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.