I'm not so sure how much we talked about this particular book together, but it made him want to go back to a mass. I had never been to a mass and ironically this was around Easter, so instead of mass, we ended up at a good Friday service. The only day there isn't mass in the Catholic church. Preparing to attend something at a Catholic church, I was freaking out. I called the one Catholic I actually knew, my brother's college roommate, and asked all about how I should dress and act. I didn't want to look out of place and honestly at that point I only had literary information on Catholicism.
At the service, in an awesomely old church with great architecture, there came the point of kissing the cross. This felt very weird to do, I had never had such an external sign to do to demonstrate my faith before, and as it wasn't communion, it was open to all to do. At least I hope it was because I did it, even if I felt weird about it. I still struggle with these external signs of faith times at the church, like ash crosses and processions, but I do them anyway because somehow I know they are pulling me closer to Christ.
After this K wrestled with Catholicism more and more and we talked about this. It had me thinking that maybe I should start reading more about what Catholics believe because honestly I never had a healthy view of them before. So I got ahold of the book Catholic and Christian. I figured if anything I could support this guy along his journey if I understood more about what he was doing. And then one day he called me that he just couldn't take it anymore and was going to go to confession and become Catholic again. I mean I guess he always was Catholic, but I didn't understand how the lapsed thing worked at the time, so I was kind of at a loss in many ways.
I remember crying to my fellow first year grad students about my dilemma, and they admitted that it was hard. They knew that I was someone that took my faith seriously and they felt like this was a rough hand being thrown. I remember calling my mom at some point and her declaring that if this was the case for K, that maybe this wasn't the guy for me. This wasn't very helpful, but this is how she viewed Catholicism, something that wasn't to be entertained with joining. I on the other hand knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to marry this guy, but for me I had to be on the same page with him about religious beliefs. I wanted to be able to share in my struggles with him about faith matters and with future children and their faith and just be able to feel comfortable in those types of issues that I had to figure out that now that he was Catholic, could I be too.
I contined to read my book, Catholic and Christian, and the more I looked into it, the more I found I had in common with Catholicism and on top of it, some of my long posing questions were being answered. There were loose ends however to tie up at the Assemblies of God church, I had agreed to run part of their vacation bible school, though this time I was the sports coordinator so I wasn't being conflicted in theology anymore. So I finished that up but also went to mass with K at times. I learned that they were having a group meet in the summer as kind of a pre-RCIA. I had no idea what RCIA was, but I wanted to know more about this Catholic faith, so I thought I should go.
In the meantime, I was changing living situations. I decided to live in a house with three other girls that was super close to campus. I knew the one girl from playing soccer with her, and since I was adventurous, I decided that it wouldn't be a big deal to not know the other two beforehand so much. Little did I know that they were all Catholic themselves. And on top of that, the church that was having the summer pre-RCIA was just a few blocks walk away.
I was trying not to let myself get too involved too quick with the idea of this all working out, that I could be a Catholic and marry K someday. Because besides K and a few friends, I had little support in this endeavor. I didn't even mention it to my family at this point, because I was just trying to take it as something I was inquiring about. The first evening I walked into the group and I was supposed to share about who I was and from where I was coming faith-wise. I cried ridiculously along with my words. I knew this was going to be a big deal, I knew I didn't have any familial support and I wanted to do this anyway.
Find Part 3 here.
Find Part 1 here.
Find Part 3 here.
Find Part 1 here.