Sometimes I feel like I don’t really belong anywhere anymore, church wise.  You know the story, raised Catholic, went to other churches for awhile, now belong to a Catholic church.  Well, Catholicism is who I am, but it’s complicated.  The other churches I went to make it so simple.  They keep the most important thing most important.  Christianity is more important than Catholicism.  God wants me to have a relationship with Him, He wants to save me from my sinfulness, He wants me to come to heaven with Him, much more than he wants me to “be” Catholic or go to church or follow the rules and traditions of a particular faith tradition.

But…Am I the only person on the planet who thinks those two elements can go very nicely together???

I don’t belong in an Evangelical church because traditions and sacraments are important to me.  But I don’t belong in a Catholic church because I believe Jesus saved me from my deserved punishment by dying on the cross.  And again, it’s complicated on the Catholic side.  I do not think I earn my way to heaven by following the rules or going to church on Sundays.  I think Jesus did that for me, by taking my place.  But even though the catechism says exactly that, many Catholic people do not agree!  They go to church because it’s the rule, they don’t think it’s important to pursue a deeper relationship with God, they focus so much more on the institution of the Church than on the God who gave it to us.

That’s a very judgemental statement, and it reflects what I feel much more than it reflects reality.

This is my truth.  I am saved neither by faith nor works.  I am saved by Jesus.  And I am saved.  Yesterday, today, tomorrow.  Time and time again I am saved by Jesus’ death on the cross.  I can only wish that I would wake up tomorrow sinless, without need for Jesus’ sacrafice, without need to ask God’s forgiveness for something I’ve done.  But I am human, and I was born into a fallen world, so I know that I will continue to sin, even as I grow in faith and sanctification.  Sin is sin, and heaven is perfect.  And the only way I can get there is through Jesus.  “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and anyone who believes in me shall have eternal life.”

Catholicism is more difficult for me now, because I know Jesus.  But Catholicism is more important to me now, because I know Jesus.  That image you see above these words gives me the very same feeling as the first moment I felt Jesus’ grace in my life.  Receiving Holy Communion each Sunday gives me the very same feeling as receiving Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.  Because it is the same!

Read it again.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life, and anyone who believes in me shall have eternal life.”

Then I crashed into you, and I went up in flames.  Could have been the death of me, but then you breathe your breath in me.  You will consume me, but I can’t walk away.  You saved me, you gave me just what I need.  –“Crashed” by Daughtry

I lay there in the dark, open my eyes.  You saved me the day you came alive.  –“Come Alive” by Foo Fighters

Keep me away, and then I will be fine.  Keep me away from running to the line.  Because I don’t want to lose your way, with these devil archerists.  –“Devil Archerists” by Bethany Joy Galeotti


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Doris Jacobs
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 12:42:11

    No you are not the only one on the planet that belives this or that thinks the traditions of the catholic church are about a human need to “recharge the batteries of spirituality.” It doesn’t have to be either christian or Catholic. It can be both just as easily.


  2. Trackback: catholic gifts

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