Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Being recieved into the Church Dec. 19
Holy Family Catholic Church, St. Louis Park, MN This December 19th, which is the fourth Sunday of Advent, I will be recieved into Christ's Church, the Catholic Church. My wife and I will both be confirmed as well. My wife Bridget is a revert so only needs confession and confirmation. I can't express my feelings about all of this properly. It is... sublime, but at the same time strange and frightening. My family is so very blessed and I thank God that He lifted the scales from our eyes to see His Church. In our meetings with our Priest, Fr. Thomas Dufner, he has often asked what questions I have for him, or pointing out some doctrine that is radically different from my Reformed past he will ask if I understand it. My reply has been "That is why I am here, I want it all". In our first meeting, he drew a picture of Luther's snow covered dunghill on a piece of paper, and gave a very good description of the crucial difference between my former religion and my new one. Is the dung (me) covered with snow (imputation) or is it changed into snow (infusion)? When the question came to Papal infallibility, I said "that is why I am here, bring it on!" I want whatever Christ has to offer, and therefore whatever his Church has, I want it! Our church is just an amazing place filled with very holy people. There will be plenty of oportunities for spiritual growth for us if we look to their example! I am reminded of Chesterton's three stages of conversion now that I am reaching the culmination of the third stage. The first is giving the Catholic Church a fair viewing, or just being objective with it. The second is a result of the first... being aware of the percieved falsehoods as well as the stunning truths of the faith, and being excited and amazed at the quantity and quality of the truths. The third I will just let Chesterton himself give: It is impossible to be just to the Catholic Church. The moment men cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it. The moment they cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it. But when that affection has passed a certain point it begins to take on the tragic and menacing grandeur of a great love affair. The man has exactly the same sense of having committed or compromised himself; of having been in a sense entrapped, even if he is glad to be entrapped. But for a considerable time he is not so much glad as simply terrified. It may be that this real psychological experience has been misunderstood by stupider people and is responsible for all that remains of the legend that Rome is a mere trap. But that legend misses the whole point of the psychology. It is not the Pope who has set the trap or the priests who have baited it. The whole point of the position is that the trap is simply the truth. The whole point is that the man himself has made his way towards the trap of truth, and not the trap that has run after the man. All steps except the last step he has taken eagerly on his own account, out of interest in the truth; and even the last step, or the last stage, only alarms him because it is so very true. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND CONVERSION BY G. K. CHESTERTON As I prepare to take that last step, the image comes to mind of the Jewish High Priest having a rope tied around his ankle when he went in to sprinkle the mercy seat with the blood of the lamb on the day of atonement. (the rope was to pull him out if he didn't uh-hum make it out). How much more sacred and profound an event I will participate in when I finally recieve the Lord's Body and Blood in the Eucharist. I might come to mass with a rope around my ankle. Any local Twin City readers can come and celebrate with us at the 9am mass on Dec. 19. Directions in the link under the picture above.