Yesterday, a coworker talked about the Funeral Mass she attended the day before for a neighbor. This was the first time she had ever been in a Catholic Church. She said (chuckling as she said it) that as they were leaving, her husband looked at her and said, "And that is why we're Southern Baptist". I looked at her & said, "What did he mean by that? I don't understand." Then she started back-pedaling and said that he thinks church is being yelled at by the preacher. I was so hurt & offended that I didn't know what to say.
I did tell her that if you didn't know what was going on during the Mass, I could see how it could be confusing. I also told her that every single part of the of the Mass comes right out of scripture and the Bible. Another co-worker grew up Catholic but does not attend Mass; she piped in and said that she feels more at home going to Mass than she does in a Protestant service.
I went on to tell her that the wonderful thing about Mass is that I can attend anywhere in the world and know what's going on, because it's the same anywhere you go. I referenced when I was in Denmark a couple of years ago: Once I knew where in the Mass we were, I followed along without any trouble, even though I don't understand Danish.
My co-worker used the words "intense"...but she also used the word "creepy". Even though I've lived in the South my entire life, it still puzzles me that people can be ignorant and intolerable of others' religion...not just Catholicism.
I ran across this quote this morning in an article on Catholic365.com and thought it was perfect:
The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it, let it loose, and it will defend itself."
-St. Augustine of Hippo