Thursday, October 27, 2011

So, Why Catholic? part 6

This is a continuation on the reasons I've accepted the Catholic faith.
Part 1 here.
Parts 2 and 3 here.
Part 4 here.
Part 5 here.

6. The Trinity. I have always believed in the Trinity, but I never really experienced it until I started this journey. When I prayed, it was always to God the Father. He felt like a better fit for me. Jesus was the cool dude personality for the evangelical crowd, and the Holy Spirit was for the emotional Pentecostals.

But I’ve learned that to understand God at all, you have to understand all three parts of the Trinity. The Spirit led me to make this change in my life. My prayer life is blossoming. The Spirit opened me up to accepting things that defy my sophomoric logic. Sometimes coincidence is providence. Sometimes an emotion is a reaction to a reality, objective instead of subjective.

And is there any doubt I’ve gotten closer to Christ through Mass? Human and divine. Tangible God. Protestants use the empty cross to represent the risen Christ. And while the Resurrection deserves such central focus, looking at an empty cross or an empty tomb can often just feel empty. Jesus came to earth, where existence is dirty, and gritty, and painful. He suffered for you. He is perpetually hurting when He sees how we make the world an even harder existence than it has to be. He understands pain and persecution and struggle. And He chose to endure it for you. God is beauty. There is beauty in the kind of love that will get ugly and dirty and common. My relationship with Christ stems from that kind of love.

I needed a better relationship with Christ. The Catholic Church has shown me a real Christ to connect to. The Trinity, though fundamental, is a challenging concept. Believing in a Trinity and actually experiencing each person of the Trinity are two different things.

I’m far from the first to compare a relationship with God with a romantic relationship, but the two are so parallel it’s hard not to. (Probably because romantic love is just a microcosm of God’s love). I’ve experienced the infatuation, the uncertainty, the compromise, the humility, the joy, the wanting to tell everyone you know, and the wanting to keep it quiet all to yourself. Understanding God is a creator but also a sacrifice and sanctifier makes Him more complex and more concrete.

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