I Choose to be Catholic

I'm Catholic

I choose to be Catholic.

I can attend Mass seven days a week. Not just Sundays. Seven days a week, which means I can receive the Body and Blood of Christ on a daily basis. At Mass I am filled with so much joy it is some times difficult to contain it.

I can attend Mass at any Catholic church around the world and know almost exactly what to expect. The readings are universal. The prayers are universal. Our traditions are universal. The only thing different is the homily. In the past I have attended several other denomination church services, and in my experience I found them to be lacking. I enjoyed the music, but that’s about it.

I am grateful for the many prayers of my Faith. Litanies, Novenas and Acts, oh my! There have been times when I did not have the words to pray, and there will be more of those times. I love that there’s a prayer for everything. There’s a prayer for lost things. There’s a prayer for lost Catholics. There are prayers for ones enemies and humility.

I read the Bible. What? Catholics don’t read the Bible! Yes, we read the Bible. We even have Bible study groups. And we read from the Bible at every Mass. Old Testament, Psalms, New Testament, and the Gospel. I don’t carry my Bible with me to Mass because a Missal with the Bible readings is provided for me. But I can use my Bible if I like and many of us do.

I enjoy raising my child in the Church and being a Catechist. I love explaining our traditions. I love trying to explain transubstantiation. I love to hear their explanations of what it is to be Catholic. I love the looks on the students’ faces when they realize their first Reconciliation is coming soon. I love to hear them practice their prayers and songs. And I love seeing each one of them dressed in white to receive their first Holy Communion.

These are just a few things I love about being Catholic. The Catholic Church is my home. It’s my family. I choose to be Catholic.

In the Nick of Time

Okay.  I admit it.  The opinions of outsiders being spewed all over social media angers me.  {And by outsiders I mean non-Catholics.}  Obviously I don’t mean ALL outsiders.  Part of my anger goes to the outsiders whose opinions of the Catholic Church based on someone else’s opinions of the Catholic Church and not their own knowledge.  But what angers me most is a lot of these outsiders were at one time insiders who didn’t take the opportunity to learn for themselves and are now blaming the Catholic religion for their shortcomings.

Just this afternoon my blood was boiling when someone posed a question about the 10 Commandments in a very lengthy mixture of all caps, improper punctuation and spacing, and 900 sentence single paragraph. The concern was not about all of the Commandments. Just the fourth (or third according every Catholic resource I can find including the Douay-Rheims Bible).  You know.  The one that says, “Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day.”

Continue reading

Getting Lost and Being Found

It took a long time to work up to this, but over the past few weeks I’ve had the need to share my personal story.  I don’t know who needs to hear it, but I hope it helps.

If you’ve read about me you know I don’t consider myself a “cradle Catholic,” but I’ve been a baptized Catholic for 29 of my 36 years on Earth.  Growing up my mother, sisters and I attended Mass on a weekly basis, and my dad would join us on Christmas and Easter.  For fun during the summers, I would attend morning Mass with my grandfather, and sometimes at night my cousin, sisters and I would say the Rosary with him.

Troy and I

{I wish I had a picture of our wedding to share, but those pictures were ruined in the storm surge that accompanied Hurricane Katrina during her visit to the Landmass between Alabama and Louisiana.}

My sisters and I received the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation at the appropriate ages.  Well, I received Confirmation a year late.  I didn’t understand that it was about accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  But I did know it was what my mother wanted, so I did it.  Now I’m glad I listened to her.

I met my husband six months after graduating high school.  Four months later we got engaged.  We spoke to our priest.  We took the compatibility tests.  We met with our assigned married couple.  We waited the six months. After doing everything asked we were not allowed to get married in the Church because we lived together.  That would have been good to know in the beginning.  Needless to say we were not happy with the Church.  But that didn’t stop us.  We got hitched by a Justice of the Peace in my parent’s front yard anyway. Continue reading

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