Apparently I have a fixation on the word “awesome” as evidenced by yesterday’s post. I promise I’ll proofread this time. Really. Moving on. Five more things I love about the Catholic church, and a call for help.
95. Churches named after saints.
When I was younger, I went to mass with a friend’s family (I have absolutely no memory of it, though, which is weird) at a church named after St. John the Baptist. In this particular part of the south, there is quite a heavy line of division between Catholics and Baptists (the “they worship Mary” argument comes to mind), but we were just kids, and we thought the fact that it was St. John the Baptist Catholic Church was hilarious. St. John the Baptist is probably rolling his eyes in heaven right now and asking Jesus when we’re going to get over that. I don’t think I ever will.
I wouldn’t say I had a Protestant upbringing, but I’ve been to my share of vacation bible schools and Sunday school meetings, and there is a lot of rhetoric mentioned whenever someone brings up a story in the Bible where Jesus cast out demons and healed people and all. That just doesn’t jive with how things work, so how could Jesus do that? I’ve heard arguments that demons aren’t real, so the writing in the Bible is symbolic, and the demons are actually personal problems that people had, addictions and behaviors they needed to change, and Jesus helped them do that. The word “demons” comes up because the real meaning was lost in translation. The first time I ever came across the idea that God – Jesus – could actually perform miracles and in fact, already had, was in the Catholic church. I believe it. I’ve witnessed miracles. And my understanding of the Gospels have gotten a lot less murky since I learned that, too.
Mary had a lot to do with my first few encounters with God, and I doubt I would be where I am without her. In no uncertain terms, she literally got my attention, got me asking questions. “Who is God?” I asked, and she smiled, led me to him, sat me down at his feet, and said, “You’ll see.”
I have never looked back.
92. The rosary.
A rosary was one of the first tangible connections to the Catholic faith I had. I used to think the idea of meditating on the mysteries was cheesy, but now I love them. I remember more about Jesus’s story because I’m familiar with them. I wish I was better at praying the rosary – I try to every day – but I usually don’t get a chance to until I’m in bed and then I end up falling asleep. This really upset me for a while and I felt like my prayers didn’t “count” because I didn’t finish them, and then my sponsor told me that if you fall asleep praying the rosary, the angels finish it for you while you sleep.
91. Not having to bring my Bible to church.
I am the world’s slowest finder of books in the Bible, so by the time the preacher had read the verse he planned to preach on, I was still lost somewhere in the table of contents. Missals are the best thing ever. I can actually read along rather than leaning over my friends and trying to figure out where we are.
Alright, ten down… ninety to go. I thought today about what the other ninety might be, and I don’t really have a list planned or anything…and I’m sure there will be days when I can’t think of any I haven’t already done. I am totally open to collaborating on this project if anyone wants – and I’m sure a lot of you have more knowledge about things to love about the Catholic church than I do! Let me know if you’re interested?
We’re going through the first scrutiny tomorrow… Pray for us!