Sunday, February 17, 2008

In front of God and everyone

I don't normally post about religion, because holy lightning rod; and also, my feelings are nothing if not conflicted. I enjoy the ritual of it all and have found comfort there in times of grief. But if I am honest with myself, I haven't nearly the faith to swallow everything I should to be a true believer. And as a leftie, feminist type, I have Issues with a capital I about many teachings and dictates of the Roman Catholic church.

And yet, you'll find me at Mass nearly every Sunday, goosebumping up when the priest presents a newly baptized baby to the applauding congregation, beaming as if he bore that child himself. You'll notice tears leaking from the corner of my eyes during a soaring hymn. You'll see me volunteering to send valentines to homebound parishioners and organize the Sunday morning nursery co-op. You'll realize I'm sitting alongside almost all of my close friends in this community, the ones who'll watch one child while I chase the other or save a seat for us during coffee hour. On warm-weather days, the kids and I may be at church for two hours or more, including Mass, coffee talk, and a visit to the school's playground.

This year I am sponsoring a good friend as she goes through the RCIA process. I was honored to be asked, but hesitant. Was it really right for me to hold myself up as an example for her? In the end I decided that all I could do was tell her the truth. That I have questions, questions that will probably never be answered; but if she wanted to, we could seek together. And so we have. This Easter she will be baptized and I know I'll be proud to have been a part of this process with her.

I'm still out there wondering, but I know I have company. And that means a lot.


Lisa said...

Definitely don't think you have to absolutely believe every, every idea of the church. Don't think I know anyone who does... Even some priests I know would like to change a few things. :-)

Your friend is very wise for choosing you as a sponsor.

Angela said...

Mayberry Mom, you truly put my thoughts into words, thank you.I also don't agree with all of the teachings of Catholicsm but I'm still there most Sundays.
My faith is what got me through the past year with the death of a beloved nephew.
That is so wonderful that you are sponsoring your friend, and I think it's great that you are doing so even though you still have questions, we can't just embrace everything without being critical and free thinking.

GHD said...

Wow, all the things I want to talk about in this very little comment box :-)

You are certainly not alone. I've been told that we are all on a different part of the journey and that's what makes us Christians.

As a cradle Catholic, I would be lying to you if I told there haven't been times where my faith has wavered. I haven't always agreed with everything either and there's so stuff I just don't get, but I'm getting there. We all are.

I think it's awesome that your an RCIA sponsor.

Thanks for a beautiful post.

Lara said...

we can all seek together - that's one of the great things about community. you may have noticed the tagline on my faith blog: "i am just a seeker too..." it's from a song by sara groves called "conversations" - hey, that's the title of the blog! the lyrics around it: "i'm not trying to judge you, no that's not my job. i am just a seeker too, in search of God." who really has all the answers? no one i've ever met.

Colleen said...

Do we ever really stop searching for answers? I feel the same way as you btw. I am sponsoring two teens this year for their confirmation and I honestly told them that I believe questioning is normal and is the way we grow in any relationship, especially the one with God. Thanks for this post - it is nice to know we aren't alone. :-)

Mrs. Chicken said...

I have similar issues, but I feel much the same that you do after Mass. Like I meditated.

Or, at least, that's how it used to feel before I had a small spider monkey on my lap the whole time.

Lawyer Mama said...

This is the part of religion that I miss out on. The community, the ritual, the comfort.

the mama bird diaries said...

I have such mixed feelings about religion... love some of the traditions but just not a true believer. More of a believer in a greater higher power.

Very insightful, honest post.

Anonymous said...

As a "newbie" myself,(I went through RCIA & was baptized last Easter)I have sooo many questions. Poor Father, he must get so tired of seeing me waiting around after Mass. I don't get to go to Mass every Sunday and when I miss it, I really miss it. I love the peaceful feeling I have afterward & the rituals & symbolism of Mass.

My husband is my sponser & I will tell you this, He is NOT a very good role model. He eats meat on Friday during Lent & only goes to church for weddings & funerals. He does have a strong faith and a deep belief in the priciples of the Church, he just doesn't like to GO to church.

Kimberly said...

Very nice post. I have similar issues.
I think it's awesome that you're serving as your friend's RCIA sponsor.

mothergoosemouse said...

C'mon, I wave the lightning rod around during severe thunderstorms over at my place, and I've only seen a few drive-by healing attempts in retaliation. ;)

The ritual of Catholicism always appealed to me too. It's comforting.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

I loved this post.

I consider myself agnostic, although not in the strict definition. I believe in something, I just don't know what.

Sometimes it's the journey, right?