Thursday, May 05, 2005

It's Who I Am

I'm taking a quick break from all this fun and levity. It's time to get (not too) serious.

Most of what I've had to say here so far has been about what I do or don't do as a Catholic: I go to Mass. I pray the rosary. I receive the sacraments. I believe this or don't believe that. While all that doing (or not doing) is certainly a part of how I show up as a Catholic, the bottom line is I just am. Being Catholic has has a huge impact on who I be in the world.

Before I became a grown-up, being Catholic described me and most of the people I knew. It described all of the people I went to school with. (Wear something like that plaid number above for 12 of your most formative years and it will affect you. Guaranteed.) Being Catholic was just a part of my life, and it was never that big of a deal. In fact, I didn't think about it much. It seemed at times that other people thought about it more that I did: As a pre-teen, I remember being amazed that people would magically guess that I was Catholic...right after I told them I had half a dozen siblings.

Now that I am a grown-up, I can see how growing up Catholic helped shape who I am. And, I love that! I learned faith and grace, patience and penance, songs and prayers, truth and consequences. I learned how to be open to the new, and how to love and appreciate what makes us all the same and different. One of the outcomes of my growing up Catholic is I've become a critical thinker who doesn't accept everything at face value, and prefers to look at things from different perspectives. (If that makes me a Cafeteria Catholic, then so be it!)

When it comes to what Catholics "do", there are places where the differences between Catholic church doctrine and my beliefs are a pretty wide chasm. That said, being Catholic is such a part of my identity. (Even though it's been years since I've worn a plaid jumper.) I'm not sure I'll ever want to let that go.

How much of your religion, whatever it is, is part of your identity? And how is the doing and the being of your faith the same or different?


At 6:22 PM, May 05, 2005, Blogger Unapologetic Catholic said...

I didn't get the plaid jumper treatment--my sisters did. I got the salt n' pepper corderoy pants and white button down shirt treatment. Once you've gotten the treatment--you've breathed the can't leave, you'll always be Catholic.

I believe every Catholic is a Cafeteria catholic to a greater or lesser extent, we each just enjoy different foods. I believe even the church itself has only an aproximation to the truth, an approximation that is refined every day.

At 7:52 AM, May 06, 2005, Blogger CafeCath said...

Welcome, Unapologetic!
Those uniforms definitely made a powerful impact, didn't they?

Refining the approximation of the truth daily -- So true.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you'll come back often!



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