Sunday, March 23, 2008

During the deeply symbolic service that is an Easter Vigil mass, the Catholic church this year received me as one of her own.

Albeit difficult to describe my array of new joys to a mostly Protestant readership ... if I still have a readership after six weeks of silence ... I couldn't go on with this blog without admitting openly that I am, now, Catholic. I would like to write out the whole story sometime, but the mental image of reader after reader staring horrified at their computer screens reminds me that Rome isn't generally forgiven in a day, however long it took to build her.

But the deluge of ideas, the thoughts and influences, hopes and fears of the months it took me to reconcile myself to the ancient Church beg me constantly for expression. This little blog of mine isn't going to turn into an extensive list of arguments for Catholicism, but parts of my thought and experience will work their way into these pages now and again.

This may naturally be hard for Protestants to take. But my hope is still "built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness." Don't give up on me, folks.

I'd like to ask one tremendous favor of all of you: Don't take everything you read/hear about the Catholic church at face value, especially if it comes from either the news media, evangelical books/commentaries, or ex-Catholics. The media has told three major, outright lies about the Vatican in the past ten months. Commentaries and other non-Catholic books have been responsible for some hilarious mistaken notions of what we believe (did any Catholic anywhere ever believe that papal decree could make fish 'not meat'?) And the sad, simple truth nowadays is that most ex-Catholics are ex-Catholics because they had no idea what they believed.

"There are not a hundred people in the world who hate the Catholic church, but there are thousands who hate what they mistakenly believe the Catholic church to be."--Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Catholic or Protestant, you all are my friends and I love you.

1 comment:

  1. Don't take this the wrong way Jenna, 'cuz you know the kind of guy I am ;-)

    Seriously... who cares?!?

    Does God care whether you are Protestant or Catholic? I very much doubt it.

    The only people who might possibly raise a fuss about this, are those who are insecure in their own religion. The ones who look to doctrine for salvation instead of faith.

    I've come to the conclusion, after many years of contemplation and experience, that it's not whether we belong to "this church" or "that church" at all that matters. It doesn't matter if we call ourselves "Christian", even! "Christians" don't get into Heaven. Only people who WANT to get into Heaven, get into Heaven. The ones who recognize that they need salvation and that it only comes by the grace of God. And He doesn't wait for us to call ourselves "Christian" or "Baptist" or "Catholic" in order to give it to us.

    And although I'm not Catholic and likely never will be, any more than I could now call myself a member of any denomination, if this is what helps to give you comfort and fellowship and closeness to God, then you go girl! :-)

    By the way, you are very right about not "taking at face value" what most people think about Catholics. One of the most surprising things I've learned in recent years is that it's *not* a monolithic, uniform set of beliefs. That there are many different aspects and opinions within Catholicism and so far I can't say that I have met anyone who seriously worshiped Mary.

    Heck, one priest once told me that "Mary worship" was "complete rubbish" before adding that "if Mary were always a virgin, then Joseph was the greatest saint who ever lived!"

    I had to go to the restroom to compose myself for the next ten minutes, I was laughing so hard :-)

    Congrats on your ummm... "conversion"? Whatever it is you call it, best wishes and you're in our prayers :-)


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