Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent and other new-ish adventures

For those who were not aware, today is Ash Wednesday - the beginning of the Lenten season.

Over the last several years this day has not held much significance for me. I did not really pay much attention to lent or anything having to do with church. The truth is, even though I spent a lot of my younger days involved in church- teaching Sunday school, participating in weekly bible study, attending youth group, going on mission trips -  I hit a spiritual dry spell once I moved out on my own. I met people with radically different beliefs, sometimes none at all. I experienced new situations and feelings and I found myself really questioning my beliefs for the first time. The new life I wanted to live, and the people I had come to care for and wish to be accepted  by, did not fit within the beliefs I brought with me into this new phase of my life. So, I distanced myself from the church and rationalized my choices until I didn't feel guilty about them.

This year is different though.

You see, this year Steve and I are really embracing Lent and all that it means as candidates for confirmation within the Catholic church.

To keep an incredibly long story slightly more brief, I have felt a tug back to the church since leaving Savannah. In dealing with my issues I realized I wanted to get back that spiritual relationship I threw away when I started college. It felt like a really important piece to the puzzle once I began receiving physical and emotional healing of my various ailments. Unfortunately, none of the churches I visited felt right... they didn't feel like home the way it did back in middle and high school. I would come home angry and upset after the services and Steve didn't even want to attend with me because he felt so uncomfortable. 

The anger and discomfort wasn't even due to dealing with our baggage. That would have been understandable. Many times I just wholeheartedly disagreed with what the preacher had to say!

After seeing me come home so many times disappointed, Steve suggested the Catholic church. I was hesitant for many reasons... not the least of which being the experiences of friends of mine who are Catholic dealing with their own issues within the church. In the spirit of open mindedness, we tried it out and we were surprised by how much we didn't hate it.

We began the process of inquiry back in August and have been attending RCIA classes. We met with one of the deacons of the church to discuss our questions and anxieties about joining the church. We have been reading the Catechism and studying the teachings of the church. I have had coffee dates with my conversion sponsor once a week lasting hours on end due to my many many questions on theological issues present in the church. There have been debates and tears and all sorts of awkward moments since we jumped in at the deep end in August.

At the end of the day, with the help of some friends, Steve and I have come to the conclusion that the Catholic church is the place for us to rebuild our spiritual relationships and raise our family. So, now that we have the basic information and understandings of the church, we will go through some rites this weekend before entering into the final weeks of classes and getting confirmed at the Easter vigil mass. Catholic Lent is a bit different than what I have experienced in the past. The no meat on Fridays thing kind of threw me if we're being honest. But, we've got plans to attend a fish fry or two and I've been pinning recipes so we will survive.

Steve has chosen to give up meat on Wednesdays as well for his Lenten sacrifice. I have chosen to give up ice cream and replace my slightly trashy chick lit/ brain candy reading with some books on theology of the body borrowed from my sponsor. 

If you don't mind, please be praying for us as we go through this transition. We know not everyone will feel supportive of this choice, but it is what we feel is best for our family.

In thanks to the many Catholic bloggers who have offered some interesting perspectives over the last few months, I'm going to link to a favorite blog's "Little Holy Days" linkup. Maybe something over there will strike your fancy.

In other news: classes are going well. I'm completely overwhelmed most days, but I think that comes with the whole "last semester of classes" thing. Again, I will survive.


  1. How exciting! I've always found the Catholic Church welcoming and supportive. If there's anything you want to chat about, I'm available!

  2. I'm visiting from the Little Holydays linkup, and I'm praying for you both. I joined the Catholic church as a newlywed fresh out of college, too, with my own twisty path due to medical issues. That was 11 years ago this Easter, and despite my questions and struggles, I have never regretted it. Much peace and courage to you in these coming weeks! You never walk alone.

    1. Thank you for the prayers and kind words, Abbey. We are very blessed to have incredible support from our sponsors in RCIA and to be going through the process together.

  3. Prayers for you and your husband as you begin preparing for the home stretch before confirmation! I'm so excited for you. May your "journey to the desert" during Lent prepare your hearts for Easter! I'm also impressed by your discipline of giving up ice cream...I've been chowing down at least every other night this pregnancy! :)