This past week, I had a couple of interesting online conversations going on, one with a fundamentalist Christian, the other with this Roman Catholic group I’m involved with online. With the former, I found myself spending a lot of time trying to explain why I do not base my entire faith life on the Bible. I’m pretty sure that’s not even possible. I’m not Jewish. I’ve only seen livestock either after it’s been slaughtered and cooked or while at someone else’s farm show.
With the Catholic group, we got into this very deep, very multi-vocal discussion about gender and divinity.
This is what I love about being Catholic. We can have this kind of profound discussion where I learn stuff in ways I never thought of before – where we all get a bit raw and then walk away and go about our spiritual lives.
As someone who was once Southern Baptist and pretty much always fundamentalist Christian before becoming Catholic, the distance between my two Christian universes sometimes feels huge. Yeah, Catholics argue a LOT, but we manage to coexist! Honestly, the Church often reminds me of the mythical hydra. Cut off its head and two will grow in its place. Because it is like that. All the time.
People sometimes ask me why the Catholic Church? Don’t I actually believe in God, and if so why am I with those hypocrites? I am now at the point in my Christian life where I’m like … whatever. Because, God knows how to sift through and judge us. God knows our hearts.
Catholic means universal. When all is said and done, we fight – a lot – but we will all meet at the same table.
I’m still not sure how they let someone like me in. All I can remember for sure is some really interesting classes, a few non-coincidental divine moments, and that one Easter Vigil, I agreed to a statement that went something like this. “I believe everything that the Church presents, proclaims, and professes to be revealed by God.”
I thought about that sentence a lot. Two parts in particular. First, the part about “everything that the Church teaches” and second the part about “revealed by God.” First, who is the Church exactly? Because to me that means *everyone*. I have to believe everything everyone says? What???
Then, I read the end and I laughed, and I agreed to verbally sign the paper, because haha Dad/Abba/Father. I get it. Revealed by God doesn’t necessarily mean “true” – or a good thing.
Seriously, who wrote this? Am I only the one who sees it??? What is going on here? Are you all quietly laughing at me? What else do you know that I don’t?
Everything about this place is so like that.
And that is my spiritual reflection for the week.
Just one more thing. Okay, I cannot believe people still think the Book of Revelation is literal – and they are absolutely sure they know who/what The Beast and the False Prophet et cetera are (meaning actual, literal people as opposed to ongoing battles against selfishness and sin.) Oh, and if I don’t agree with their interpretations, that means I don’t believe in the Bible. Wait, what??
This kind of thing is why I just smile and nod a lot. I forgot why I did that, but now I’m starting to remember.
Seriously, I do love everyone – a lot – but sometimes y’all a bit much.