1/15/2006

A New Year, A New Life

Well, the ball is in my court. I talked to the priest after RCIA last week and told him I'd discovered that the "normal" way of entry to the Catholic Church for a faithful churchgoer like me is to just join -- no RCIA necessary. He agreed. So whenever I'm ready, I can just go to confession and take first communion.

I'm torn. I believe in the Church. I want to be part of it. It kills me to sit there during Mass and not be able to physically receive Jesus in the Eucharist. So I should just join and everything will be perfect, right? But there's a part of me that loves the idea of this waiting time as a time of penance, preparation and reflection. The build-up to Easter Vigil, the significance of my spiritual renewal in God's Church conjoined with Jesus' Resurrection -- the symbolism is great, and imbues this rite of passage with much meaning and drama.

So, to wait and reflect, or jump in with both feet on faith. That is the question. In the interest of family unity, I'm leaning toward doing this sooner rather than later. My son was baptized on New Year's Eve (a joyous occasion it was!), and my husband, of course, is ready to come "home" as soon as we cen get our marriage convalidated (the "living as brother and sister" idea was a bit much for him, so he's waiting to take communion until we're "legal"). So we meet with the priest as a family on February 2, and we'll make all the arrangements then.

It's so strange to think of how different my life will be. Catholicism, this ancient, alien (to me) faith, will now be a part of the rhythm of our daily lives. It will dictate how we spend our Sundays, affect how we make love and plan for children, cost us a fortune in Catholic school tuition if we choose to go that route . . .

But it will also unify us with a body of believers around the world who all live with that same rhythm. We can go on vacation in Europe or South America or Australia and worship the same way we do at home. Have you ever noticed how very American most non-denominational protestant churches are? It's hard to picture the format translating elsewhere, even as the world becomes smaller and more interconnected. But the Catholic, or universal Church transcends both nationality and culture. It's centered on one thing, which is the weekly acceptance of Christ by His people in a tangible form given and commanded by the Lord Himself. The Eucharist is the same in every language and every culture. It is Jesus, come to save.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

CC, I've been following your blog. I'm from the SL forums. I just wanted to say that you write beautifully. I am not RC. I wanted to tell you that I have attended non-denominational churches on more than one country and they are similar (NOT "American"). Also, I agree that the RC is united worldwide in that the focus on the readings, liturgy and Eucharist is the same everywhere. However, I would humbly like to say that there are other non-Catholic Churches (and even cults of Christianity) that practice (and boast of) the exact same thing! So, for me, those things don't necessarily make a church true or not true. A church is true because it is true. I would like to wish you and your family the best on your faith journey!

1/15/2006 10:18:00 PM  
Anonymous cjmr said...

Wow! I am so thrilled at your news!

I'm more than a litlle jealous, despite the fact that I have a little less than three months to go now. (In fact, I'm summoning up courage now to ask if I can have my First Reconciliation sooner rather than later--I feel the need for it.) But having come this far with my fellow Candidates and Catechumens, I'll be continuing along the slower path.

Cheri

1/16/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um....wow. How did this whole Catholic thing happen? Please don't be offended but I am frankly shocked. I am going to go back and read some of your posts leading up to this because I am really floored.

~Annemarie

1/16/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

(((((((((((K)))))))))))) I am SO happy for you!!! I know what you mean about being torn, but for me the choice was made already because my priest is a more 'by the book' kinda guy. I have gotten so much out of the wait though... and our entry into the Church is this Saturday!!! Hard to believe...

I know what you mean about the church affecting your life. I have found my life completely infused with liturgical cycles, physically, emotionally, and spiritually... but rather than being oppressive I have found it to be incredibly supportive and beneficial... I pray you find this true in your life as well.

I rejoice with you over the coming unity in your family, and look forward to hearing how things go in your journey.

1/17/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize how anxious you are, how you thirst for the Eucharist, how you long for communion with the universal Church. But if I may -- you will never forget this Easter Vigil if you wait. There is such Magesty, such pagentry, such honor and glory given to the Resurrection of Our Lord and truly, you'll look back upon this suffering of waiting as a gift.

If you're taking votes on the matter, may I weigh in with a "wait!"

God bless your pilgrimage!

RB

1/19/2006 11:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! what a difficult decision! I know myself and I wouldn't wait. I believe this was the way it was done in the earliest times like in the Book of Acts. I guess now with so many different churches, most of which teaching that the RCC is wrong, the RCC wants you to be sure that this is what you really want to do. They don't want you to partake of the Eucharist and then to later turn your back on Him so maybe this is the purpose of RCIA. But I don't think that is going to be the case with you! I know you will be blessed whether you enter the church now or at the easter Vigil!

Tammy the RoaminCatholic

1/31/2006 11:12:00 AM  

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