Sunday, September 23, 2012

RCIA: Catching Up and Such

This week in RCIA we got a tour, and explanation of the various things found in, the church building. Which also makes this a good week to cover what we've been over so far and what I missed the two weeks before I started the class.

Perhaps the most surprising thing is the lack of surprises. Thus far the class has discussed God and Jesus, and my old Baptist Sunday School teacher could have been handed those lessons and never known they'd come from Catholic material. Really I'm not sure what else to say, there's not really anything different.

That's far too short to be a proper blog post so I'll tell you a little bit about the Catholic church building. Biggest difference between them and the Baptist churches I've been in? Nothing is in a Catholic church by accident. If there's one thing I took away from the tour today is that there is a reason for every thing in that building. Even the architecture, the bricks behind the alter are stacked vertically, not because someone thought it was different or pretty, but because it directs your gaze up towards heaven and symbolizes the prayers of the Church rising to God.

The water dishes at the entrances are there as a reminder of Baptism, which arguably plays a larger role in the Catholic Church than in the Baptist church! (More on this once we get to the sacraments) Even the table cloth on the alter is there less any part of the body and blood of Christ touch the floor. (Fun fact, there is a special sink where the vessels used in the Eucharist are cleaned and purified, it drains directly into the ground instead of the sewer system, so that no left over crumbs or drops of the Eucharist get washed into the sewers.)

Short update because I don't have much to talk about. Ok, that's a lie, I have much to talk about but I need more time to make it coherent. And play video games. And read the Catechism, and waste time on the internet. Etc, etc. More on RCIA every Sunday (is the plan) and I intend to do a post about Protestantism and why I'm looking else where at some point. Soooooo stay tuned!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Crossing the Tiber

Today I am starting the Catholic Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This is the several month long rite that ensures those of us seeking to join the Roman Catholic Church actually know what we are getting into. Whether or not I will complete the rite and and join the RCC I do not know. However, this has been several months in the making and it's something that I have to do.

I was raised Baptist, and most of my friends are some flavor of Protestant. I know how most Protestants view the Roman Catholic Cult. I mean Church. (Sorry, old habits die hard.) Growing up I was taught how Catholics prayed to Mary, worshipped statues, believed in a works based salvation, and could only pray through priests. The RCC was clearly the "whore of Babylon" described in Revelation 17. I was even taught how to witness to Catholics at one point!

So why do I seek to join the Catholic Church?

The reasons are many and somewhat hard to articulate. Suffice to say my decision was not an easy one. It was a slow, deliberate and difficult decision. Converting is likely to cost me a lot. I fully expect my friends and family to not understand. Possibly they'll even to try to save me from my backslidden ways!

So why do it?

Because I am, if nothing else, a Truth seeker. It is my quest for Truth that has pulled me closer and closer to the Roman Church. I cannot stop at the waters of the Tiber because of what they might cost me. I must see if Truth is to be found on the other side.

But that still leaves the problem of people not understanding, of strained relationships. I can't change what you believe about the Roman Catholic Church, but I can take you along for the ride.

So that is what I'll be blogging about for the next several months. RCIA started on September 2nd and runs through April 21st. Should I complete it and decide to join the Church I'll be welcomed as a new Catholic on Easter Sunday. Between now and then I'll be blogging about the classes, the discussions and the Catholic Catechism.

I don't expect you to agree with the RCC, or with me, and I don't even expect you to understand. I will do what I have to do regardless. But I do want to offer you this opportunity to experience the RCIA with me, to dispel common rumors about the RCC, to compare and contrast doctrine, to seek common ground and to articulate differences clearly.

I'm inviting you to take a swim with me, or at least watch from the shore.