Thursday, January 31, 2008

Junk Mail...

So today in my newspaper box, just below my mail box there on top of the Realtor newsletter from a fellow Realtor in my neighborhood was a copy of The Watchtower. Usually it hits the garbage as soon as I take it out of the box, but it intrigued me today because on the cover was a picture of Notre Dame in Paris, (I'm pretty sure it was ND. It could have been another Cathedral that looks a lot like ND) and so I skimmed through it. Inside there were a couple of intriguing pictures, one was a procession, probably Greek Orthodox or Orthodox because as they were walking in the procession they were carrying very Eastern looking Icons. Anyway, the caption said something like: would God approve of such a spectacle, then there was another photo, it looked like a Catholic priest saying Mass for US soldiers in Iraq and the caption was something like was this appropriate.

As I skimmed it, I didn't find anything overly interesting or thought provoking, but there was an article about how parents feel with a child leaves Jehovah. It reminded me of articles I've seen lately about parents of Catholics whose children are leaving the faith. I guess parents in every religion lament the loss of their child leaving the faith.

In general, the tract didn't offend or even interest me. The only reason I looked at it was the cover shot of a Catholic church and I wondered if I'd find any anti-Catholicism inside. It may have been there, but overly subtle, and I didn't read long enough to really find out.

I'm still very fortunate that where I live and grew up I haven't encountered much anti-Catholicism. I've had Evangelical acquaintances try to invite me to their services, but when I tell them I'm not interested, they haven't pursued.

When I was a kid my baby sitter was a JW. I adored it when she'd come stay with me because she was so much fun. She was probably 5 or 6 years older than me and most of the kids in the neighborhood. She'd tell us stories about the Great Teacher etc. I guess she was going through Sunday School or whatever it's called and felt compelled to share what she was learning with the younger kids. It was quite entertaining to hear her stories. I was probably going through CCD at the time too, so I was also learning my Catholic faith. I certainly think that I was learning a lot then from the sisters who taught our CCD classes at the parish school. I didn't attend Catholic school because we had moved and it was quite a long drive for my mom then. Perhaps my parents felt like they couldn't afford it then. I've never really found out why I didn't go to the parish school, we certainly went to Mass every week when I was little... but I digress. I remembered her stories well. My parents never told her not to stop-- I guess they didn't worry too much that I'd convert. I do remember talking about what my babysitter was teaching me (and the other kids in the neighborhood) and telling my parents then that I'd never want to be a JW because they didn't celebrate Christmas and Easter like we did as Catholics, but what really convinced me not to convert at such a young age was that they even celebrate BIRTHDAYS. I just couldn't fathom not having birthday parties and getting presents. (I am an only child. I always had great birthday parties and got lots of presents.)

Of course as I grew up, I learned more about my Catholic faith, maybe not as much as other kids who did go to Catholic school then, but when I got to high school, I went to a Catholic school and felt like I got a pretty well-rounded education. Though I probably missed out a lot because I was not confirmed in junior high with the rest of my classmates.When I was born, infant confirmation was still in practice in our archdiocese so I was confirmed as a child. Growing up I had two Godmothers. My mom's sister baptized me and my dad's was my confirmation sponsor. Had I not been confirmed as an infant, I would have probably learned a lot more.

Of course, then sometime in college, I drifted away from the Church. I'd go from time to time with sorority sisters. We'd always seem to get Ashes for Ash Wednesday, but I wasn't a regular church goer then. It took a while for me to come back to the faith. Oddly enough, I feel as though I haven't left it. (with the exception of a few things we didn't have back when I was in high school-- female altar servers, liturigcal dancing and as much lay participation but it doesn't bother me to the point that it distracts me from what's happening at the altar.) In fact, thinking about any future children I may have one day, girl or a boy, I'd strongly encourage them both to be more involved in the church and yes, I'd let my daughter be an altar server and would hope that my son would want to as well.

Well, this is a nonsensical post in the sense that I couldn't sleep and wanted to try to compose some of the thoughts running in my head. I should know better.

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