Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Do you believe in the one big song?

I've been reading Cynthia over at Mormon 2 Catholic 'cause she's pretty cool, and I've got this wierd fascination with all things Mormon. One of my life's dreams is to go to Salt Lake City and stand in Temple Square and ask awkward theological questions of the fresh-faced Mishie Sissies (Missionary Sisters) who double as tour guides. Because I am a cruel woman. I also like convert stories, and Catholics, so, all sorts of things to get my groove on there.

So I read this post at Cynthia's place. Here's the bit that jumped out and bit me on the ass (she's actually quoting something that Ma Back said at the Ward Wide Web and has her own meditation on this, my response does not in any way reflect on hers, bla bla bla, usual disclaimer stuff, don't yell at her if you don't like what I say, but go read Cynthia's blog 'cause consarnd it, she's cool!):

Every single time you stand in the line to receive Holy Communion, you're making a statement to the world.
This statement includes the following:
I believe in every single item of the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds.
I believe 100% in what the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality.
I believe 100% in what the Catholic Church teaches about contraception.
I believe 100% in what the Catholic Church teaches about capital punishment.
I believe 100% in what the Catholic Church teaches about Euthanasia.
I believe 100% in what the Catholic Church teaches about abortion.
I believe in the Papacy, and I believe in the succession from St. Peter to Benedict XVI.
I believe 100% in the mystery of transubstantiation, and I believe in the Church's teaching that in order to receive our Lord in Holy Communion, my soul should be in a state of grace. For all but the most heroic of Catholics, this probably means Confession at least once a month.

So, beyond the Anglo-Catholic pedantery that it should be ROMAN Catholic Church in there... what the heck?

No, seriously. Call me an intellectual if you want, but I don't 100% believe ANYTHING.

Sun's gonna rise tomorrow?
I want empirical proof.
First person to say "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed" will get a withering glare.

So, maybe I'm not good enough to be a member of the [Roman] Catholic Church, then. Sorry. I don't believe every part of the Apostle's Creed. Jesus went to Hell? And did what, had a surf party? Couple of mai tais with his estranged buddies, the Fallen? How does that ring up with what happens in Revelations? What about Hell being a seperation from God; how can God be seperate from Godself? Et cetera, ad hominem, monkey flys. First line, ninth word in, I'm kicked out of the club.

One of the hardest things for me to do is get up out of the pew and take the long walk to the altar. Dude, I am sooo not worthy. I'm probably not the greatest of sinners (I don't think I've ever kicked a puppy), but I've done my fair share of sinning today, thought, word, and deed. Why do I take that long walk, heed that altar call, fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun?


Because I'm broken. I hurt. I'm not perfect. I doubt. I sin.

And each and every time I make that long walk, I acknowlege that I am imperfect, that I am in pain, that I need help. I acknowlege that I cannot do this thing called 'life' on my own.

I reach out my hands in supplication, and grace is freely given.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever, amen.

*Today's post title is a lyric from Comfort Eagle by Cake.


At 25 May, 2006, Blogger Pisco Sours said...

This is sort of a beginner's version of theology, mind you, and coming from someone with a science background, still very much an empiricist. Do I believe the events in the Creeds happened? Dude, I wasn't there, but I don't see how they can be possible in real life.

But my priest gave me an excellent article about the Bible and belief and metaphor (sorry, I don't know the title or the periodical in which it was published, as I just have the text of the article itself), but I've come to the conclusion that a metaphor can be so powerful, so life-changing, so immediately real that it becomes literal truth. And so I come to belief.

To my own surprise, that's also how I came to be a transubstantiationist. Isn't that the end result of metaphors turning gloriously, blessedly real? Christ died and rose again, and he does so immediately, today, for my own sake and that of anyone else who chooses to partake in his sacrifice. I know he is bodily present when he sacrifices himself for us, and when he accepts our own self-sacrifice to follow his will.

(I expect others more learned and wise will punch holes in my theology, so be gentle! But nonetheless, that's where I am right now in my own journey.)

The peace of the Lord be with you.

At 25 May, 2006, Blogger janinsanfran said...

I have never been able to believe that God gives a damn what we believe -- She is only interested in what we becoming in the light of Her sustaining love.

That said, I'm extremely fond of the creeds as artifacts of particular places and times when (some) humans have tried to explain how it all works. They weren't dummies, just human.

At 25 May, 2006, Blogger Steph said...

I don't know, something about the absolutist 100% .... makes me think of "blind obedience" to me.

I'm curious .... Is there even anyone who knows 100% of what the Catholic Church teaches on, say, capital punishment? Cuz there are still lots of 100% folks who think we should let 'em fry, while the bishops have made it a focus for their year.

What happened to "Lord I believe; help my unbelief"?

At 25 May, 2006, Blogger Sister Mary Hasta said...

I get three great, thought-provoking comments, and I'm still pulling a Colonel Klink-- "I know noffink!"

I think this is an artefact of tearing my rule of life into itty, bitty bits, I'm having to reevaluate why I do everything, and it's kind of like being given a giant bag of sand and told to find the diamond dust in it.

I put at the bottom of my rule "What does the LORD require of you? Do Justice, Love kindness, and walk humbly with your God." I think maybe this time it needs to go on the top.

At 14 June, 2006, Blogger Stephen said...

Sun's gonna rise tomorrow?
I want empirical proof.

There is no such evidence. On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that the Earth rotates.


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