Seeking God 

I'm officially Accepted

Wow! I know I have been saying that a lot, but it reflects my awe and humility and amazement and a host of other emotions as I continually discover and experience more aspects of Catholic life and faith. Today, as I mentioned, I participated in the Rite of Acceptance, and just for those who don't know how it goes, and for myself so I don't forget, I want to write here all that I experienced today.

This morning I attended a service at my former home Protestant church, partially to assure relatives that going Catholic did not mean I was not gonig to be Chrisitan any longer. Thankfully the reason that I am no longer taknig communion with them did not come up as I had to leave early to get to the parish in time for practice for the Rite.

The practice seesion itself was fairly brief and went over just the responses expected of us (there were around 14 of us participating today, so we responded as a group rather than individually to Father's questions) and the actions both we and our sponsors would be going through. However, this practice did not convey how moving the Rite would be when performed before a sanctuary full of people, and with Father is full vestment.

We then were ushered outside the church to wait until Mass began, at which time the RCIA director knocked on the door to the church, requesting entrance for us. SHe had to knock pretty loud and more than once, too! As we entered we each spoke our name into a hand-held mic before walking to the front (we entered at the side door) and facing the alter with our sponsors behind us. My stand-in sponsor was a young woman named Mellisa. Father asked us what we came seeking, and we answered "Faith" and when asked what this would give us we answered "eternal life". Then after a brief admonition about obedience to the Word, we were asked if we would obey the Word, and we each answered "I am"

Then the congregation and our sponsors were asked if they would support us and guide us, and first the sponsors alone said "we will", then Father put his hand to his ear and the congregation said "we will" and he kept his hand to his ear, and the sponsors said "we will" again. Father then repeated his question and this time the congregation and the sponsors answered together and Father complemented them on doing better that time. Then we turned and faced our sponsors so they could place the sign of the cross on us. On the forehead so we would conform our thoughts to Christ's, our ears so we could hear Him speak, our lips so we would only say what was pleasing to Him, our hearts that Christ might dwell there, our shoulders that we might bear gladly the light yoke of Christ, our hands that we might do good works, and our feet that we might be blessed and bless others as we go in His name. This was the mos powerful moment in the Rite for me, as I truly felt like I was being brought closer to Christ.

Then we turned back toward the alter as Father gathered some wooden cross necklaces that were waiting on a table by the Ambo, and handed one to each sponsor befroe having us turn and face our sponsors again so they could place the cross around our necks, and as they did, Father said that from this moment Christ placed his ownership on us, that we no belonged to Christ and His Church. THen we were welcomed with applause and went to our seats for the readings and homily, which were about a vineyard and grapes and tying together 4 passages I had never compared side by side. Afterwards, we came forward again and knelt before the alter while the prayrs of the fiathful werw offered, including some for us and our sponsors. After this we were asked to stand and we presented with our Bibles, individually with Father telling us to recieve it as CHrist's living Word. Then the candidates (me!) and catecumenes were dismissed for more study. We follewed Deacon Paul out of the Church as he carried the ornate Gospel out, as those around us sang that they prayed for us, and applauded.

In our dismissal we talked about the Rite and went over the readings, and got to know one antoher a bit better. I found out that one of the guys I met on Tuesday nights was actually married to a Catholic and had been attending Mass for 10 years. Another was a teacher at the parish school, and of course our director mentioned my own particular difficulty of a firmly Protestant husband at home. After our break we went over the schedule for the next year, and I am not sure at the moment if I will ever become Catholic, as a lot of the main ceremonies are going to be at the main cathedral which is a good distance away, with my husband's sensitivities. But I will keep that in my prayers for now and not worry too much about it right now.

We also discussed prayer, and some of the prayers we need to know or at least be familiar with before Easter, and the first few I already know. Also we will be learning and praying the Rosary in dismissal, and learning more about prayer throughout the process of our faith formation.

Well, I think that is about it, except that I wore the cross the rest of the day amd plan to wear it for the rest of the week, except when sleeping as I don't want the string tangling in my hair, and it would raise unnecesary tension between me and my dear hubby. Thank you for your prayers, comments and reading. May God richly bless you.

Nervous? Yes!

I'm up late tonight thinking about tomorrow and trying to prepare myself for it, especially spiritually. I finally recieved a book I requested over a month ago from Catholic Home Study Service called "We Believe," about Catholic beliefs and based on the Cathecism, and I started it tonight. I already finished another course from them about the Mass, which really helped me better understand and participate in Mass, both daily and Sunday.

