Monday, April 24, 2006

At the Crossroads

Ok, so I haven’t written much in over a week now. There isn’t really any reason why. But I guess I thought possibly people wouldn’t be interested in what I had to write. I’ve been writing a lot about spirituality lately, but I don’t want to alienate any of my friends who read this by thinking I’m one of those Campus Crusader types. That is not me. I am essentially no different than I was before. However, there has been a real change in my outlook on life and an attitude adjustment to boot.

Get ready, here comes one heckuva post.

For those of you that are not spiritual at all, let me explain what I am not. I am not into forcing my spirituality at anyone. I’ve come into Catholicism after a long drought of spirituality. And ultimately my previous spirituality as a teenager was outward and Protestant. We studied the Bible a lot and there was some loud singing and hand-raising in youth group. I really enjoyed my time in that, but theologically, it was empty.

But sparing you from all those theological details, Catholicism is much more inward. There is a lot of silent meditation and serious contemplation involved. There is no hand waiving or “words on the wall” singing. It is safe to say that my conversion to Catholicism has not been simple or easy. I guess that is normal when someone is searching for where they belong and making a major life decision. There are no altar-calls in Catholicism, as many experts say. The process of joining an apostolic faith is a drawn out process that takes consideration and discernment. And it should, to prevent error and false teaching.

I have done the altar-call type of experience before, where all you have to do is accept Christ into your heart and *poof* - you are in. It requires no real commitment (except the one you bind youself to) and there is no real process for redemption. Literally, you can be having a life changing experience one minute and be engulfed in sin ten minutes later. Then what? It doesn’t matter because you are already saved? Ok, that didn’t make any sense to me.

I’m not putting down anyone else’s personal spirituality here. That is not what any of this is about - whatsoever. I’m just trying to explain my own place right now, which is my “journey home” to the Catholic Church.

But right now I still find myself at a crossroads. This one is a little more difficult…OK, so I’ve accepted my path as going right into the Church - but do I go East or West? I am falling in love with both liturgies and that’s where I am torn. In the Byzantine Catholic church, the music is wonderful but more importantly the people are so real and genuine. Their priest is amazing and seems extremely approachable.

In the Tridentine Mass parish (Roman Rite *Latin), St. Michael’s, they take their spirituality very seriously. Many drive hours just to attend a traditional Catholic parish every week. I would love to be a part of that group and share in their love for the Eucharist with them. But all that is raised up to such a higher level by their Choir. I’ll just say this once – you have no heard a church choir until you’ve heard St. Michael’s. They aren’t huge, they aren’t loud, they aren’t a rock and roll band in the pulpit, but they ARE amazing. Pure beauty, clear, magnificent sounds come from these folks.

So, that’s where I am right now. Completely torn, but loving it. The experiences I’m having are tremendous and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

No comments:

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton