Learning to be Catholic day by day
Now that I’ve converted to the Catholic faith, as a writer I have a strong desire to, well, write about being Catholic. This blog is in service to that impulse. As I said in my opening Welcome post,
Let’s just say I’m not into the whole controversy thing. I’m new at this and I don’t presume to have any super-duper knowledge or insight about the Catholic faith, the Church, or even well-known Catholics. You won’t find me ranting, raving, or waving religion at politics or even at you. I’m definitely not an apologist; I don’t have those skills or knowledge. I know what I know and that’s what I know. If you’re still looking to define me, then think “traditionalist.”
Living Catholic, being Catholic, reading and writing Catholic
I will share my discoveries, thoughts, and even questions. I have a deep interest in Catholic devotions, Catholic writers, and Catholic books. I’m currently participating in The Year of Faith so you can expect to find me sharing a few nuggets here and there. I love Christian art. If you know me, you know of my deep interest in iconography. I’m fascinated with rosaries, chaplets and the rosary, itself. And don’t forget the saints, their stories, and, yes, even their books and writings.
A baby Episcopalian enters the spiritual world
One thing I do know is that I was christened in an Episcopal church in Philadelphia because I still have the tiny ivory christening gown my mother sewed and said a prayer with every stitch. I know she prayed with every stitch because she told me so. (Good thing, too, ’cause I’ve really needed them over the course of my life.)
As an Army brat I never really stayed too long in one place so I never had strong church affiliations. In fact, although my parents had me christened in the church, neither one of them attended church or ever expressed any desire to do so. My Christian upbringing rested on my small shoulders all during my childhood and I dutifully took up the challenge by seeking out nearby churches and joining the choirs, attending children’s activities and Sunday services–always alone.
My strongest spiritual childhood image is of my grandmother at her bedside every night of her life getting down on her knees and praying to God. She did this even at the ripe old age of 100.
Oh what a tangled spiritual web we weave
The one constant thing in my life has been my belief in God and my personal relationship with Him. No matter whether I was in or I was out, I was connected to Him. Despite the wild turns, strange events, and sometimes downright weird things I explored on my quest for spiritual fulfillment, I remained tethered to God.
Imagine my surprise when, after a ten year walk and sometimes crawl with lots of twists and turns including a walk back into the Episcopal faith, I finally reached the massive doors of the Catholic church. I mean, had I but known that was the end destination I might have converted a lot sooner. After all, my best childhood friend was Catholic and her mom was my adopted second mom.
The Catholic faith emerges
It took a long time and a lot of reading, thinking, and watching EWTN’s The Journey Home but I finally made the decision to enter RCIA in the fall of 2009. The clincher? Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s homily during the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
I joined the Catholic church Easter 2010 and remain committed to the faith and to the lifelong journey at hand. I am happier than I have ever been now that I’m in the Church, and Benedict XVI remains a great influence, a gentle inspiration, and a grand instructor.
That is why I have embarked on my Benedict Reading Project. It may very well take me to my dying days to read what he has written.