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Discussion in 'Religion' started by Dr. Fudd, Nov 30, 2013.
Converted from what?
Oh wow! Me too! I have been married to a Catholic for 23 years and always intended to go through RCIA to see how I can help my children practice their faith - we've always gone to Mass - but I sat through it without participating for 19 years. Then finally I had the time to get through RCIA (2009-2010) and WOW! what an experience! That year of my life was beyond amazing!
She's a Catholic convert (as am I).
I wasn't raised in any faith at all. Looked at a lot, but kept going back to Catholicism--it called me, I guess
Sounds like my husband! We've been married 23 years as well, and he's participated in everything (even was the president of the parish Men's Club--lol) and never has gone through RCIA. He does everything the rest of us do, short of taking Communion (though he does go through the line for a blessing each time).
What did (and do) you like about it?
There are a lot of things I like, but here are a few main ones (not mentioning God here, as I think my devotion to Him is a given):
I like the sense of history. This is a church that has endured attacks from both without and within for over 2000 years. It has a documented lineage back to Christ Himself. As a historian (or sorts--at least that's what my degree says--lol), that interests me.
I like the rituals. Not because I can sit back and turn off my brain for a great deal of the mass, but because I DON'T do that. I find new layers of meaning all the time. Having the set order of mass and prayers also makes the readings (different each day--did you know that if you follow the assigned daily readings, you read nearly the entire bible every three years?) and the homily (the priest's sermon) stand out. I never have to wonder, "What's next?" I know.
I like that the church is universal. I can step into a church anywhere in the world on any given day, and the mass is essentially the same. Give me my missal (book of readings), and I'm at home in any parish on earth.
I like confession (no, really). Taken seriously, it gives one a sense of accountability, a sense of how the (evil), or evil, or even EVIL (completely stolen from Father Callahan's musings--lol) we do affects everyone. We do not exist in a vacuum, and confession reminds you of that. It also makes one mindful. It's easy to rationalize the petty, crappy things we're tempted to do almost hourly; knowing you're going to say it aloud is a pretty powerful deterrent. Plus, talking is cathartic, as is having an uninterested party discuss the inner workings of your mind and heart. I believe this is the root of psychotherapy--"the talking cure".
I like it that the church recognizes that much of the Old Testament is allegorical. In societies in which most people learned through oral tradition, important lessons were taught through stories, in which all building blocks were not meant to be taken literally. Understand, I'm not saying there aren't Catholics who believe every word is literal truth (I have a good friend who most definitely believes this), but that is not the teaching of the church. In fact, even my kids' children's bible makes that point clear in discussing the Flood. Despite popular belief, the church is not anti science, either. Actual doctrine makes it clear that the church isn't a scientific organization (though it was the strongest supporter of the arts and sciences for centuries), and makes no claims that dispute scientific evidence. In other words, you're free to believe in evolution--it is a scientifically valid theory--as long as you believe in The One who set it in motion.
I like it that I'm free to believe or disbelieve any 'miracle'. We're not required to think that any event was/is 'real'. If I can say the Nicene (or Apostle's) Creed and believe it with a clear conscience, I'm okay. I'm allowed and encouraged to both have and use my reason.
There are so many other reasons, but this is getting ridiculously long. Bet you're sorry you asked, Dr. Fudd
Skimom, I feel much the same way. I belong to a Traditional Roman Catholic church that has refused to accept the changes (degradations of traditions) of Vatican II--we still have the Latin mass, etc. We feel the modernations forced by Vatican II are NOT proper. Dress should be respectful--no flip-flops, tank tops, shorts, etc.
Well said yet again skimom2 - I am still such a new Catholic that I can't explain it well, but I agree on all you said. The history of the church - St.Peter, St. Paul and all that followed - I love the almost daily/weekly things we can celebrate. I love saying the rosary, I love the formation program I am in. I don't worry so much anymore like I did before I converted - all things are providential - nothing is an accident - that changed my life. However, since I converted from "nothing" I really never knew about faith and grace and any other way of life.
Just how traditional are you guys? In the 60s if I did not have a head covering the nuns would take a bobby pin (Kirby grip for you Brits!) and put a handkerchief on my head. They used to march us over to Holy Name Cathedral from the Holy Name School in Toronto.
(Those nuns in the black and white habits were damn scary I tell ya!) (Stephen should include at least one in any future books if he really wants to scare all the Catholics!)
I also like what you have written (just like Holly was saying). When I met some born again Christians recently and tried going to their church (well actually it was the late 90s to be exact so not all that recently) they scared me when they said they took the Bible literally.
