Wednesday, November 16, 2005

More Reflections (Feb-Mar 2004)

Some these are only excerpts from longer blogs. I only included comments that related to my Catholic journey... although I guess it's all related to some degree... but I left out the other fluff.

Wednesday, February 9

Though I am not yet a practicing Catholic, I'm wondering if I should participate in Lent. I'm still considering conversion, but haven't taken much action on it other than reading at this point. But giving up something for Lent would probably be a good thing.I could cheat and say I am giving up sex, but since that's not a possibility anyways, it wouldn't count. I think I may just continue on my "plan" and keep giving up fast food and alcohol. (Though I did cheat some today - but I am sick so that's my excuse.) Question for my readers:If you are Catholic, what are you doing for Lent?If you're not, but were, what would you give up for Lent?It's something I'll think about and maybe decide this evening. Right now I'm going back to bed. I'm getting sick, it's in my throat and I'm getting achy. Not good signs.

Wednesday, February 23
I did it

Well, I did it. I sent an email to the local Catholic church asking about their RCIA classes. I'm still not 100% certain of it all, but felt compelled to do it. After all it's just a question. Doesn't mean I have to do anything yet. I've just been putting off the question for a while now. But I've continued to be drawn to it all. I'm even participating in Lent to some degree. Marty surprised me the other day saying he was going to go to Mass on Sunday. He didn't make it, but the fact that he said he was going to go really put a little pep in my heart. He's been lapsed for quite a long time now and wasn't even confirmed. I know he's been thinking about going back to the Church too. Perhaps that is the reason we've been drawn together. Sometimes I call it fate or destiny, but I think that perhaps it's the Man upstairs doing His part.I've been away from church in general for about 14 years now. I've been soured by a lot things like hypocrisy, questioning they why's, and the fact it's a heck of a lot easier to live in sin than it is to be perfect. I'm finally realizing though that I don't have to be perfect because we're simply human. But I also understand that I should live better than what I have. I still have an attachment to sin which makes things more difficult for me, but I still think it's something I should look back into.Since I started this journey, I have found that there isn't anything in the Catholic teaching that I can't agree with. There are some things I know I'll have a hard time dealing with, but overall it just seems right. One of my biggest questions regarding religion has been "Who's right?" Among all the denominations who truly has the right answers. For me it's a matter of going back to the beginning. The Catholic Church is the original church of Christ. All the other Christian denominations are from people that broke from the Church thinking they knew better. So for me it's not a matter of which Church any more. It's a matter of whether I can embrace Church life or not. It's also a matter of whether I can get an anullment on my marriage.So I've taken another step. The first was having the simple curiosity about the church followed by my research. We'll see where it all leads.

Friday, March 18
Jumped off the wagon

Even though I'm not Catholic (yet), I've been trying to follow the practice of lent in giving up things. I decided to continue my abstaining from fast food and alcohol as well as observing abstinence from meat on Fridays. I've actually done pretty well. Today was not to be an exception as we were planning on going to Red Lobster for dinner and I was going to have fish and shrimp. But this afternoon, without thinking I had leftover sausage pizza for lunch. It didn't even dawn on me until I was getting ready to go out to dinner. It may not be a really big deal and even Catholics have been known to cheat or not go through their giving up something during Lent, but I really wanted to make a concerted effort. Then tonight after dinner we came back to my aunt's mother-in-law's house to visit and I had some wine. I could have easily declined, but I didn't. Again, not a big deal, but I do feel a little bad about it.

Sunday, March 20
Palm Sunday

I went to Mass today. I felt a little awkward as I tend to do in new situations, but it wasn't bad. Since I've attended Episcopal services with my aunt many times, I understood what was going on. I even chimed in on some of the responses. I sat with the lady I contacted regarding RCIA classes. After church we went to McDonald's and had some orange juice. We had a nice conversation and it turns out that I went to school with her daughter and we graduated in the same year. Small world isn't it?So I've jumped in. I still don't know if it's the right thing, but I feel I need to explore it more. And that's what I'm doing.

Saturday, March 26
I have no life

I've been going to church. I went Thursday and Friday evening and will attend the Easter Vigil tonight. It still feels a little weird, but not as bad as being in protestant church. No offense to anyone out there, but they just seem to grate on my nerves lately. I'm finding that in the Catholic services the spirituality is more genuine and it feels more like a worship service. For example, last night was the veneration of the cross. The congregation passes a large cross over them all around the people and then they go up to the front, bow and kiss the cross. It was really very moving. I still feel a little awkward there, but it's really not bad. I'm just not sure of some of the things I should be doing & saying.

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