I was reflecting on a post I wrote about the Incarnation and being both Protestant and Catholic and how that it is like the Incarnation…
The Incarnation is about God being a paradox, because God cannot be both God and human. If God can’t do something, then how is God, God? Theoretically, I cannot be both Protestant and Catholic. I can’t preach at CoC in the morning and take Eucharist at night. But I am, and they are both Christian. How can I be a Christian and not be both? They are both my community: a part of what makes me who I am.
That was 3 years ago, and I don’t feel all that different presently. I’m not entirely sure when I decided to pause on the Church of Christ. Well, I didn’t decide. I didn’t have any goals, it wasn’t really well thought out, I was seeking. My inconsistency in attending a CoC began in my senior year of college, though I have always attended some church or multiple churches at a time. It was in this year that I was doing RCIA and preaching that I committed to attending a CoC. And since, I still haven’t.
What’s interesting to my mind now is that even without the attendance, I still feel connected to the CoC community. I know who the people are. Many know who I am or who my family is. Even where I live now, there are a few CoC’s I know I could walk in to and I’d find a family connection–some okay some not so okay. There is even a CoC within walking distance of my house right now, and I am reasonably sure that women preachers are not something that they want.
I think something that Protestants don’t realize about the Catholic church is how different each church is. The pastor of the church, the architecture, music, demographics, country, state, all make for a totally different feel. There are at least 5 Catholic churches within 5 miles of my house, and they are all very different. There is a historically black (Haitian Creole) Catholic church very close to another downtown church. There are the rich and well educated towards the airport and stadiums and in the south, the Koreans out east, and the Latinx in the west. Then further out into the suburbs you usually have a mega Catholic church, and then the smaller more rural conservative sister nearby (if mega isn’t your cup of tea). Don’t even get me started on how the Catholic schools are made up and influence the parishes.
What’s cool is that they are all still Catholic, they don’t bad mouth each other, and they help each other out. Incarnation. Trinity. Different and the same. Two and three but one. Human and Divine.
I still don’t know how my very Protestant roots will influence my present and future as a confirmed Catholic. Or Perhaps, I simply haven’t found the words to rightly describe the influence or how I want to make use of it.