Here I sit, a week after Confirmation, so very thankful!
First of all, the Savaryn’s turned out en masse for Easter Vigil. Another family member and I were both to be confirmed at the Cathedral of St. Paul in the Twin Cities, and the Savaryn’s nearly filled 3 pews. So much support.
I also didn’t know that you receive gifts upon confirmation. I am now in possession of some awesome Catholic Confirmation Swag… rosaries, books, CD’s, decorative pieces for my home. It was so lovely and so thoughtful of everyone. And it was so cool to just see the genuine happiness on people’s faces that had been praying for me for years.
And then to be confirmed by the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and to know that he can trace his lineage, as all priests can, to one of the original apostles… amazing!
I can honestly say that the past several years have been exceedingly restless for me as a Christian. And I can also honestly say that after Confirmation, I looked around the Cathedral and at all the people there supporting us, and having this sense of being a part of something so much bigger than myself, bigger than time and history and Earth, and I just knew that I was home. I am restless no more. Thank you Jesus!
I started writing on this blog just 4 long/short months ago. That’s how long the “official” process has taken. But, looking back, my road to Catholicism has been a much longer process. Some would say I’ve actually always been Catholic by virtue of my baptism, and that I’m only now just returning fully home. But in my adulthood, it was years of wondering things like what the purpose of Church was, the relevance of Jesus in our society and world, and a longing to understand how the Early Church practiced their faith. Years of questioning things like our tie to emotionalism in the American Church, and unknowingly longing for depth and consistency and unity that none of my Protestant denominations could ever fully have, more than this, but even simply by virtue of the fact that they haven’t had the same amount of time to develop it. Years of frustration over why so many were so focused on how church could serve them, while at the same time being so stuck in comfort and apathy in their day to day living, instead of being focused on how Church could move them and challenge them and equip them to live more like Jesus.
Today is Good Friday. And this Lent, thanks to the tools that the Catholic Church gives to us I’ve spent this season more reflective than ever on our faith, and the sacrifice Jesus made, and how God can take this sin and brokenness in me and slowly and beautifully transform my own life into one that looks a lot more like my Savior. All the challenges and tears and even anger at times that I’ve had over the process of this transition all fade now as I am standing just one day away from fully uniting with the Church Jesus himself founded, and has preserved for over 2 millennium.
This feels like a huge deal. Probably because it is. Here, in the Catholic Church, I find a place for not only deep answers to the questions that I have, and for so much Truth you almost don’t know what to do with it sometimes. Not only for finding the beautiful Sacraments He has given us. But, also, and most importantly, here in the Catholic Church is where I find the tangible and physical Jesus. I think anyone, if they came to a point that they believed that to be true, that the physical presence of Jesus was to be found on Earth today in the Mass, they would become Catholic in a heartbeat. What Christian doesn’t long for a physical, tangible moment with their Savior? How smart of God to give us himself in the Eucharist, to find a way to fold time onto itself and give us a piece of that total satisfaction of our deepest longings while we are still here on this earth. Of course he would do it that way. Of course.
I could write for hours.
Mostly, though, I’ve been thinking a lot about a quote from this Peter Kreeft book, called Jesus Shock. I finished it his week and the timing was perfect.
He writes: “When an Evangelical Protestant becomes a Catholic, he rightly says, “I have fulfilled my Evangelicalism. I have become more Evangelical, not less. I have found the depth and center of Evangelium, the Good News. I feared the Church as an idol, a distraction from Christ, but I have found that it is more fully Christic and Christocentric than anything else in the world.”