I'm a bad Catholic and The Catholic Church is Right About All The Things. No, seriously.
I've heard it said that conversion is a journey and if that's the case, I clearly need more converting. I'm obsessive about brutal self-honesty--it's why I journal every day of my life--and the truth I've discovered is that I'm a rebellious Catholic. This is not me being cute. This is not me being hip. This is me admitting that I've been full of spiritual pride.
Ever since I became Catholic in 2009, I've tried to bend Catholicism to meet my Own Ideas About What Catholicism Should Be. Let me be brief: this journey has ended in disaster.
For one thing, it's exhausting. For another thing, it was atheistic. At least, behaviorally.
Meaning: *I* was deciding what was true or not true. *I* was deciding--based on some personal, arbitrary standard of Me-ness--to decide whether the Church Fathers were right about All The Things. I didn't need any Thomas Aquinas giving me the what-for on doctrine. Who did he think he was, anyway? Pffft. He was "just a human being" like me. He was FLAWED. And don't get me started on the Pope and all that infallibility nonsense! AS IF A HUMAN BEING CAN BE INFALLIBLE BA HA HA HA, am I right?
Because. Obviously. It was MY relationship with Christianity! It was MY relationship with God! It was all about meeeeeeeeee.
And therein lies the pride of my Protestant heritage: protesting as a way of life. Protesting as a practice of faith. Picking and choosing and white-washing my rebellion as just "being a good Berean."
Oh, the many-splendored manifestations of my pride!
Can I just admit something, here? Being The Arbiter of All Truth is exhausting. I should know, I've given it a good run. And, as I said: it's ended in disaster.
Picking and choosing has made me a liar and a hypocrite. I've tried to please everyone except God. I've ignored and/or watered-down my adherence to certain, difficult Catholic doctrines because, well, THEY ARE UNPOPULAR. And, apparently, I'm all about being popular.
But I'm gonna go ahead and resign from being the Pope. Yeah, I've been playing Pope. You know, like: "Well, I believe THIS about the Church but I don't like THAT so I'm declaring what's true and not true." Even if I didn't say it in so many words, I said it through what I practiced.
Thing is, I've been proven wrong so many times (about the Eucharist, about Mary, about the communion of Saints) that it's actually SMARTER for me to assume The Catholic Church Is Right About All the Things. I mean, there's one Pope and I ain't him.
I know! I know! WHO AM I BECOMING???? (Feel free to unsubscribe now)
OK, now to be fair to myself, here is what I was protesting. I was protesting being a Mean Catholic. I despise Mean, Know-it-All People and the Internet is especially full of them. In other words, I felt that being a Faithful Catholic meant I needed to be like Certain Internet Catholics who use words like "militant" and "Catholics born for combat" as their claim to fame--NO, I WILL NOT MENTION NAMES OR LINK TO SITES.
Point is, I thought that being a Faithful Catholic=Being a Mean Catholic and BEEN THERE DONE THAT. Thank you, fundamentalist childhood.
So, I didn't want to become a Mean Catholic. But I never realized I could just become a Sweet, Kind and Faithful Catholic. Basically, I was spending too much time around Internet Catholics and not enough time with Real Life Catholics.
All I have to say is that Real Life Catholics have been more than generous with me. They let me into their Church, they welcomed me to the Table and they prayed for my further conversion. I mean, they probably stopped reading my blog because well, UNFAITHFUL TO THE MAGISTERIUM OF THE CHURCH. But they didn't punish me or sic The Inquisition on me.
Instead they were patient. And kind. Which, shockingly, is kind of like God.
So, this is me saying I'm tired of trying to bend Catholicism to ME and instead, I'm committing to bend MYSELF toward it. Because I believe in God. And God brought me to Catholicism. And then God brought my husband in. And now my children. SO CLEARLY THERE IS A PLAN, HERE.
It's time for me to repent and start ACTING like I believe God is God. Which is just another way of saying: freeeeeedom!