Sunday, August 12, 2012

Two Sides of the Same Coin

I recently hung out with an old friend of mine from my previous church. She was telling me about a weekend thing she went to & how God revealed Himself to her in a greater way through a series of organized teaching events & hands on spiritual exercises. Instantly, my preconceived notions kicked in. The thought of tongues, dancing & weird manipulative moments jostled my memories as she described the general atmosphere. I was familiar with the church that sponsored the ministry & felt my insides cringe. For the sake of all, I won't name names.

After listening to her describe her experience, I realized that God had revealed the same things to me within much the same time frame, only in a different context. He spoke to me through a personal learning experience with sin what He communicated to her through an exercise with a stranger. But the message was essentially the same. I was taken aback by that. Both methods were apparently equally effective, but only as it applied to us as individuals. I would not have been responsive to what she encountered & she may not have been responsive to what I encountered.

I'm humbled. I haven't wanted to admit that I take some measure of pride in identifying myself as a Catholic now... but I do. I think it has to do with how much more supported I feel not only spiritually, but logically. The whole thing just makes more sense to me. Besides that, Catholicism is the only expression I've experienced that still talks about Jesus' life, death & resurrection... Its the only one that still talks about suffering & sacrifice & obedience. Show me where else the Body & Blood are central to worship... Show me who else encourages confession for the sake of reconciliation, not only with God, but with His church? Catholicism is all about living in community as the Body of Christ & there is so much grace to be had there. My Evangelical friend would probably crook her eyebrow & ask why I think that... She was not at all impressed with the Mass the one time I took her... But I'm grateful that she's been willing to listen & ask questions rather than try & shoot me down. In fact, she's happy for me, that I've finally found what I've been searching for. And I want to be happy for her as well, but honestly, I feel sad. I wish everyone could know God's love through the fullness of the Catholic journey.... or at least, what I perceive to be fullness. But God uses all kind of expressions to reach all kinds of people. There is no one superior way... Evangelical, Catholic... even non-Christian religions... God can use them all to reveal the truth of His love for us.

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