The first chapter of "We Believe" is a general introduction to belief in God, and some of the questions for reflection really made me stop and think abot my experiences with God so far in my life and how my belief in God has affected me. The most striking question was one that asked what reason I would give for my belief, outside of those mentioned in the text, which were very convincing in and of themselves. I had to say that my main reason personally for believing in God, is that as one of my teachers said a long time ago, "There is no such thing as coincidence." By this he was refering to a concept of cause and effect which theorized that everything was in some way predictable if you really studied it, but it also applies strongly to how I can see God working in my life, in little things and big things. WHen my college roomate tried to commit suicide and I took a morning train back to campus from home on a whim and arrived in time to call an ambulance and end up saving her life, that was no coincidence. That was God directing events so one of His precious ones would be saved, and her family repaired (long story). There are no coincidences.

Also wanted to post a praise report. My mom found a ride to and from her chruch services tomorrow, so I don't have to concern myself with that difficulty anymore, and I talked with my RCIA director, and she found me a sponsor, Marcea (?). I wil fibnd out more tommorw nad meet her in a couple of weeks. Apparently she is out of town for a little bit right now, so Nancy, one of the RCIA teachers is going to stand in for her during the Rite of Acceptance tomorrow.

Well, I still want to do some more reading and then try to get some sleep, so I'll sign off for now. More tomorrow! May God less you all.

Late but better than never

Wow, so many things going on this week and I haven't had time yet to even post about Sunday yet! Well, here it is anyway. I attended dismissal this week, even though I didn't have to yet, just because I was at the right Mass for it and wanted to see if I could get a taste of what I will be experiencing on Sundays between now and Easter. It was really increadible. It was like the best non-Catholic in-depth Bible study I ever attended, and yet this was even more focused because we also studied how the two reading and the Gospel tied together, which I had never done much before. We really delved into the background of the writing as well, discussing why the authors of the texts were discussing matters in the specific sense that they were. I am now really looking forward to dismissals!

However, there are two snags right now that I would like prayer for, if anyone would not mind. The first is that, as I have mentioned, my Rite of Acceptance is this coming Sunday. However, on Sunday as well, my mother needs a ride to and from church at the Presbyterian church just down the street. This would greatly interfere with my making to to my practice and preparation time for the Rite, and yet my mom cannot find someone else to take her.

Also of concern is the fact thgat previous to this, I have not had a problem attending either 10:30am or 5:30pm Sunday Mass, especially since my husband would sleep in SUnday morning, and then be at work by 3pm in the afternoon. However, when he is home, awake, and off work, he expects me to spend time with him, to the exclusion of all activities which we can not do together. His work schedule recently changed so he will be off on Sunday afternoons. On the one hand I am happy I will be able ot spend more time with him, and on the other I am concerned that he will try to keep my from Mass on the SUndays that it falls in the evening, as he has no desire to go with me.

I know God will take care of these issues in His time and in His way, but I alsmot can't help but worry.

In other news, earlier this week I was touched by the Gospel reading out of Luke 9 which spoke of Jesus encounter with religious views that did not match his own. Rather than call down fire on them for turning Him away, as two disciples suggested, the rebuked the disciples and went on His way, showing a tolerance toward the Samaratians. It struck me as simlar to the way Catholics veiw a lot of practices of their "separated brethren" as valid, such as properly performed baptism, and marriage between two baptized non-Catholics. Jesus quietly disagreed with the Samaratians, and went on His way, just as many of the Catholics I know and have heard speak seem to do. THey do not make a huge point of trying to change a person's mind; they simply live out their faith without being offended at the otehr persin's unbelief and even negative attitude. Quite a contrast to most non-Catholic Christians I know.

Anyway, till next time, may God richly bless you.

Catechist Sunday

Today was the Sunday that Father Steve blessed and commisioned the cathechists for the first commmunion and confirmation classes, which start this week in my parish. The purpose of this was to signify the importance of the role they play in the religious community. Father blessed them and sprinkled them with holy water, and they remained on the dias with him through the prayers of the faithful. I attended the Mass that the RCIA candidates were supposed to attend, and when it was time for the dismissal, there was only one person and their sponsor who went forward, so I guess there will be a lot of growth in the group in a couple weeks :).

Wow! Today's gospel has been a passage I always have struggled with, and today Father Steve really explained it so I could grasp it. He talked most about the workers picked up at 5pm, just in time for one hour of work, and how we all are like those workers. The 5pm workers were probably still not hired because no one wanted to hire them, just like the kid who gets picked last for a team in PE, and only gets picked because everyone has to play (boy, have I been there.) But the message is that it doesn't matter what your status is in the world, Jesus has chosen people to follow Him, and offers them all the same thing: the promise of eternal life. Wow! I've read this passage a million times and now it just blows me away to think of it in this way! Anyway, I may be able to attend daily Mass on Friday this week, depending on how the week goes. Looking forward to that, and to maybe getting/meeting a sponsor for my spiritual journey this week.

Till next time ,then. Feel free to post any thoughts at all, btw.

Feeling all right

Well, I must say that I have become a believer in chiropractic adjustment, if there was any doubt. I am feeling a bit achy, but nothing like before, and my Dr. says that is to be expected as my body gets used to being back in alignment. Also, I will be getting asponsor that I don't know yet. The person I was thinking of asking to be my sponsor is just too busy right now and cannot attend the meetings with me.

On the positive side, at my check up today, my vertebrae was still where it should be, and work was incredibly smooth. I even managed to get two jobs' paperwork finished up and ready to go. I have a day planned tomorrow with my dad while Hubby is working, going to a job and health fair. should be interesting. Also going to get to Mass in the morning before getting going on the day.

One last random note for the day: I love my Palm! I have recieved 3 long term schedules this week, and was able to preserve them all on my little handheld, in case the paper ones cannot be found when needed (which happenes waaaay too often as it is). Also, on Sunday I am going to attend the Mass that the dismissal will be at for the candidates, so maybe I can meet a few of them, if I can find anyone I might recognize, that is. Till next post then, thanks for reading.

PS. yes I know right now this blog is getting pointed at Catholicism, but hang on till I start getting into the studies on Sundays. I'm sure I'll see some interesting things..... :)

RCIA and Random Miracles

First, I wanted to talk about a random miracle God sent my way over the course of the last few days that has led up to where I am now. Over a week ago, by accident, I thought, I ended up at a city vendor showcase, and "Happened" to stumble into a chiropractor's booth next to that of one of my friends. He was able to tell me then that my back was way off, and could I come in for a free evalutation to see if he could help me.

My evaluation was on Saterday, and I learned that my back is really screwed up, still had a huge muscle spasm over the site of the injury, and that all the nerve interference was causing my right leg to be 1/4 of an ince shorter than my left, throwing me even more out of alignment. Despite the cost, I decided I needed to give this a try, since on Friday at work I was in so much pain that I was very close to just quitting and going home several times.

Now for the real miracle. Today was my first "real" appointment, where the Dr. took x-rays and did my first adjustment. All that went well, and he was able to tell me that the top bone in my neck was shifted forward on both sides. He adjusted me, then took me to a bed in the back and told me to rest for 45 minutes. At the end of that, he tested me again, and my legs were the same length again!!!! Not only that but before I left his office I felt the pain in my back lessening a LOT!... As today went on it got better and better, until this evening I actually had a few hours where I felt NO PAIN! My husband was a bit surprised that I was feeling so much better (he didn't know I got adjusted today) and my mom commented that I was standing up straight again. I really hope I keep feeling this well tomorrow for work, as I can truly say I have not felt this good since I was in college.

RCIA news is good too. I missed our session last night due to the conflict I mentioned, but as of today that conflict is resolved. I had an interview with Debbie and Father Steve at my parish, and we all agreed that I was ready to move into the next stage of RCIA and participate first in the Rite of Acceptance in October, and then join the other candidates after Sunday Mass for discussion. Also, I was encouraged that my marriage is already blessed by the Church since both me and my husband were properly baptized, albeit as Protestants, and that my baptism is acceptable, even if I cannot locate my makeshift certificate. Now I need to find a sponsor....and prepare for the Rite of Acceptance. Yay!!!


Well, last night was RCIA again, and this week I was not kept away by other obligations (read as sleep). This time was really engaging as we are working our way through the Nicene Creed and what each part means. I was releived to learn that Catholic DO believe, as Protestants, that all those who follow Christ are saints, not just those who have been officially recognized in the church. Also, Deacon Paul was there so I got to ask one of my questions, the one I had about the relic in the altar. He said he knows that there is one, but that he does not know for sure whose it is. We also talked a lot about the upcoming dedication Mass at the parish this coming November, and I got to use my new Catholic Bible for the first time in RCIA. I actually got it last Tuesday in the mail (bought on Ebay), but conked out around 7:30pm that night and missed RCIA.

