Colossians 1:24, which says, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh i am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church …”.

God bless!
oooh, that was a really good quote. Thank you. I really liked the idea of it when it was explained and the concept is new to me in the deep theological sense. As a cultural Catholic suffering never bothered me, I felt that we should be grateful for our life. That the tears made the smiles all the more poignant. So now that I understand a little more about the Body of Christ and redemptive suffering I understand it a little better. But I’m still learning and I feel like there is so much more.

Thank you very much.

BTW, those initials that you wrote…I know that they are probably Latin for Offering it up. I just don’t know what they are.
Also another question. I know there are different types of Methodists. Do any of them have a Mass-type service or is that purty much frowned upon?
Did you mean IME? That stands for “in my experience” – sorry, I suffer from ILS, Internet Laziness Syndrome, lol.

As for the Methodist question, are you asking whether it is acceptable to attend a Methodist service? First, it cannot replace Mass attendance; you still have your Sunday obligation to fulfill. Second, it depends on the reason. If you have a deal w/ your friend that she attend Mass w/ you if you attend Protestant services w/ her, then I think it’s fine. As long as it’s not an impediment to your growing in the faith, I think it’s okay. Third, you may not participate in any part of the Methodist service that contradicts your Catholic faith, eg., you may not receive communion there.

I am not aware of different sects in the Methodist Church, at least not in America. I have never been to a Methodist service other than weddings and funerals, so I am not sure how similar to the Mass it is, or how much freedom Methodist ministers have in altering the liturgy. I do know that the Methodist Church does not condemn abortion and supports its legalization. I believe that they also support gay marriage as an institution.

Is your friend leaning toward exploring the Catholic Church? Would your friend read books if you gave them to her? Do you want some book recommendations? I’ll look too for some links for you on offering it up and see what I can find.
Oh wow…I guess I shoulda 'splained a little. I am trying to explain Catholicism to her but I don’t know exactly how close or far away Methodism is to it. When she was Baptist, it would have been easier to know where she is coming from. For example I was talking one day about preparing for my goddaughter’s first communion and she commented that her church also does that. She also said that they celebrated Ash Wednesday.
I know that some denominations have adopted a form of the Liturgy, but I don’t know which ones or if they do some form of communion to mirror our Eucharist celebration.
When she brought some of her questions to me she mentioned that she had watched a Catholic Easter Mass on T.V. and she since she’s considering a job at a Catholic school she wanted to know about Catholicism, so I’m wanting to focus on trying to tie everything in with the Mass.

As far as participating, [even when I was at the most ignorant of my faith] when I went to my friends Baptist services or retreats (aka ‘get saved’ trips in disguise) it was like water off a duck’s back. I was just not built for charisma-styled convincing, I gotta read the cold facts first.
I got one of my Fundamentalist Southern Baptist friends to come to a Mass with me, but I’ve learned my lesson in ‘always be prepared’ I didn’t have answers for why we did some things, but the big shocker for her was the visiting missionary priest who was black (no big deal to me, but her in her denomination that was just :eek: ).
I hadn’t been to Mass in that parish in a while and when she asked if he was our priest, I shrugged and said I didn’t know. And since the homily was long, about the missionary, and with pamphlets. I just think the culture shock was just too much for her. She was too polite to say anything, but I think the kneeling part was just the last straw on top of everything else.

So that’s why I want to know about the Methodist service, so I can know were to pick up the slack in explaining. 😃
The reference to Paul’s letter to the Colossians is a good one. (1 Col 24. “Even now I find my joy in the sufferings I endure for you. In my own flesh I fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his body, the Church.” What could be lacking in the sufferings of Christ? Only those sufferings which we ourselves are expected to bear for the sake of the church. And those are the things we “offer up” in union with Him.

Oh! I guess I really did misunderstand! Sorry about that.

As I mentioned earlier, I do not know the details of what goes on in Methodist services. I am posting back, though, b/c you bring up an excellent point about inviting ppl to Mass.

To illustrate: I have a friend who is the executive director at a local crisis pregnancy center. Many board members and volunteers were upset that a Catholic was chosen for this position. Her apologetic skills have been honed since her appointment b/c the people there ask her questions all the time! She and I often lament that we do not feel comfortable inviting our protestant friends to Mass w/ us. Our current pastor was in the seminary in the late 60’s and it shows. We have replaced our zeal for Christ with liturgical abuses, it seems. That may seem harsh, but I am being honest. My husband is a convert from the Methodist / Baptist churches, and he has often said that if our parish were his only exposure to Catholicism, he would not have converted.

We took friends to church once on “money sunday.” They were shocked to get the “please tithe, please please pretty please!” homily. That experience was akin to your missionary experience.

So what does a person do who loves the Church but has a parish w/ mediocre music, preaching, etc.? We know better, of course, but our “guests” don’t.

I’d love to get others’ thoughts on this.

God bless!
I am also a convert from Bapt/Meth. and my experience with the money…money…money thing was all from that side. It has been so refreshing to have not experienced any of that with the several home and too numerous to remember parishes I have visited. In fact, I have not heard the word “tithe” in so long…I don’t remember how to spell it. That isn’t to say that money hasn’t been an issue, it’s just that I haven’t felt the pressure and my Priest hasn’t told me that if I give my paycheck to the Church my boss will double my pay!
Methodists are Arminians (believe in free will and that one can lose his salvation). Most Baptists are Calvinists (believe in predestination and OSAS). Methodists also use the same lectionary as Catholics. I volunteer at an ecumenical mission meal for the poor that is held at a Methodist church. The pastor always reads the Gospel reading for the following Sunday (the meal is held on the fourth Thursday of the month). I noticed that the Gospel was the same as what we (Catholics) had. I asked the pastor, and he told me the lectionary is the same. Methodists are very close to Catholics in beliefs, much closer than Baptists. The Holy Spirit may be leading your friend to the Catholic church.
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