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.

Pieces of Community

In the past two days I’ve spent a good amount of time with UU’ers (Unitarian Universalists).  I remain a “friend” of this community, as I had been an active participant for four years.

Some Christians would tell you “don’t converse with unsaved folks.” But that NEVER made sense to me.  How are you supposed to share the love of God and the reason for grace if you only ‘hang out’ with like-minded people?

I personally don’t believe the God I believe in put His “Good-Housekeeping” Seal of a Approval on a particular church or religion.

However, I digress, this post is about community, and the importance of belonging; finding your (various types of) people and how the bible encourages it.

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Acts 12:12 …..”gathered together praying…”

Deuteronomy 31:12 “Gather the people together, men, women, children, and your foreigner who is within your towns, so that they may hear and learn…..”

A core belief in the UU church is to “question everything.”  I am not a Lutheran because my parents raised me to be one, in fact – I no longer identify as a Lutheran at all.  I check the box for Christian for medical forms and leave it at that.

But community; is more than a group of people hanging out together, it’s being with people who respect, are concerned about and want you to live your best life (I’m channeling Oprah)!

Is your community healthy?  Are you inspired and encouraged by those in your circle?  Is God at the center?

what does your community look like?  what is it missing?