I was told I can get on the preaching rotation in January. Okay. Hmmm. About that.
As expected, I’ve become spiritually stressed. This is understandable considering I go to Mass at least four times a week, RCIA, and Church of Christ. Soon into RCIA, I have felt pretty strongly that I do want to just do it. Get confirmed. Be, technically, Catholic. I just can’t imagine my life, going to Mass, and not, technically, be a part of it.
This morning at Mass, I remembered Jesus saying to, “become like a child” (Matthew 18:3). Now, Paul has something opposite to say about this, what whatevs (1 Corinthians 13:11). Anyway, children in the Catholic church usually get baptized first thing (babies), then do confession and communion (elementary), then do confirmation last (middle school/high school). It’s not fair to us adults. These kids get to take Eucharist for years before ever being confirmed! I don’t get it. Well, they have to do confession along with it, i.e. acknowledging their (elementary) sins, so okay.
I guess if I sneak into a first confession, then technically, I’m a-okay to take communion. But this whole “closed-communion” thing is dumb, and killing me.
The whole inconsistency of the Catholic community makes me feel less bad about a) taking eucharist sometimes (though I have largely stopped), and b) well, becoming Catholic. They are not perfect like everyone, and I like them, and they make sense (sometimes), and I want to share in this obviously broken and inconsistent community.
I am caught between two communities, and some days I’m being pulled towards one, and another day, another…
I was reading a little bit about Catholic communion, i.e. Googling “Can Catholics take communion in Protestant churches?” and “Can Protestants take communion in Catholic churches?” As usual, the answer from the Catholic church is, “No, but…” There is always an exception in the Catholic church. Which is hilarious. Writers who were holding hard and fast to the “Absolutely not,” seem to like to make gross and archaic generalizations about Protestants that are totally untrue. For example, “Why in the world would you ever share in communion with those super wrong Christians who all think that all Catholics are wrong and going to Hell?” Or, “All Protestants reject transubstantiation! So, obviously stay away!”
I think while many Protestants have moved on from the schism, many Catholics are still holding fast. Seriously, I don’t understand how we hold onto 500 year old grudges and think they still apply today. Admittedly, I love how, even as old as some Canon law is, there is always an exception. And protestants? Well, we don’t really have canon law so much, so it doesn’t really work the same (at least in the evangelical tradition).
I know it’s not true of all Protestant churches, but to assume that a person in a Protestant church agrees with everything that church says, is not the case. But in canon law, and with more conservative Catholic writers, they do paint Protestants with extremely broad strokes. To Catholics it makes sense because Catholics are supposed to all think the same (I kid).
Then, in Evangelical world, it’s all about my personal relationship with God. Luckily, there isn’t any creed, or canon law from evangelicals saying I can’t do what the Catholics do, or believe what the Catholics believe. If my relationship with God takes me there, then amen, I guess.
The biggest problem between Protestants and Catholics seem to be Catholics thinking that all Protestants all think the same, and Protestants thinking that all Catholics think the same. People in these Christian institutions aren’t robots! I guess that’s why the exceptions and loopholes exist…