I wish this blog were as intellectual as I'd like to be. Each post would address one specific point of doctrine and include my response and some thoroughly-researched information illuminating the issue. Then all who read it would stand in a nice neat row lining the path between my current location and my confirmation day and applaud my decision. Loudly. Perhaps even cheer. Confetti-throwing would not be too over-the-top for my ego, or lack thereof.
Alas, although I'm a smart woman, my thoughts and emotions are all over the place when it comes to considering Catholicism. (I really would make a great famous columnist. It would already be established that people like to read what goes on in my brain, and I'd have an editor in my employ to do all the nasty organizing.) So on with the considerations...
After a visit with Rich and Kristi, and lots of conversations about everything from family planning to the mysteries of the church - we have arrived home with plenty of homework. Rich and Kristi have given us tapes, CDs, videos, and other papers. Some kind folks at St. Francis have given us more CDs. We have ordered books and a tape or two ourselves. We're up to our eyeballs in resources. I'm still making my way through Tiber and that leads to lots of scripture reference and catechism checking. I'd really like to just go to Mass some more, but that has gotten complicated and I am waiting on God to simplify it for us. I have no doubt he will. Then, imagine that we become Catholic. It sounds good to me. So what's with the confetti-throwing stuff?
In addition to wanting to work through some questions about Mary, especially, and the Saints and so forth - I also have to work through just being Teri and making big life-changing decisions. In describing this to Magan, I used my beliefs about birth and it worked in my brain so I'm going to do it again here.
When I got pregnant, I absorbed LOTS of information on birth. This included reading numerous books, watching videos, attending births (yes, while pregnant - egad!), and interviewing basically every woman I came in contact with including my OB at the time. My research led me to decide on home birth. It went FABULOUSLY. I loved my birth. So, baby in hand, what does a well-researched gal like me expect to do next? Well, I expect that just EVERYONE I ever come in contact with for the rest of my life will choose home birth. Guess what? I think of all the friends I have who are child-bearing age, ONE decided to give birth at home as a result in part of her contact with me. ONE. Out of fifty-three million. (I have a lot of friends!) WHAT THE HECK? I don't get it. You find a great way to do something, you have proof it works, why don't more people choose to do it that way, too? All these women-friends keep pushing out babies and I still sit here puzzled about their methods. Time goes on and I'm learning that some just don't care how the baby gets out. Others do their own research and (gasp!) come up with different methods. As I struggle to understand these women, and our friendships, and the ins and outs of my own decision, I realize that it's okay to birth differently. However, I still relate better to the woman who makes informed choices about her birth than to the woman who worships her doctor and isn't even sure where her own birth canal is.
WHAT does this have to do with this church decision?
Well, here we've done all this research and discovered all this priceless stuff about the Catholic church. And I'm not getting the sense that everyone is going to want to join along with us. And WHY NOT??? The answers are as varied as they were with the birth decision. But with this, it seems a bit more dangerous to be relative. So I'm discouraged. Why? Do I just want everyone to join the party? Am I so weak that I really do need everyone to agree with everything I do? I don't know. I think I'm just afraid to be wrong. With the birth decision, there was the possibility that all could go awry and my baby could die. Or I could. With this decision, I suppose I fear the possibility that all this stuff is just baloney and I'm going awry and I might die. Plus, since the Protestant to Catholic conversion is a noticeable one (people are going to pick up on it when I start hanging crucifixes and crossing myself in prayer just like they noticed that I never packed a bag for the hospital to give birth) I have to figure out where I fit in among all my brothers and sisters both Catholic and non-.