Sunday, April 13, 2008

Re-evaluate it all

First on a side note, I didn't get rid of facebook. I did however decide to use it as something more personal than I was. I decided that I would use it for more email like purposes and really seeing how friends were instead of just playing stalker.

Now to the main event. I came into the Catholic church last Easter, for the past two months, I have been thinking about that decision, trying to figure out where I have grown, what I need to work on still ( a lot) but really it came about from a classmate telling another that I became Catholic because of my now husband. As God is probably the only one that truly gets it, seeds were planted long before that.

Some of the first seeds, was that I decided to read a book by the famous protestant author, Philip Yancy. In this book he described how his faith had survived the church. Why would his faith have to survive the church, what was so wrong with it, why was it so unsatisfying? Well I know I was a disgruntled protestant with the church at the time. I could see so many hypocritical things about it. Like selectivity, or simple dissagreements leading to splits. But looking at this book again, I found something interesting, about half of these people that this guy found influential were Catholic, though I didn't know that at the time. People like Chesterson and Henri Nouwen were among a few of them. It now amazes me that this guy that was well known protestant had many Catholic influences and wasn't afraid to mention them. I think of how I grew up, how most protestants grow up, being anti-Catholic, because Catholics to us are the worst representations of Christians, they think that they can sin as much as then want and then go to church on Sunday or confession and be fine. And really a protestant as I was really could not understand what the deal with confession was, why some guy could forgive your sins.

2.) I took this class called Arts in Western Civilization with a sculpture artist, so passionate about what he did. He taught us about art, about how art showed what our culture held dear to our hearts, whether it be food, wealth, God, or in todays society pornography. He ultimately concluded that art was for God. This made me wonder what a lack of art there was in the churches I had known. I mean sure we had stained glass windows with scenes on them. But where were the paintings, the scenes showing the love of God, the acts of the apostles, the power of God, the grace of God. In protestant churches there is little of this, and to me this was sad. I was told by him that the St. Louis Cathedral was a place of worship that was so beautiful that it was a must see. He something along the manner of that if you can't worship there with all this beauty leading towards God, then I don't know where you can worship. And when I went to see it was beautiful, though believe me I felt very odd being there, because it was so grand, and a little overwhelming being that there were many things around that were foreign to me.

3.) A friend ES, made me think in my junior year about how church should not be a show. She said that she felt like the church I was going to her was leaning that way, to be a show. Something that they were proclaiming themselves more than God. This made me think, in someways it was true. Granted to have a beautiful voice and use it for God is not a bad thing, but to treat it like a stage was another thing. I remember, as I used this example earlier, how when I went to a Nashville baptist church a similar feeling was felt, that it was a show, and in this case a rock concert. The message was so simplified that I felt so disengaged. So ES made me think twice about production of things versus truth being preached.

4.)I worked at Hershey Park around a lot of Catholics. Some went to Catholic school and took their faith seriously, others while they had strong values, were disengaged from being part of the body of believers. It was an interesting mix. However, one person, MF, helped me to realize that Catholics did have more values than what I was taught, they did respect their families, and women more than I sometimes felt in my upbringing, though this was due to my own skewed view.

And I will stop now for a moment, because it is podcasting time. Pray that I make a point.

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