Friday, September 08, 2006

Jumbled thoughts (Teri)

One thing I need to do is get "out" all the different thoughts I'm having that make me wonder or doubt so I can deal with each of them individually rather than in a big jumble, which gets confusing and gets me nowhere.
One big thing on my mind is that I perceive the Catholic church to be so "watered down", and so full of "nominal" believers (to use a word describing believers in India that I think applies here) that even if I join for great theological reasons, my kids don't stand a chance to become real followers of Jesus.
Right off, my fear annoys me, because when I hear other mothers make it sound like their childrens' salvation is all dependent on what they do or don't do as moms - I think they're ridiculous. The Holy Spirit is the key player here, I believe. But surely my decision(s) - and particularly something so huge as a conversion to Catholicism play some part. So what difference would it make? I'm getting a picture of the depth of the doctrine and the "rightness" of the theology - but what about the week-to-week stuff?
A friend of ours visited night before last for dinner, and - crazy as this is - has become really "disenchanted" (her word) with the churches she has been a part of over the past 5 or 6 years. We started talking about Catholicism and last night she called me. She talked to a Catholic co-worker yesterday and ended up "touring" the Catholic church building close to her home with her co-worker. They met the deacon's wife and she answered some of their questions (like, what are those 3 oils up front near the altar?) and gave her information on RCIA. Well, she can't think of a reason not to, and enjoyed listening to the Scott Hahn CD we loaned her - so she's thinking of diving right in and getting to ask all her questions. Right off, she wondered if children in the church get to grow up hearing the stories of Jonah and Moses and so forth. Good question. What exactly IS the emphasis on scripture? And do Catholics believe in a literal interpretation? See?--- the questions come pouring once I start writing.
Last note - I started Crossing the Tiber today, so I'm looking forward to that - it will be a careful read - especially with the miles of footnotes he includes. My, my, my.


Deanna said...


Can you explain your reference to India - I just don't get it...Thanks

"and so full of "nominal" believers (to use a word describing believers in India that I think applies here)"

Teri and Kevin said...

When we were in India for short term missions, the Christians there often referred to non-practicing Christians as nominal. They would probably say they were Christian if asked, but it didn't really affect their life. We perceived this in the US Catholic Church too and it frankly scared us.

D. Olsen said...

sorry - i just saw your response. Are you saying that you found most Indian catholics to be nominal catholics? Just trying to clarify.

Kevin Love said...

D. Olsen,

No, we are not saying Indian Catholics were nominal. We really had no frame of reference for Catholic "nominalism" when we went there.

We are simply using the term we heard while in India to describe Christians who were only culturally Christian. Not actually committed followers of Jesus.