Catholic, life experience

Conversation and conversion

I like having a good conversation about why I became Catholic, it seems to be what people care about now days, and is the first topic we discuss when we haven’t seen each other for awhile.

What I dislike greatly is the morbid curiosity or judgment kind of conversation about my conversion.  Had one of those tonight at a pancake breakfast!  It was accusatory and put me on the defensive.  In the end I just said that it fed my spirit and let them push their nose up to the ceiling and sigh.  I did the latter and left the table.

Shared this theory with my SIL when we visited her last month, we agreed, it’s not like becoming Lutheran.  I mean – heck people don’t see that as admonishing.  Or Jewish; now I do have a friend that converted to Judaism and she’s functioning just fine and doesn’t seem to get hassled about her beliefs.  (Gypsy, I’m gonna need some feedback from you)!

Catholic is probably the most misunderstood religion on earth.  I should know, I had my high and mighty opinions too, when I was in RCIA (a class to learn more about Catholicism) I asked my many ignorant questions.  Why do you worship the Virgin Mary?  Why is she so important anyway?  What is purgatory all about (I still don’t buy that one)!  Why can’t priests marry?  The amazing thing is, all of my teachers were patient and gave me explanations that helped me understand.

I’m not an expert, trust me.  I attended mass tonight, my first Tuesday night service and felt like a 3 year old.  However, I was able to function and it was a lovely 1/2 hour. When you have conversation with people; whether it’s about lifestyle changes, religion, politics or child-raising, remember the other person is a human being and deserves the same respect you have for yourself.

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Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Catholic, life experience

Pieces of the World

I’ve traveled to Germany, Amsterdam, Canada, Mexico and a few Caribbean islands.  I was born and raised in the United States and at 54 this might seem like a small list.  I am not a world traveler by any means, but I am……becoming one!  We leave in a few days for Ireland and Scotland.

Many well-wishers/have traveled these places suggest visiting the many cathedrals and small churches along the way.  I am looking forward to this because I want to see how other people worship. Catholicism was brought to Ireland in the 5th Century by missionaries, one of the most famous being Saint Patrick.

I am traveling with an incredibly open heart.  I want to see Jesus in a new way; in the centuries-old buildings, the faces of the faithful.

What unusual places have you discovered Jesus?  Would love to read your comments!

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St Brigid of Kildare

Catholic, Uncategorized

Pieces of Communion

The Catholic church honors communion as a very sacred act.  It is Jesus you are meeting.

The bread; his body and the wine;  his blood.  It is experiencing Jesus in the highest form.  He is inviting you to encounter Him.  Wow!!!  Powerful!!!

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While the Catholic faith refers to communion as the Eucharist, it is shared by the faiths of many.  Coming forward to receive Jesus in His most Holy form.

As a confirmed Lutheran, former Unitarian Universalist and Episcopalian, I see the breaking of bread as a communal custom, not always religious, but to share together as community.

As a very new Catholic convert, I am deeply blessed by the Eucharist.  I have never felt as close to the human person, called Jesus, that walked the earth for 33 years as I have when holding out  my hands and receiving the wafer.

Have your experiences with communion changed during the years of your life?  Do you find it more or less inspiring?  Have you been moved by the experiences of this closeness?  Has the experience become extraordinary?  I encourage you to comment on this post, I’d be interested to read your thoughts.

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Catholic, holidays

Divine Mercy

Today the Catholic faith celebrates the Divine Mercy.  What is it?  I didn’t know until I stepped into church today (of course I’m only a week old Catholic, so don’t expect much from me, for awhile!!!)

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History of the Message and Devotion to Divine Mercy

The Message of the Divine Mercy that Sr. Faustina received from the Lord was not only directed toward her personal growth in faith but also toward the good of the people. With the command of our Lord to paint an image according to the pattern that Sr. Faustina had seen, came also a request to have this image venerated, first in the Sisters’ chapel, and then throughout the world. The same is true with the revelations of the Chaplet. The Lord requested that this Chaplet be said not only by Sr. Faustina, but by others: “Encourage souls to say the Chaplet that I have given you.”

The same is true of the revelation of the Feast of Mercy. “The Feast of Mercy emerged from my very depths of tenderness. It is my desire that it solemnly be celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the fount of My Mercy.”

These requests of the Lord given to Sr. Faustina between 1931 and 1938 can be considered the beginning of the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion in the new forms.

Through the efforts of Sr. Faustina’s spiritual directors, Fr. Michael Sopocko, and Fr. Joseph Andrasz, SJ, and others — including the Marians of the Immaculate Conception — this message began to spread throughout the world.

Further information

Catholic

Pieces of Adoration

On my journey to becoming Catholic, I have experienced God on a deeper level, mainly through new ways of prayer.  Adoration is one that I find incredibly moving and soulful.

Webster defines it as this:   the act of adoring, the state of being adored

The first time I experienced the Adoration prayer was during the 2nd day of a 3-day retreat by Fr. Dave Pivonka at my parish.  Google him if you haven’t heard him speak; he is truly a messenger of God.  He carried this very large gold & flashy cross from the front of the church to every row filled by people.

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I have since learned this is called the “monstrance”, containing Jesus — body, soul, blood, and divinity.

Fr. Dave encouraged us to bow our heads and pray.  I don’t know how much time went by, but I found myself in a deep, meditative state, filled with joy and tears.  I was overcome by God’s grace.

Our parish prays adoration every Tuesday from 8:30 am to 8 pm.  I try to go each week, and although I haven’t experienced that same feeling from the first time, I do feel that I am in the presence of our most holy and heavenly Christ when I pray in this setting.

It’s not so much becoming Catholic as it is rediscovering Jesus in a new light, He is touching my life in places I never knew existed.