Let’s get you caught up, shall we?
A few weeks back, I imported all my work from my deleted blog over to this blog so you’d have some idea of what I was talking about with this “Catholic Conversion” stuff.
Although, jumping from blog to blog didn’t provide much of an adequate segue about the why and how and when of the conversion and how it resulted in a reversion.
So, let me break this down for you piece by piece without going into too much mind-numbing detail so as to lose your interest.
Let’s see here… It all started when I started working as a teacher at a Catholic school.
The people at the new Catholic school were very, very nice. They welcomed me, they helped me, they answered all my stupid questions… they were very kind and thoughtful and Mormon-like. (What? Like we don’t already know the Mormons are the nicest people on the planet? What, like we’re going to pretend they’re not? Puh-lease.) Basically, they treated me like their new Protestant pet.
THEN, I started going to Mass… and became mesmerized by the smells, the bells, the chants, the kneeling, the robes, the high arched ceilings, the statues, the stained glass, and the shockingly shiny metal ware they used for communion.
And then my mom died… and they were all…
“Let me offer this Mass for you.”
“Here’s some homemade bread.”
“Are you okay?”
“Do you need to talk?”
“Can we pray for you and your family?”
And I was all…
And so, I put on my rose-colored glasses and started to question some things about my church background.
Why do we need coffee at church?
Why do we build churches like malls and shopping centers instead of places of worship?
Why do we have to entertain the faithful with rock bands and light shows and fog machines?
Why are we always talking about what God can do for us and what we can get out of a relationship with Him instead of how we can better serve Him and further His kingdom?
So… I started to ask some questions. And I started to study. And I started to meet with a priest. And I prayed and I dug and read books and read all the really hard questions until finally, I was all…
“Yup. This is it. Christ’s one true church. Let’s do this.”
So, outwardly I was all…
But inwardly I was all…
But I couldn’t actually say that. I mean… I had people to please. I had people to impress. I had people to answer to! I work at a Catholic School, peeps!
But then, I figured, “Meh! I’m never going to have to deal with any of that stuff anyway… No church is perfect. Let’s do this. I got this.”
Annnnnd… apparently, that was really the wrong, wrong answer.
I guess, coming from my church background, I just thought, if you change churches, you can always change back… it’s not that big of a deal. A Christ follower is a Christ follower is a Christ follower. God is present in all His churches.
But that’s not quite how it works in the Catholic Church. Once you become Catholic… you can’t just… go back. If you receive the teachings of the Catholic Church as true, and believe them to be true, you can’t just… change your mind. You can’t go back. Once you’re Catholic you’re locked in…
So… IF I do decide that maybe I don’t agree with all the Catholic teachings, maybe I’m not “Catholic” after all… and IF I decide to go to another church…
I’m destined for…
Because I’ve rejected the teachings of Christ’s true church. And apparently I don’t want to have anything to do with Him… or them. So, therefore…
Hell it is.
But… I have difficulty with this teaching. Because I’m not rejecting Christ. I’m not rejecting His teachings. Everything I do, I do to honor and glorify Him. It’s just that some teachings of the church are what I take issue with. Because I can’t quite believe that the teachings of the Catholic Church are indisputable and infallible… because it’s still a church run by man… and man can be incorrect… even if they do claim that every teaching they put forth has been ordained by God… how can one be sure? Man is fallible. We get things wrong all the time. I just can’t believe that Martin Luther was wrong about everything. I can’t believe that Christ was as unmerciful and unmovable as some Church teachings suggest. I can’t believe that all the Catholic Church’s teachings are 100% correct.
So… because of this… because I’ve already agreed to be Catholic, and now I’m backtracking…
I’m now destined for Hell.
A few months back, I had a conversation with Jack about this very thing. Jack is just about the most practical human being on the planet. Nothing ruffles his feathers. He’s methodical and sensible and reasonable and calm and decisive… and he does what he does and if someone doesn’t like it… OH WELL. (I seriously want to be this man when I grow up.) So, we were talking about the fact that if I decided not to be Catholic, I would be going to Hell, supposedly. And I was trying to explain that I knew, deep down, that I wouldn’t be going to Hell just because I decided not to be Catholic, but what truly bothered me was that there would be other Catholics out there who would think I was going to Hell because I decided not to be Catholic. And that’s what truly bothered me about this whole “Catholic – To Be or Not To Be” Conundrum.
And because he is Jack, he was all, “But who cares? You know where your spiritual walk is. Why are you bothered by what other people think?”
And I was all, “Because they THINK I’m going to HELL. That’s a pretty big deal! How does it not bother you that all these Catholics might think you’re going to Hell because you’re not a Catholic?!”
And he laughed and said, “Because it isn’t true! They can think what they want to think, but they’re wrong. So, why should I care?”
The confidence of this man is truly mind-boggling. I have never, ever, had that kind of confidence in my life. I have never been 100% confident of anything ever. You know how much anxiety that creates inside of a person?! To never feel confident and secure about anything? I mean, I know what I believe and what I think, and I can be maybe 95% certain about it… but I’m never 100%. Maybe it’s due to years of being brain-washed as a youngest sibling. I could think something, but more often than not, my older siblings would disprove what I thought and I’d be all, “Ohhhhh…” because I was young and stupid. I could never trust myself 100%. There was always that chance I could be wrong. And so, here I am, at 35 years old, bright-eyed and bushy tailed and uncertain about EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER BELIEVED IN MY LIFE BECAUSE… CHANCES ARE… SOMEONE ELSE IS USUALLY MORE RIGHT THAN ME… SO MAYBE I AM GOING TO HELL.
I might love God, I might follow Christ’s teachings in my life… but I’m still… going to Hell.
You guys… being me is truly exhausting. You have no idea.
So, what do you think? Am I wrong? Am I right? Do I just need to calm down and grow in confidence?
That’s not even what this blog post was supposed to be about… I just got a little distracted. Sorry peeps. Let me know your thoughts.