Blast from the Past ... becoming Catholic again

I've been reading some of my old journals, from 10 years ago when I first toyed with the idea of returning to the Catholic Church. For those of you who aren't familiar with my faith journey, I was raised Catholic but then took a 10+ year vacation from the Church for a variety of reasons in my late teen's and early/mid 20s. Now I'm a Catholic Sister. Life takes interesting turns to be sure.

I've been thinking a bit about what it was that drew me back, other than the obvious answer that it was simply a gift of love and grace. But I'm a thinker, so I've been thinking. And reading my old journals. This morning I read this entry from just a few weeks after I started tentatively going back to Church.
And then there’s a feeling of inevitability, that I’ve been avoiding the inevitable and that of course I was going to go back to the Church some day. That makes it kind of weird too, almost like it’s not a choice at all but part of some giant plan. And it’s not supposed to be that. Aren’t you supposed to be joined in faith and belief? What do I believe in? I haven’t thought about that in such a long time. Do I believe in God? Do I believe in Jesus Christ? Afterlife? Salvation? All the stuff that was drilled into my head for years in Catholic School that I’ve conveniently forgotten.

But I’m thinking about it, aren’t I? Maybe I should just start going and see where it leads me.
Which leads to the question .... how freaked out would I have been to know that less than 10 years later, I'd profess vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience as a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace?

There's a line from President Obama's talk at Notre Dame that's been present to me all week.
But remember too that the ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt. It is the belief in things not seen. It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.
I think that if I had tried to figure out exactly what I believed before I came back, I'd still be an ex-Catholic. I might even be the lost, confused and anxiety filled young woman that I was. I most likely wouldn't have discovered my passion and purpose in life, working for peace through justice. Who knows who/how I would be, but I would certainly be different.

The amazing gift and mystery is that somehow, God was able to break through. Amazing people in my life - friends, pastor, parishioners - guided me on my journey, helped me to live into the questions rather than demand answers, journeyed with me, and continue to journey with me, as I grow in faith and love and hope and life. And for that, I am deeply grateful.

1 comment:

Eliza said...

"helped me live into the questions rather than demand answers"

Wow... that's a beautiful nugget of prose...