Why did you do it? Three Reasons I Became Catholic.

Just Be God’s: A Call to Continuing Conversion is a series of blog posts. You might want to start reading it from the beginning: Here.

October 9, 2016

Why did I do it? I was asked this the other day by a post church of christer married to a catholic post church of christ… I don’t think I answered the question. You’d think after 3 years I would have my answer all worked out. I just met this person. My words?

“It was a slow burn…”

“The community…”

“I don’t know if I could have done it outside of Boston, the Jesuits, etc…”

Even though I wrote in the last post that the reason was to do the denomination thing and liturgy–totally true. It’s a copout for the more mystical answer, that is, the Eucharist.

Why did I do it? The Eucharist.

There is something indescribable that happens. And in trying to explain it, I would only ruin it for myself or someone else. That’s what Mike McHargue says in Finding God in the Waves. To sit and to be and to experience the ritual – everyday, any hour, in any language, all across the globe. There are not many (if any?) churches that can say they do this.

I love communion in church of Christ and I continue my adoration in the Catholic church.

Why did I do it? Universality.

Like in the above–I can go anywhere in the world, and be at home. The Catholic church is so huge and so small and homey at the same time. Then there is this sort annoying paradox of “universality” and “exclusivity.” How can something so huge actually be exclusive? The only exclusive part of being Catholic, is that you choose to commit. Is that too much to ask? Is that any different from any other church?

I understand the issues many have with the Catholic church (particularly on gender and sexuality), but it is still in dialogue. I appreciate this. Leadership in the church is like parents fighting over what they think is best for their children. They want the best, we’ll turn out ok…

Lastly, why did I do it? Conversion.

Because I believe in a God of conversion. If you are born and raised Christian, are you really a convert? Where is your heart blocked off from God, because you don’t believe you can be converted, changed, transformed, healed, forgiven, forgiving, or reconciled. That’s what God is after. Just because I was confirmed Catholic does not make God any less after me. Regrets? No. Issues with Mother One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church? Of course.

If I can believe in conversion for myself and others, I can believe for the same for any religious institution that is made up of myself and others.

Separation of Life and Ministry

I was reading through my first post for “Just Be God’s” and it was a different time to be sure. My social life and work life were not at all related to “serving” or “ministry”, and I had the time and energy to really commit to church as a hobby. It was/is the best way I know how to care for and be cared for by others. What I needed at the time.

Then there is this other world, the serving and caring for others world. This world where you work your booty off as a teacher or minister or counselor or chaplain, and get paid to think about religion and spiritual things and help people. This world where you hear true, intense, and terrible stories that you wish weren’t a part of the human condition. Where there is little to no separation between home and work. For some, this may sound awesome. It is.

But is it?

When I wrote about asking God for a sign, and committing to going to church and seeking spiritual things, I had a special space for it. I made special space for it. It wasn’t my everything, but it was for everything. When religion and spirituality become everything, it’s like I need to find a special space where it isn’t or where it’s different. I have to create space to grow for myself, where I do not have to support others or hold their spiritual space.

Is this wrong? Or is this right?

I’ve been reading a book called “Proverbs of Ashes” and it’s blowing my mind. It takes a lot of simple Christian ideas that a lot of people live by, and says, “That might not be the healthiest thing to teach people (especially the marginalized, abused, and women).”

Sure, to make meaning of suffering (once removed), as a closeness to Christ or as a way to help others or as a learning experience, is nice, but is that what God wants for us? If you wouldn’t tell that to a person during their suffering, why would that work after the suffering?

In a very trivial sense, there may be people dying in their ministries because they believe, and have been taught, this is what God wants. God wants suffering? Exhaustion? Workaholics? God wants us to lie to ourselves and say we love it? Rejoice in our suffering?

Or does God desire that you have the space to love and serve and be loved and served? I hope for the latter God.

 

I’m giving up Justin Bieber for Lent

I have a confession to make… I’m a belieber. I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true. I’ll always dance to “I need somebody to love.” And I’ll always know “Baby” on the Ukulele (C, G, Am, F, Duh). Really, actually, I’m not giving up Justin Bieber for Lent. I’m just giving up Justin Bieber for my life. Continue reading “I’m giving up Justin Bieber for Lent”

No Longer Locavore Guilt

I’ve been putting off writing this post…  Because it makes me feel guilty.

Being a Lenten Locavore was awesome.

Breaking fast was also awesome.

But since breaking, I just don’t feel as good.  I’m not sure if this is guilt.  Let me explain… Continue reading “No Longer Locavore Guilt”

Lenten Locavore Learning: What is not local?

NOT LOCAL
NOT LOCAL

Well, at this point, technically, your lenten fast is over, and we are all mid-Triduum fast (which may or may not be the same thing you gave up for lent, it usually is).  As I have become better at eating local, it seems like there has been less to write about.  I eat a lot of veggies, meat, cheese, eggs, and that’s about it.

But at the beginning of this week, like with any good lenten faster, I started to fantasize about all the things I want to buy that are not local.  I began to make a list of what is tough (for me) to really live without… forever.  IF I were to be a “true” locavore.

Granted, I already have made an exception for coffee and coconut oil… What other things are tough.  What’s NOT local? Continue reading “Lenten Locavore Learning: What is not local?”

Reflection for the 5th Week of Lent: Psalm 126

Reflection for the 5th Week of Lent: Psalm 126

Click the link above.

I volunteered at Tobar Mhuire Retreat and Conference Centre last year.  Here, I wrote a blog post for their Lenten series.  Enjoy!

Here is another link to blog from HuffPo…

And here is the actual transcript so I don’t lose it…. Continue reading “Reflection for the 5th Week of Lent: Psalm 126”

Locavore = Brave

Look it's me!Explaining this whole “Lenten Locavore” thing to people has been a real challenge.  They basically look at me like I’m insane, and I’m pretty sure I am.  This is winter.  This is New England.  This is impossible.  And no, it is not easy.  It is not cheap. There is tons of cooking!  It takes serious planning and time.  But what came to my attention yesterday, is that it really takes some courage to be a locavore. It takes bravery… Continue reading “Locavore = Brave”