Friday, June 22, 2007

Coming soon

I haven't abandoned this blog, but I am currently busy at the National Speech tournament in Wichita, KS. I am working on another lengthy post and it will take some time to write. Just wanted to give you an update and let you know that I'll be posting something in the next few days hopefully.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Is the Honeymoon Over?

I've spent the past hour and a half re-reading this blog. I am actually quite amazed at some of the profound things I've written. I am dismayed, however, by the fact that my excitement and passion have seemed to wane. I still love being Catholic. It is a great joy to be a part of this community of faith. I have found some wonderful acquaintances and friends in my church. I am still a better person because of my faith. I just haven't been "on fire" lately and haven't written in a long time. Posts have become few and far between. I'm letting life get in the way too often it seems. My prayer life is greatly diminished and I can't remember the last time I actually spent time studying the Bible or aspects of the faith. I was doing well for a while by attending the adult faith formation classes at church, but I started having tournaments and other things happen on weekends and I'd have to go to a late Sunday evening Mass instead. I still go to Mass faithfully every weekend and I am making sure to go when I am out of town this weekend. I just can't explain why things have seemed to diminish in terms of my enthusiasm.

I think I am better when I'm more involved. As long as I have a class to participate in or choir or something "extra" it keeps me going and inspires me. Right now most of that is gone though I'm excited that class will continue this summer starting after this weekend. I know when I had RCIA weekly it helped me stay pumped up and now I find that simply attending Mass isn't enough. Perhaps I should try to go more often during the week now that school is out and get to adoration.

I don't have the answers, but at least I'm aware of my stagnation and I'm going to try to make the effort to do better. I haven't fallen into sin (other than some venial ones) but I do have some work to do on my part.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just one of the reasons I'm Catholic

My friend Bret who I've mentioned before in my posts is at the Southern Baptist Convention in San Antonio. He wrote a post about his first experience there and all the drama that went on. It seems there will continue be drama as he talks about the debates going such as the one for and against Calvinism. One of the major issues that started me on my journey into Catholicism was trying to figure out which of all the religious denominations was the "best for me" or which one of them was at least the most right. Why did we have so many off-shoots of Christianity? What made the Baptists more right than the Lutherans, or Methodists or Episcopalians? Even the Baptists don't agree any more as there are now branches of Baptists like the Southern Baptists, American Baptists, Conservative Baptists and Reformed Baptists. According to Wikipedia Baptists are represented in more than fifty separate groups. But then there are all the other denominations to consider including those claiming to be "non-denominational." According to The Christian Sourcebook, there are approximately 20-30,000 denominations, with 270 new ones being formed each year. Virtually all of these are Protestant. (Source) If all those denominations "know" the truth by revelation of the Holy Spirit, yet not all of them agree on their teachings, how does one really know the truth? Is the Holy Spirit telling one group this and another group that? How can the Holy Spirit contradict itself?
I started looking at the timelines of all these denominations. The Baptists have been around since about 1639 and Southern Baptists only since 1845. Methodists began in the 18th century while Presbyterians began around 1572. We all know that most of this began with Luther posted his 95 Theses in 1517. Luther might have had some good reasons to question things going on in the Church at the time, which ultimately led to the Church examining itself. This is what led me to realize that the oldest Christian Church was Catholic. And for over 2000 years it's teachings haven't wavered. The Church has clarified teachings and pronounced it's doctrines, but nothing has ever been changed. Although we have both the Tradition and the Bible, neither contradict one another. There have been some bad leaders and bad priests, but yet it has stood the test of time. There are no debates as to whether Mary should be venerated or whether the Eucharist really is the body and blood of Christ. Although different Parish's have different styles - the Mass is still the same. There are more traditional Churches and those that would be considered Contemporary, but regardless, it all has the same teachings from one Magisterium. And when I examined the specific teachings of the Church, I couldn't disagree with any of them. They all made sense to me and that is what ultimately led to my faith journey.
I've always had a problem with many of the basic Protestant beliefs like sola scriptura and the concept of salvation which I've written about before. I know that my friend and I don't agree in several areas of beliefs, but I hope that he realizes that I am far closer to his concept of "salvation" in the Catholic church than I ever was in the Baptist.