Monday, October 02, 2006

In less than a week...

...we'll attend Mass with a little more serious intent. I said in my previous post that I expected God to simplify things, and that has happened. For better or worse, we declared on Saturday that Sunday would be our last service at our non-denominational church. It was a tough, emotional day for me for more than one reason, but now I'm feeling very free and am excited to go to Mass.

"Quitting" our church has necessitated some conversations with people about our intentions and that has been a mini-ordeal. I feel awkward and nervous from the get-go but so far the responses are all nearly identical and rather unrevolutionary. The questions and concerns of the three people from our church that I have told all revolve around Mary, "dead saints", and confessing to a Priest. Oh, and infant baptism. If I were still my old Protestant self, I'm pretty sure those are some of the very things I'd bring up, so I get it. But that doesn't make the exchange any more interesting or challenging. I might be bored if not for the crazy emotional response going on within during the talking.

Two e-mails got my attention yesterday. The first was from Vicki just an hour or so before we left for church. In it, she attached a paper written by an InterVarsity staff guy entitled "Evangelization in a Catholic Context: Collaborating to Advance the Gospel". It was his response to a conference where they explored that topic as excellently as InterVarsity always explores topics. It made me, for the million-zillionth time, proud to be and have been associated with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. It also made me extra-keenly aware of the big diff between Catholicism and Protestantism. This is no small thing if folks have to write response papers on conferences regarding it. Sooooooooo... shortly after when I found myself feeling the weight of this decision for our family - it was affirming to know it's not just me - this is big.

The second e-mail was from Canada Karen (this is not her official title, perhaps I just like that I know someone in Canada). It appeared in my inbox just before ten o'clock last night, and I only saw it through my tears because I was turning off the computer to go upstairs to bed. To cry. To let a hard day be over. She shared some of the details of her and Mark's conversion and the ramifications in the church they were part of. Hard things. I am thankful for the blessing of having some strong Christian Catholic women and men in our lives. This would be a much more difficult road to travel alone. I should also say I'm just as grateful for the strong Christian Protestant women and men in our lives who know us well enough not to worry right now that we've gone off the deep-end.

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