To be a Deacon in their church you had to be #1 male, #2 not divorced and #3 um, gee I guess I forgot the third one! Sorry but that church just made me mad so I had to stop going. They seemed to put down women as second class citizens as well as abhorring homosexuality, saying it was a choice and not something you are born knowing. I think they actually believed you could make someone go *straight* just through prayer.
(I am using my asterisk as the quotation mark is coming up like this again - È or è)
That's us! We do insist that all women cover their heads (we have what we call chapel veils available as you enter the church) and no trousers, etc. The women should have skirts that go below the knees. The men are expected to wear shirts and ties. This is considered a sign of respect.
I did not attend a Catholic school (my parents didn't want to pay the tuition), but did have to attend catechism classes each week that was taught by nuns. I actually did not find the nuns scary--some of my public school teachers were much more scary.
After Vatican II, my wife and I tried the "new" mass and were fairly uncomfortable with most of the practices. We ended up not going to church for eighteen years. We noticed on one of the highways we frequented a church that proclaimed they had the Traditional Latin Mass and went there one Sunday. It was just like going home and we've never looked back.
Wow - I would like to go to one of your traditional Latin masses, jchanic - I am sure it would bring back memories of my childhood. In Toronto back in the 60s I am not sure if my Mom and Dad had to pay tuition or not (I am guessing not, as my Dad was the thriftiest person going).
Here's the web site showing where the Society of Pius V churches are located:
I'm trying not to proslytize here, just providing information.
Thanks but I live in Canada so the closest would be Minnesota, which is a long way from here. (And I did not think you were "proselytizing" ) (It's all good, as my son says)
I'm not sorry at all that I asked! Sorry for the slow reply, life always seems to happen in the interim. I'm always interested in what draws people and those specifics. I have to confess that I have a fear for the souls of people in denominations. Not that I don't go to a church that has a denomination attached to it, but I'm not of that denomination in my heart. In my heart I follow Christ. The church I go to, I attend because they have the most accurate presentation of what the bible says. It's not just what it says to me, but if you were to look at it as an atheist, you'd see what they preach, is what's in the bible.
Rituals cause me to worry. Because doing something ritualistically often develops, in the practitioner, a works mentality. Not always, but in my experience of speaking to people of all denominations, since I personally further the gospel as the bible calls us to do, I hear the interpretations of all faiths and all denominations. Works are merely a representation of faith, but will not save the person that does them if they aren't not "saved by grace through faith, and not of works", as the bible states.
I do have the urge to address everything you've said here point by point but that so often causes division instead of unity. It would be only what the bible says about it, but that has never mattered before, people get hurt feelings if you contradict anything they believe. "Offenses will come" as it says in Luke 17:1. That speaks of someone committing a sinful offense, but equally, aren't we offended when our opinions override what the bible says? When you have one interpretation that suits your lifestyle, but find that the bible says something else? That's the absolute genesis of the 39,000 denominations of Christianity that exist today (only about 400 are recognized). Someone got offended and decided to start their own denomination. The bible calls it idolatry. Creating a god with your own hands, one that agrees with the way you want to live, regardless of what the bible says that opposes that practice.
I imagine on this thread, my fantasy, is to be able to have those discussions without causing anger and resentment (as I have in my over zealous past). Hopefully I could have that discussion with you.
I've read that verse more closely in a few versions now. It's starting to sound like they didn't ask Herod directly where Jesus was, but were asking around and it got back to the penultimately paranoid Herod.
I agree...I wonder if Herod only granted an audience to those who interested him...or something? The end result does not change though...so how wise were they? I keep thinking about how the wisdom of the world is treated by those recorded in the Bible...Solomon, Jesus, Paul, Peter, the whole shebang. Then too...is there some kind of comedy at work in the story of the wise men? The wise men?
Could you elaborate on this? It was in one of your previous posts and I wanted to explore it more. In your opinion what way they lacked wisdom and how they were used or how the bible presents them?
"In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?[my bold] For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was frightened and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them[my bold] where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'" Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another path." - Matthew 2:1-12.
When Herod heard of Jesus' birth it wasn't a surprise since it'd been prophesied. He didn't ask the wise men where Jesus was born, just when they saw the star. I imagine they were loath not to answer a ruler such as him. Also, they've never been described as prophets themselves, and so can't be held to account not to have known what Herod would do. So, the wise men told him when, not where. If Herod had needed to find Jesus, and so take advantage of the wise men, he would've had them followed. They weren't traveling under Herod's orders, but God's - they were gonna see Jesus anyway, so they weren't being weenies and doing whatever asshat told them when the left him. So, I don't perceive that the wise men had been deceived or tricked in any way.