Thursday, November 30, 2006

I believe

To keep this from being a rant I'm going to stay positive.
I believe in a triune god. I believe in a loving and occasionally wrathful deity with a quirky sense of humor. I do not always appreciate G'd's jokes and sometimes I get pissed off with him in all three of his forms.
I live in a pluralistic society. I am aware of the other belief systems and it has taken a while for me to find, not so much a happy medium, but peace with those other systems and those who hold those systems. Peace as in keeping my mouth shut and doing what I feel the Lord has called me to do. Christianity is also pluralistic (maybe diverse is a better word) with various forms of Catholic (Roman, Eastern Orthodox) and Protestant (Anglicans to snake handlers) expressions. I'm aware of how I'm growing in Christ, and the options of furthering that growth.
Although I admire some Orthodox Christians, I really can't see myself growing in the Orthodox church. Too far, too inconvenient, and no seating. When I lived in Hyattsville it was a bitch to get to St. Andrews or St. Georges, so I didn't go. If I have to move heaven and earth to get there, I'm not going. If I find myself nodding off to sleep, I ain't going. My Christianity is 50% love of G'd and 50% being able to wake up, drag my ass out of the house, get to church on time and stay awake. Of course you could explain work the same way, 50% love of the work I do, 50% they pay me, I don't hate anyone there, and I don't fall asleep at my desk.
It's all good.
So part of my believing is based on my staying awake. Once I'm awake, there, and fairly in agreement, then I may give money. I might even volunteer. I might get involved. I might give a part of my life in time, talent and treasure. I don't give my life to just any belief system.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

And so it begins, again.

This evening I walked on over to Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering (not the real name, like the Church of the Really, Really Blond People) Catholic Church for the 5:45 Mass. Though the 5:45 mass was actually 5:30 and I got there just in time for the middle of the homily.
I haven't been in a Catholic Church since 1995. Maybe 1994. Massachusetts. That's when I chose the Episcopal Church over the Roman Catholic Church. Before I made my choice I was double dipping. I would go to both Catholic and Episcopal services, depending on my mood and who else was going. I went to St. Augustine's Catholic Church in Gainesville, across the street from the dorms and then later just a few blocks from my apartment. I would go with Steve&Donna (roommate and her boyfriend/fiance), hang out with Tourettes Mike (there were several Mikes in my life then), and try to get the Mass with Father Oliver (when Fr. Gillespie sang mass it always sounded like he was having personal problems). At Amherst I would attend with the Germans from the dorm. Achem occasionally played violin for the church and he was fun to attend with. But then I got Fr. Quigly, who when I encountered him was in an anti-cafeteria Catholics mood and very, very hard core. I was not ready for that. I needed something more palatable, and the Episcopal Church was palatable. Now, now, I think I am ready to try the hard solid stuff.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


This weekend I hung out at the St. Gabriel's guest house run by the Little Sisters of the Poor (I would point to an out of date website, but why bother) in Catonsville, MD. It was a retreat that I was on the waiting list and then a few days before the retreat, I got a call saying I was in. So it didn't give me a lot of time to make arrangements, but I am thankful to Elizabeth and Bruce for getting me to and from the remote area.
I really didn't know what to expect from the retreat as I've never been on one. Never as a Baptist, and this is my 1st as an Anglican. My biggest fear was that it was a silent retreat meaning no talking and I didn't know how well I would handle that. It wasn't that bad. The only out of order words I said were "Huh?!" when I and Sister Catherine were trying to get my non-functioning radiator working. And on the last day I told myself to "Get up" and I uttered something else to myself that I have now forgotten. There was speech, but only in the prayers and we prayed 6 times+ a day with the nuns of the All Saints convent. When I got back to DC I found myself slightly missing some of the prayers, particularly compline. As one night we prayed something about dreams, and it all went well with preparing to go to sleep.
During the day I wandered the grounds. I mean a way to appreciate the little warmth of the room is to go out into the cold woods and return to something warmer. It was lovely out there. Peaceful, minus the planes from BWI. Saw some deer and some interesting birds.
So do I want to become a nun? Seriously, I don't hear G'd calling me to join a religious order. I can see what the attraction is, a loving community, the daily devotion to Our Lord, righteous work and a general well being.
Will I go again? Yes, but when the weather is better.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Where to worship tomorrow

It's another odd numbered Sunday. Screamy baby service or church of the gay lawyer? Or just for kicks random Roman Catholic Church. I'm thinking screamy babies. Mainly because Fr. Conner is doing the adult forum thing and I really don't feel like having to go from church to church, and there is a chance of rain. Also I got my main church to suck a huge amount of cash out of my checking account, whereas before I just wrote checks to whatever church my butt happened to have been in. I also made a huge monetary commitment for 2007, what the hell was I thinking?
Okay here's the plan... worship the Almighty while watching parents trying to bribe children into silence. Then listen to Fr. Conner. Then hit the farmer's market. Then bike by Immaculate Conception if it isn't raining to see when they normally have mass.
To make the step towards Catholicism work, I'm going to have to give up the Eucharist once a week or sneak it in during the week. However that doesn't seem possible as I haven't gotten into hanging out in the city after work down pat yet. Maybe when I cut out Wednesday dance night. Ugh, I don't like any of my options.