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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Learning Pieces

For the past fifteen years I have been a spiritual seeker (and hope to continue).  I have attended a variety of churches, Unitarian Universalist taught me how to care for Mother Earth, how to make change with social justice and I met a minister there who challenged my beliefs (in a good way), by asking me to define what I believed and to shake out the old cobwebs of my childhood.  With the task, I created a “mission statement” of my beliefs.  It still involved Jesus and a Christian approach to my life, so “questioning everything” was no longer filling my spirit.

I moved onto Episcopalian, which became a church similar to my protestant upbringing.  But this church was also missing the other part of my life; my husband.  We all reach enlightenment in our own time, but a longtime prayer had been, that one day – we would walk the path together.

The pieces were all coming together.

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Through the many years of soul searching; I semi-regularly attended retreats, classes and an occasional mass; all at Catholic monasteries, retreat centers or churches.  The Catholic beliefs pulled at my heart, I always felt great peace in my spirit when I was in the presence of people from this religion.   It was a calm I had never experienced before.

I began Spiritual Direction late last summer.  I was evolving in more than spiritual ways, I was coming from full-circle from cancer.  I was shaking off the old and injured parts of my psyche, ready for new.   It was there in those gatherings of discussion, did I realize that I wanted what I had always experienced in monasteries and classes, I wanted to become Catholic.

Symbolism, rituals, peace of heart, calm spirit, the focus on prayer, the great love that Jesus has for me, the desire for something so much greater than myself.

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I now attend weekly RCIA classes to become an official Catholic.  It is a place to ask every question pertaining to the Catholic church, faith, “why do they A, B or C.”  I was ignorant in the parts of Catholicism I didn’t know.  There are still questions and I haven’t got the rosary down yet, but I’m a work in progress.

And now, I walk the path; separately and together, with my hubby.  It seems that this “faith thing” is now coming together!

#beblessed  #faithisnotareligion #wisdom

 

 

Pieces of Change

I have never considered myself a particular religion.  I was baptized and confirmed “Lutheran,” but haven’t attended a Lutheran church in 40 years! Spent four years with the Unitarian Universalist church, meeting amazing people who challenged my beliefs.  Met a new friend who invited me to her church; Episcopalian, new to me, but also similar to the Catholic churches that I had explored, including retreat for more than fifteen years.  Seems that maybe I was heading the way of Catholicism, but never felt the draw to convert and join.  UNTIL NOW.

I’m on a new journey; again.  Thank goodness that God honors and encourages the soul to seek.  At least, that’s what I believe.

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So once again I put my thinking cap and glasses on, looking toward a new future, one that saves my soul, captures my spirit, embraces my faith and brings me closer to home.  Amen.

Hypocrisy

“No Religion” is the third largest religious group following Christians and Muslims.

The “unaffiliated category” covers all those who profess no religion, from atheists and agnostics to people with spiritual beliefs but no link to any established faith.

Hypocrisy is keeping a lot of people away from the Christian church for a myriad of reasons.  I am in no way an expert and due to chemotherapy I have a terrible memory, having memorized scripture as a child, I cannot bring one to memory.  I’m not the person to have a conversation with regarding the history of Christianity, which IS one of the reasons many turn away.

But hypocrisy seems to be a big player in these decisions to not follow a particular faith.

Believing one thing, acting like or saying something different.  Or vice versa.

Part of my spiritual journey was learning whether or  not I could stand on the foundation of my faith.  Did I believe what I felt and said I believed?  It turns out I do, and I do.

Having been through ovarian cancer, a gigantic tumor removed and chemotherapy received; I feel I have been healed by faith.  I love this little sentence so much, I’m having it tattooed on my wrist.

Granted, there are a lot of reasons for not being involved in a church; but my advice to you — is keep going, trying new faiths, churches, go with a friend, etc.  I was baptized and confirmed a Lutheran.  I’m now an Episcopalian with ties to the Catholic church and socialization with my UU’er friends (Unitarian Universalist).

For me, I need to be spiritually fed, believe in my spiritual leaders and advisers, feel I could bring ANY friend of mine to the church and learn more about the magnificence of God!

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Eastertide

To be honest, I had never heard of “Eastertide” until today, and as a new-to-the-Episcopalian-faith, I wanted to make sure I was understanding it correctly.  It seems to be a beautiful time of celebration. It is based in Christianity & Judaism and although I attend a “certain” church, I do not believe that Christ put his “stamp of approval” on a particular religion.

Eastertide:  Another term for Easter season, the Great Fifty Days. As used in English-speaking churches, “tide” is an old word meaning a festival and its season. For the church, this is, in fact, still Easter. Easter is not meant to be just one sunny Sunday, marked by a hearty meal and pastel hues, but it is, rather, a full season of feasting. Each one of the “Great 50 Days of Easter” ought to be marked and celebrated as Easter. We are called during this season to find some way, every day, to celebrate and feast. We celebrate this great and joyful fact for a full 50 days, because learning what it means to live in the light of the resurrection takes practice.  It takes us 40 days of Lent to really learn that we cannot save ourselves or our world, and it takes 50 days of Easter for us to be gripped and transformed by the fact that God can.

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