I've tried to start this post several times today and am having trouble finding the words. Today is my one year anniversary of being received into the Catholic faith. One year ago today I experienced confirmation, reconciliation and first communion plus the sacrament of marriage all in one fell swoop.
All I knew at the time was that I was going forward in obedience to the best of my ability. I did worry I was going to become some religious zealot....someone who did all these religious things without any substance on the inside. I think it is sometimes the lack of words or the confusion over language that makes things more difficult than they need to be. For some reason being described as a devoted Catholic brings negative connotations to my head as opposed to being described as one who is on fire for God. I've lived for too long hearing people say that this or that person is a Christian despite being Catholic. I mourn the divisions that stand between people that aren't necessary.
I thought if I just brushed up on apologetics and could have every answer at my fingertips when questioned that that would somehow count for something in any person's eyes, whether they were for or against my choice. I gave up on that idea quickly. I am no different than the next person. I believe when I want to and I dismiss when I want to. Someone can question my choice but not hear a thing I say because they have already made up their mind that I am in error. I do it to other people too. It's not only God that I do my "la la land dance" with. You know, the one where I stick my fingers in my ears and sing loudly, "la, la, la,..." so I don't have to hear what the other person is saying? That one. It's been freeing and frightening to find out that the Catholic church teaches one to be open to the truth wherever one finds it even if finding it means in another faith altogether. A professor I had responded to the question one of my classmates posed about Bhuddism by saying, "Sometimes I think God is elbowing us and saying, look at that truth there that you have missed." When you are used to people just telling you everyone is wrong but the way they see it, it does a number on your brain to have it stretched in this way.
So it is a year later on my journey. In every which way the best year of my life. Most painful. Most healing. Most discouraging. Most hopeful. If I've become a religious zealot it's okay.
I remember sitting with a Catholic priest about 3 years ago and hearing him talk about his niece and her husband and how they were attending such and such a church and were finding a home there. I was still in the place where I thought everyone had to see things my way in order for me(who do I think I am anway!) to bless their journey. I remember puzzling greatly over his acceptance at his niece's choice.
I think about Rich Mullins and how he told people when they heard he was exploring the Cathoic faith that it wasn't really about becoming Catholic or not it was about him becoming God's. And that about sums up my year. A knowing that I am truly becoming God's.