Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Random thoughts about being Catholic.

I've been Catholic since Easter of 2008 and it feels like I am just Catholic and at the same time as if I've been forever Catholic. The Catholic faith is so rich that no matter how deeply you study it, there is a surprise, a wonderful joyous surprise around every corner. Which keeps the faith alive and new. And at the same time....because my husband and I study it, ponder it, daily we also feel like we know the faith better than most Catholics. When you become Catholic and submerge yourself in it, you no longer live as you did before. Your mind itself changes. Protestantism seems a distant, a very very distant memory after only five years.

It is hard being Catholic. Most Americans assume you have been deceived into a false gospel. It's hard because, in America, if you decide to kneel and take the Eucharist on the tongue or if, as a woman, I wear my head covered, then all the liberal Catholics judge us with some unchristian severity. We didn't intentionally walk into this family battle, but by choosing to kneel we unknowingly took sides and so we have had constant fire our direction. Liberal Catholics made automatic assumptions about us because we must, naturally, be SSPX-sympathizing, holocaust-denying, Latin mass pushers. No on all three. I do love Palestrina and the Litany of the Saints, but I also love all the sweet little songs we sing at the Eucharist about the bread being the body. (See I don't even know the names of them.)

I feel like wearing a t-shirt to mass that says, "Hey, I'm just happy to be here!" All this girl altar boys and when we kneel or stand....  or if we say "and with your spirit" rather than the old "and also with you" I don't get. I haven't been Catholic long enough to have an opinion. All I know is that someone told me sometime while learning Catholicism that you can stand or kneel, so I thought, "How sweet, I'd like to kneel." I didn't know I was going to be ticking off so many people each mass. (At least some people--including a priest-- have told me that I am displaying my pride and making everyone judge me.)

I also really like Michael Voris. His programming on church militant tv is outstanding. I've also learned not to say that out loud because for some reason a lot of Catholics don't like him.

And we love EWTN and when Father Pacwa said something or other about not holding hands during the "Our Father" I didn't. Again, making mass quite uncomfortable for the man next to me who kept trying to grab my hand. I'm tired of the family feud and I just and finally got to the party. And even with it all I am incredibly glad to be here. I love being Catholic. I mean.... I LOVE being Catholic.

What I realized is that when all this stuff happens in other churches and people start taking sides, the Protestant churches have an easy out. They split apart and everyone goes to church with everyone else who agrees with them. Catholics can't do that. You are made to stay and learn how to get along. And that means obedience. AND humility often accompanying some true humiliation depending about how loud you were on insisting you were right. God set up the Catholic Church to be one. Unity is hard. So, therefore being Catholic is harder than being Protestant.

So here in Catholic land, Dave Armstrong (a Catholic convert) is going to have to get along with Michael Voris (a Catholic revert). And I get to love them BOTH!! (hee hee!) There are so many wonderful people to love within Catholicism on  all sides. If I could have one wish granted. (Other than everyone being saved and peace on earth) I would wish for all people to see Catholicism through my eyes and heart.

I'm now being hit from within Catholicism and from without, from Protestants. It's worth it. Really. I've never been so targeted with people wanting to "correct" me and yet even when I am sobbing with hurt I feel a joy, a joy expanding within my soul that I cannot explain. In Catholicism there is a suffering in each joy and a joy that pervades and infuses every suffering.

As a Protestant, I knew and felt Jesus. In Catholicism He and I are becoming one. As wonderful as both are, the struggle of being Catholic makes my life an epic story. And that story looks very much like Christ's.

1 comment:

Dave Armstrong said...

Hi Teresa,

God bless you! I have made a response on my Facebook page, which is public:


In Him,