Don’t Get Mad

The worst part of this writing project is that it involves a heavy discussion of religion.

Crucifix 5Well..actually…the very worst part of this project is that it involves the Catholic religion.

I shudder when I consider Internet Comboxes on religious websites. There is simply no way to have a civil discussion about faith. In short time, someone will write an attack on someone else, and like flies to cows, the Combox will fill with absolutely Bee YJ Closeuseless vitriol.

And those are the “good” comments. If the blog merely mentions the Catholic faith, you will draw killer flies, hornets, Africanized bees and tarantula hawks. I know what I am in for.

I am not only going to mention the Catholic Church. I am going to mention it in every line. Please, please, please…don’t get mad.  I am going to question it, challenge it and confront it. But, it’s not what you might think.

Heads-up. I love the Catholic Church. I want to join the Catholic Church. And, when I first pursued her (the Church is the Bride of Christ – her), I thought we were a match made in heaven. I called the contact in the church bulletin and put my name on the list for RCIA, their class for new members.

CCCDuring the course of my years working in a pro-life arena, I came to understand, appreciate and agree with the Catholic  pro-life position on everything…yes…everything, including the thorny issue of contraception. I amassed a library, courtesy of Amazon, of books on every aspect of the Catholic faith: the Reformation, early church fathers, the Saints, prayer, biographies…and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition.

In the car, I continue to catch the Rosary with Fr. Benedict Groeschel. Between Patrick Coffin and Patrick Madrid, on the highway, I have traveled at least 150 hours’ worth of Q&A with radio listeners asking Catholic questions, including pointed challenges to the “Patricks” each of whom welcomes challenges from non-Catholics.

Meanwhile, at home on television, the EWTN schedule of programs covers every aspect of The New Evangelization. I Live Right with Dr. Ray, yell, “Go get ‘em, ladies,” to the women with The Catholic View, Consume the Word with Dr. Scott, track current news with Raymond Arroyo and remain ready at any moment to Grab my Catechism.

Daily, I receive the Saint of the Day via e-mail, recording each of the Saint’s names and dates in my St. Francis Icondevotional journal. Measuring their accomplishments against my own life, I come up short. And I have no time to “catch up.” I calculate the age of each saint at death. Few make it past 65. Both my father and mother died at 62. I am 63.

The saints, reaching out to me through the centuries,  inspired me to attend the last two West Coast Walk for Life events in San Francisco and to travel to Jamaica to volunteer with the Missionaries of the Poor.

OK. I hear you. It’s not all about me. I get it. None of this is intended to vouch for my personal and perfect understanding of everything Catholic.

Praying Hands GoldIt’s simply that some of it is about me. And considering that the protestants took me out of agnosticism when I was raw and untested, when I had never cracked a Bible and had to learn the Our Father…I figured I was at least ready, after twenty years of dedication to Christ, to enter the Catholic Church and fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. [1Tim 6:12]

I was wrong.





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