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.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Our world is a suffering place right now. Political opinions are causing rifts with friends and family members. “Their way” is the right way.
It is not a “Christian” thing; it is a PEOPLE thing. Praying, calling your political leaders, signing petitions, this is how to make change.
How NOT to make change is belittling or bullying those who think differently or remain silent.
Jesus turned the other cheek on a daily basis, and yet – change came. Centuries later there is still deep unrest in the Middle East, wars continue to kill people of all ages, terrorist attacks and school shootings are the modern version of strife during the Roman empire.
So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren.
Prayer from Gregory Coles, Penn State University
Bring an end to violence and hatred and discord. Steady the feet that rush into war and the finger poised on the trigger. Bring justice to the downtrodden, restoration to the marginalized and abused, hope to the hopeless. Guide all those in positions of power—whether that power is political or physical or social—and give them wisdom to use their power wisely. Give them, and all of us, the grace to admit when we are wrong and to seek forgiveness. Give us the grace to forgive.
Help us see your face in the faces of the people around us. Give us courage to love one another even when love seems like a risk. Give us compassion for those who are unlike us. Teach us to listen to those we disagree with, to hear stories that make us uncomfortable. Heal the hatred in the world around us by healing our own hearts first.
Give us peace by making us agents of peace.