I've been thinking about writing this post for a while, but didn't feel I could truly write about what "being Catholic" was like if I wasn't attending Mass regularly. But is that all that constitutes being a Catholic?
I hear a lot about the corruption of the Magisterium, right on down to the priesthood. I hear a lot about the misogyny & tired old ways of the Church. I hear about the evils of contraception, abortion & homosexuality. But most of this, I hear from the media.
From the pulpit, I hear about Jesus, the struggles of His disciples, the need for forgiveness & loving one another (a.k.a., "social justice"). Sometimes the homiles are meaty, other times, not so much. I definitely don't hear about what the Church teaches in the Catechism. I don't hear much about confession, & I certainly don't hear anything about Mary or the saints unless its a special feast day. Sometimes they're mentioned briefly in the liturgical prayers somewhere. If I want to know anything about being a Catholic, I have to go hunting for it. And I do. Some folks are hard core fire & brimstone. Others are all about the grace, man. Me, it looks like I prefer to toe the middle line.
From the non-Catholic consortium, I've become familiar with the misconceptions that we worship Mary, the saints, the Eucharist. The idea that Catholics believe they're really consuming the flesh & blood of Jesus must be downright horrifying. News flash: Many Catholics don't actually believe it either. Dare I forget to recall that the Pope is the Anti-Christ & the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon? The arguments are always the same & it seems there are plenty of proofs for both sides of the coin. *Yawn*
I don't worship Mary & I usually forget to acknowledge the saints. I believe the Eucharist is the Body & Blood of Christ, but I'm not sure we should keep it to ourselves & keep barring other Christians from the table. When I first became a Catholic, I loved the simplicity, symbolism
& organization of the Mass. That hasn't changed... but tell me I have to go under pain of sin, well, that kind of pisses me off. I know about keeping the Lord's Day & not forsaking gathering together, but to tell me I HAVE to "or else" is another story.
To be continued...