Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Christian Catholic

I was raised a Christian. Baptized in the Methodist Church, switched to the Presbyterian Church as a teen. Settling in the Catholic Church when I decided to marry a Catholic Man. I gave poor Father Harry Keneven, a tough time with questions and wanted to know exactly what I was getting into when I became a Catholic. He taught me well, and I appreciate his patience with me. I think I have "done him proud". It is said that those who join the Catholic Church as an adult have a better understanding and a sometimes stronger grasp on our religion. Some say we make better Catholics. i don't buy it. Religion is what you make of it. You should be with your faith because you believe in it and you are it.

I have always been active with my church. sometimes more often than other times but I love my church and it makes me feel more a part when I am actively involved. I taught Continuing Catholic Education one year, that was interesting. My favorite memories are the ones that I was a Confirmation Leader. I had the most awesome kids ever! All three years. And I still love every one of them and pray for each of them too. I wanted each to walk away after our year of discovery and growth in the church and wanted them to make their own decisions. Be a Catholic because it is who they are & what they believe, not because ..they had to. We succeed. And I truly feel that each of them left me with a greater love of the church.

I am currently perplexed with someone I love deeply as she is struggling with her beliefs. She has always been one of the strongest Christians I know, and now she is doubting her belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior. She tells me she believes in God, just not sure anymore about Christianity. I am blown away! I want to shake her! I want to say the right things and help her through this challenging time. I don't want to say the wrong things and push her further. I pray for her even stronger today as I try to find the right words and hope that by example to show her the love of our Lord. I need help in knowing how to guide her.

I shared with her this quote my Emily gave me from C.S. Lewis:
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."


sroman said...

Crises of faith are as old as time. Let her work through it. All Catholics are Christian but not all Christians are Catholic. Maybe she'll find a more comfortable place.

Anonymous said...

Awww,...Janie, thank you. I appreciate your concern.
Hey! See I read your blog! And I'm still reading it... I got this far!
You are an excellent writer ~ I never knew you had such talent.
Keep praying for me.

Anonymous said...

Questioning our own belief system is essential; just as surely as, questioning the laws of nature are essential to scientific development. When our beliefs do not withstand fair and honest scrutiny then we should not be fearful in the pursuit of truth because of the implications it will have to our faith, our church, our family or our salvation. It is scary because from what I understand, I may be in danger of suffering unimaginable torment for all eternity for questioning the basic salvation principles of the gospel and yet most denominations do not agree on these principles.

One example of a bible story that I now find difficult to accept is the story of Noah's Ark and the Great Flood. There is no fossil evidence to support the idea that all the surviving animals (and humans) multiplied and spread out across the earth from a single point of origin which would be where the ark landed. However, there is fossil evidence against such a story. Some denominations teach that if we do not accept the bible as the inerrant word of God then we are lost. Noah’s Ark is huge in establishing biblical credibility.

Accepting principles on faith when we do not understand is good and valiant. It is a reasonable starting point but not a good stopping point; we should continue to pursue understanding. That is not the same as denying evidence to the contrary - in my mind, denying evidence is a form of brain washing which is prevalent in many religions, especially in Mormonism which I escaped by scrutinizing gently, fairly, intelligently and honestly – a process that was unwelcome by Mormons when the answers did not conform. In the Mormon Church, I am the worst kind of person because once being enlightened, having held the priesthood, I have now turned completely from the Mormon gospel light.

To me, Christianity may be just a bigger form of Mormonism which in many ways is just as equally unwelcoming of open, honest, intelligent and fair scrutiny of some rather fabulous claims.

- Brutus