For those of you who visit who are interested in things Catholic, or for those of you who are practicing (or non-praticing) alcoholic/addicted Catholics, I've found a nifty little fellowship called Catholics in Recovery. Come check it out, join in the discussion and fellowship!
I've decided to put my resume out and begin to discreetly tap into my network to see what's out there in "new career" land. I am getting nervous, my pipeline of loans is not looking great and I don't want to get caught unprepared should things get worse. I will be doing some soul searching and praying for Guidance.
This past Sunday, we attended a local Christian church where Ian had attended Vaction Bible School all week at the invitation of one of his little buddies. Seeing no harm in it, we said go for it. He did it last year with no ill effects and so we said sure, go ahead, again this year. Well, to cap off VBS week, all the kids had this performance at their Sunday morning service. So, we went. The people were very friendly, the pastor gave a nise sermon on Grace and Sin (speaking on John 7:53 "the Adulterous Woman"), there was lots of singing, a contemporary band, with lights, and the words to the songs on a giant screen (laptop projector). The message was great, even the emphasis on how they believe strongly that one cannot earn one's way into Heaven. I think that comes from the misconception that Catholics and other Christian denominations teach/believe that you can only enter Heaven through good works, thereby "earning" your way into Heaven. The folks at this church we visited believe that you're saved if you enter a relationship with Jesus and let Him into your heart, a point I don't necessarily dispute utterly. (after all, who the heck am I to judge what's right or wrong when it comes to salvation?)
The whole thing left me feeling good that Ian got a great message and lots of fun/fellowship all week. But the service left me wanting more. it was nice, pleasant, and the pastor gave an empassioned, lengthy talk. But, I needed more. I guess I didn't realize (or had forgotten) how accustomed I had become to having Jesus in our midst literally, in the Eucharist, each and every Sunday. With their service, there was no mention of Communion, the Last Supper or any such thing. It was more like a charismatic, praise-filled worship, again, very nice and pleasant but for me, lacking.
Sure, as Catholics we may be boring, even stodgy or come off as thinking we're "better than." I really believe we're steeped in tradition going back to Christ and St Peter. We believe and know that Christ comes to us in the Eucharist through the Priest, ordained through the Sacrament of Holy orders, in the traditions set forth by Jesus and St Peter. So, no I don't think I/we are better as Catholics, or that we're going to heaven and non-Catholics aren't. I just get much more from our worship, our traditions. To me, there's just so much depth to our faith, so much meaning in all the rituals and symbols.
That's the beauty of the freedom of religion. To each their own, and thankfully here in our glorious country, we are free to worship and visit other churches. My experience helped me appreciate someone else's faith and brought me closer to my own! I love that!