I no longer feel the need to ask the question about how we know that Mary was assumed into Heaven, as I stumbled upon a few documents on the Web that led me to the appropriate translated texts describing the Apostle s and others seeing her die and be buried, only to go to exhume her body for reburial elsewhere and find the tomb already empty. The whole coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven still baffles me a bit, but I can at least see how one could interprete Scripture to allow for that to happen.

I have finally finished the first 12 days of the consecration to Jesus thru the heart of Mary. I am entering into the next stage of the consecration prep starting this evening. There are more and longer prayers, so it will take a bit more time each day than the first 12 did, but so far the experience has been rewarding, even though I have had to pause for a day here and there.

Starting next Tuesday, I have a weight loss support group meeting on Tuesday nights, right when RCIA is. I am still debating what to do right now, since my Dr. practically ordered me to lose a few pounds (and I do need to) but I don't want to miss too many RCIA meetings. I know I can attend at least once a month, when my support group takes a break to meet with similar groups in the area for "catching up." That meeting is less about health than it is about gossip, and so I can miss that easily. Abyway, I am continuing to pray about the situation.

One last thing: I interviewed yesterday for a job higher up in the company I currently work for, and am also praying about that, especially since my dear husband is making sure I know that I need to make more money more regularly (my current position is seasonal, with 7 weeks off in December thru February, and 7 weeks off June thru August). This position would solve both of those issues, at least for now. But we will see what God has planned.

Thanks for reading!


If, as you live your life, you find yourself mentally composing blog entries about it, post this exact same sentence in your weblog.

Just saw it elsewhere and wanted to include it here since it reall does apply to me. :) However, my seeking this week has been pretty toned down wit the increase in my work load. I worked over 40 hours this week, and most of it was outside in the So Cal heat. Took most of my energy, so it was all I could do to read the Mass readings every couple of days and spend a few minutes in prayer each day as the day went on. Thank the Lord for CD burners and audio Bible passages, so I can at least listen to the Word on my commute. More posts coming soon, and thanks for reading.

Wow! (really!)

I've done a lot of reading lately on being Catholic and what that means, especially in terms of doctrine. And when I say a lot, I mean going through most of the books at the library at all relavant to my topic, as well as reading a lot on the web. However, it was not until tonight that I really understood something deep down in my soul....that Christ really is in the Euchrist. I have been trying an experiment the last few days, spending some time in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament every day I can.

Well, until today that was in the context of a Mass. Tongiht, however, I missed daily Mass (overslept) and didn't want to attned Vigil Mass tonight, as I usually go to evening Mass on Sunday. So I slipped in and prayed between Masses this evening and was amazed to find that I felt the same way after praying for a while in the presence of the Host as I do after Mass: at peace and touched by God, in a strangely physical way. It really brought home the fact that the center of the Mass celebration is Christ and without Him, the Mass would be as meaningless as a book that is never read.

Anyway, maybe I am just really overdoing this whole coming to Catholicism thing, or maybe I am not. Any thoughts?

Past Experience

I just wanted to toss out there the various places I have been religiously, in case anyone is wondering why it is such a big deal that I am considering Catholicism.

As I mentioned before, the church I have attended the longest has been a Pseudo-Prebyterian church. Before that, a time I only vaguely remember, was a large Baptist church my parents attended before I turned 4. We moved due to job relocating, and settled in at the PP church I just mentioned.

That was good enough while I lived at home, including vacations from college, but at college I searched and searched, trying out a Pentacostal style Bible-study, and not going anywhere, and going to whatever church my BF (now Hubby) wanted to try. Eventually we both settled into a Church of Christ in LA that would eventually become known as part of the International Church of Christ (ICOC). He got out shortly after baptism, advocating that I leave as well. For a while I did, since some of the questions I was asked became too personal.

My senior year of college I got back involved with ICOC and was actually baptized in November. What a blessing that was, then and now. After the baptism came a time, though where not only was I asked some very hard questions, but I was asked to believe and follow some things that I did not believe were exactly right. I left peaceably and returned home.

My Husband was back in the spiritual groove by then and after our summer marriage we stuck to the tradtitional COC first in town, then one in another nearby town. Soon, my Hubby's work schedule took him to work Sunday rather thant church, and my own faith experience became slowly less nurturing. The experience was great, but the teaching was not. So I decided after the outpouring of faithful at the death of the Pope that I would try to look into Catholicism, slowly at first. This impulse was helped along by several assignments form work involving First Communions.

And now I attend Mass whenever I can during the week, and always on Sundays, and am really finding in all my research that the teachings of Roman Catholics are true and make sense, sometimes more sense than stuff I have accepted since I was a child.

Anyway, that's where I've come from. Till next time......

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