April 24, 2010

Today was “Preparation Day” in terms of getting all of us candidates for reception into the Roman Catholic Church ready for tomorrow (Sunday). Two dozen of us gathered for two hours of prayer, meditation, and no small amount of sharing, and everybody (I think) is just at the point where we say, enough already, let’s get on with it!

There was, however, a nice closing to today’s session: all of us gathered around a table containing a large basin of water and many small cruets of water, for everyone there. We were then asked to pour the contents of one of the cruets into the basin, signifying the different religious traditions, backgrounds, and life experiences we were bringing with us to the Roman Catholic Church. The water was then blessed, and we were then asked to dip our cruets back into the water and take it home with us as a reminder of this special occasion.

Sometime tomorrow around 10 AM AZ / Pacific Daylight Time I will no longer be an Episcopalian, I will be a Roman Catholic. A new beginning. A new life. Blessed be God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and blessed be His Kingdom now and forever. Amen!

In doing so, I will have forsaken and cast aside forever the Christian tradition I was baptized into and raised; a Church that is virtually unrecognizable in terms of its doctrine and traditional teaching and practice from that I not just grew up in, but pursued ordination to the priesthood only fifteen years ago. I leave a Church that is not just hemorrhaging membership, but, more importantly, hemorrhaging its very soul and future. I leave a Church whose devoted laity has been horribly disserved by apostate leaders at the national and diocesan level who long ago traded two thousand years of Christian doctrine, traditions, and teachings in favor of an alternative triune god called “acceptance, tolerance and adversity”. I damn those leaders for reducing a once rich and vital branch of Christianity to irrelevance, ridicule and a slow, agonizing death. And for what? To make gays, lesbians, and transsexuals feel good about the sexual and lifestyle changes they have made in their lives by ordaining as priests and bishops those like them? How pathetic.

But all that’s in the past. You’ll never hear another word from me about the Episcopal Church and its rapid and assured disintegration, for those concerns – and that life – is all in the past. I can only wish all the family and friends I leave behind in that tradition my best wishes, thoughts, and prayers – the road ahead is not going to be pretty.

Interestingly enough, over the past two years I’ve come to realize all the crap going on in the Episcopal Church actually has very little to do with the step I am taking tomorrow. Does it in some way enter into the equation? Of course; it would be disingenuous on my part to say otherwise. But the fact is, I’m not leaving the Episcopal Church as much as I am joining the Roman Catholic Church and the tradition and faith lived out through Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, St. John of the Cross (whose Christian name I will be taking upon my reception into the Roman Catholic Church, BTW), John Henry Newman, Dorothy Day, Scott Hahn, and Mother Angelica, all of which have played an influential and formitive role in my own spiritual development and growth these past 15+ years. These giants (what other word fits?) have, in their own very special ways, molded and shaped my theology and spirituality to the point where Anglicanism, even with all its reverential beauty and contributions to Christianity over the past five hundred years, no longer had any relevance, meaning, or attraction to me.

As a Roman Catholic, I freely and willingly embrace a Church not without its own significant amount of problems, but thank God they at least know what they fundamentally believe and teach: it’s far easier for an organization to deal with the troubling issues it faces when it knows what it believes and how it is supposed to live out those beliefs. As a Roman Catholic, I begin a new phase in a life journey I know not why I’ve been led to or even how it will end. But that’s OK.

After no small amount of time, and no small amount of prayer, contemplation, and internal debate, the time has come. I’m heading for home. I’ll tell y’all about it tomorrow. Please keep me in your prayers.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 22:29 | Comment (1)
1 Comment
  1. Sending you blessings and love as you cross your spiritual threshold today.

    Comment by Jana — April 25, 2010 @ 5:11 am

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