Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Know I Am Catholic

I love Holy Week. I love all the liturgies. I especially love the Triduum, as we make the journey with Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Cross to the Resurrection.
And at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, as I watch the newly baptized and confirmed, I am reminded of my own entrance into the Catholic Church over 20 years ago.
This year I was able to go to the Chrism Mass, held in our diocese on Tuesday of Holy Week. I haven’t been to one in a few years and I forgot how beautiful and inspiring it is.
And in the middle of the Bishop’s homily, it suddenly hit me: I am Catholic.
Not just in name. Not just as a convert (although I am very proud of that). But I realized I am so totally Roman Catholic that I breathe and think and feel and practically bleed Catholic.
I thought back over that day, wondering what led me to these thoughts.
First, when I saw a group of protesters in front of the entrance to our diocesan Cathedral, I became so annoyed (without getting into a whole other subject, suffice it to say that it was Catholics protesting Church policy.) After all, I thought, it was Holy Week, and this was the Chrism Mass, and Jesus Christ should be the focus of our hearts and minds. To think they would detract from that really bothered me.
Later when I overheard someone criticize the pope, I could feel my blood pressure go up and I felt so sad at the same time.
Next, I got goosebumps as I watched the procession into the Cathedral - so many deacons (including my husband) and priests and then the bishop. I was so moved.
Still moved, I watched the bringing up of the oils to be blessed and I listened to the priests renew their commitment promises.
All of this got me to thinking about the reasons I know I am Catholic. (Some were a little tongue in cheek like - I know I am Catholic because most of the apps on my iphone are Catholic apps! Well, I don't want to take myself TOO seriously)
That being said, here are some more serious reasons:
I know I am Catholic because ...
I have grown in my love for Mary and the Saints.
I know I am Catholic because ...
I love incense and rosary beads and crucifixes.
I know I am Catholic because ...
I love going to confession and knowing I am forgiven.
I know I am Catholic because ...
I love the Mass.
I know I am Catholic because ...
When I receive the Eucharist, I sit in silence, knowing I have received Jesus, and I thank Him, often with tears rolling down my cheeks. Is there any better reason than that?
After our Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday, I overheard a new convert proudly proclaim - I am Catholic!
I rejoice with her and I pray that someday we will all be one church.

Anyone wish to add to my list?


Karinann said...

Great list Colleen, I found myself nodding in agreement with most of them.
To add to your list~ I know I am Catholic because the saints are some of my best friends.
Hugs and God bless!

Mary333 said...

After reading that list -

Yep, you're Catholic alright ;)

Speaking of saints, I had 2 strange dreams about you the other night and in the 1st dream an angel told me to "tell Colleen that St. Augustine and St. Monica want to help her". "Don't forget to tell her" he said and I promised I wouldn't :) I woke up after the first dream and then fell asleep and had a second dream about you where a "signed" Sacred Heart of Jesus card was left in your bedroom after you and I had a prayer meeting together and when I went to get the card Jesus said "Leave it there. It is for Colleen." I woke up after the second dream too which is why I remember them so clearly. They made me smile and I thought they might make you smile too :)

I guess you have some special friends in high places!

Mary333 said...

Excuse me, I guess it's not "special friends". According to the "word verification" it's
stsmabi (sound it out). Snicker! Well, pardon me Lord!

Sorry Colleen! I have a very silly sense of humor and this tickled my funnybone!

Colleen said...

Karinann, thank you! I love your addition to the list! They are great friends aren't they? I picture them cheering us on! Hugs!

Mary, I love your comments here and your dreams. And I laugh with you too about that word verification.
BUT - the thing that really got me - did you know that I belong to an Augustinian parish? That really made me sit up straight and pay attention! Thank you!!!

Mary333 said...

No, I didn't know :) I guess the Lord did though!

Just a thought:
You mentioned you had ordered Fr. DiGrandis book and maybe this is something St. Augustine and St. Monica can help you with. The saints are very powerful intercessors!
I am praying for you, too!

Colleen said...

Mary, thank you for your prayers! God bless!

RAnn said...

Great list, great thoughts, and I love your spring look!

Kathleen@so much to say said...

Echoing Ruth on the spring look. :)

I love being Catholic because of the sense of something so much bigger than me, the "middle ground" approach, faith and reason in harmony, both science and faith, both Scripture and tradition. I could go on, but it's time to get the kids ready for Mass. :)

Colleen said...

Kathleen, thank you so much!!
Love your list. Thanks for sharing it and I love your last remark - getting ready for Mass! God bless!

Colleen said...

RAnn, thank you! Glad you like my new "look." God bless!

Carol@simple_catholic said...

I know I'm Catholic because I "absolutely must" squirt my son with Holy Water at least once a week! LOL!

(It's actually true, I have this weird custom of "blessing" each room of my house with Holy Water and saying the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. My son always follows me around, so I can't help but get the urge to squirt him too. :) )

Loving the spring look of your blog, as well!

Barb Schoeneberger said...

I know I'm Catholic because I fully accept the Pope and the Magisterium, and passionately love the sacred liturgy.

Colleen said...

Carol, I love that! Thanks!

Barb, Great additions to the list! Thanks!