Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lawn Chair Catechism #8: What Was God Thinking?

This is the 8th part of a discussion occurring right now on We are reading Sherry Weddell's Forming Intentional Disciples. It's a really interesting book and it is never too late to join us.

I skipped last week because my reflection was long and it rambled. I didn't like writing it and I didn't want to force anybody to read it. Hopefully it won't be so bad this time.

Knock on wood
Let's revisit my conversion experience. Here I was: I practicing Wiccan. I had played around with Christian symbols and I'd read some of the Bible simply to prove that the abuse I suffered from my grandfather no longer had any power over my life. I knew all about reincarnation and astrology. I meditated and I practiced yoga. I left offerings to the Goddess a couple times a day.

I walk into a Catholic Church because I had to do a paper on a religion I was unfamiliar with and I had a crush on a Catholic.

And it hits me. I feel at home although I have no idea what is going on. I feel like God/Goddess/Whomever wants me to join this Church. All I had ever heard of about this Church is that it's all about conformity. I've never conformed to anything in my life.

I was angry. I went to the sunken garden. I screamed at God and I cried. I could not understand what was going on or why.

Sunken Garden at Truman State University. Picture not taken by me, I'm not that good.
That night, I went on a walk with one of my friends who was a fallen-away Catholic. He ranted about what the Church teaches and why it's wrong. He told me that the Catholic Church was against both the death penalty and abortion. That made me pause, I had never met anyone who agreed with me on both points. I had always held a consistent life ethic and I thought I was a freak.

I still asked my RCIA teacher when we first met: "Is it okay that I still believe in reincarnation?"

So, openness to Catholicism was a huge problem for me.

Ironically, one of the first retreats I went on had the theme "Surrender." On that retreat, someone told me that I was a model of "surrender" to them. They admired me for leaving behind everything and joining the Catholic Church. This retreat happened only 5 months after my first Mass.

So, how did I do it? I don't know. I just did. People tell me from time to time that I'm a brave person. I really don't see that in myself. I just do what I need to do.

There is no doubt in my mind that God can show Himself to those who do not believe. If He can make me Catholic, He can do anything. I really don't have any advice for people who are struggling to be open. It's still a struggle for me in different areas of my life.

Pray for me and I'll pray for you.

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