Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Confirmed

I got Confirmed. After 20 hours of classes including a filed-trip to the newest Cathedral in the world they let me take the sacrament.

I'm not the most faithful of people. I was kind-of doing it more for the ceremony than for faith. Notice I did not say "party" but ceremony. Two very different things in my book. I am a person who believes ceremony is important.

I did it more for conclusion rather than faith. I never got confirmed and it felt...incomplete. I didn't feel like I was incomplete but I like things to be tidy, finished.

I didn't start this as a result of a deepening of my faith. On the contrary I came to it via a crisis of faith.

In the process, much to my surprise, I did gain something out of it.

These past few years of infertility did nothing to increase my faith. Then to go through IVF and DE, both of which are not allowed in my church, only served to raise my ire with the Church.

But in my classes and in my own reading I have come to appreciate certain things about the Catholic Church. I'm not going to get all theological on your ass but I have learned a few things that have helped me come to terms with my Church and my truth. These two things seemed very far apart recently. Now, not quite as much.

One of the key ideas that has helped me is that the Catholic Church does not interpret to Bible literally. There is a very concrete realization that both the Old and New Testaments were oral tradition written down decades (if not centuries) after the fact. Additionally, there is a realization that translations have changed meaning over time. Add to that the fact that these translations cross time and cultures and you have a lot of ambiguity there. What I like about the Catholic Church is this understanding of Scripture. It's still sacred. It's still the word of God but it was written by man and therefor our understanding of it and interpretation of it can change.

While I'm not a monotheist (I'll have to write more about my Native religion sometime) I feel like I can co-exist with a Western Religion.

I was surprised by how powerful the actual sacrament was. Not the 3 hour mass but the 15 seconds with the Bishop was really powerful.

Plus, I was pregnant. I'm not going to lie. I do get a subversive pleasure from the fact that this baby was in my belly when I got confirmed. The Catholic Church is against how this baby was conceived so I take some pleasure in the fact that I had a little hitchhiker along for the ride.

7 comments:

Soapchick said...

Congratulations if I can say so! It's funny, the Catholic Church's non-literal interpretation is also one of the things that brought me back to the Catholic church from a couple of years experiment in a non-denominational Protestant church. I'm on the same page with you there! Yeah the whole IVF and DE thing and the Church - I'll never agree with the Church, but the good thing is that I think God understands. I'm happy you enjoyed the ceremony.

Andrea said...

Congrats! Good for you, sweetie! I think God will forgive us for using DE/IVF. HE had to give us the knowledge for the technolgy, right?! At least that's how I justify it to myself!

Hope C said...

Congrats! Yeah my opinion is that God loves ALL children no matter how they came to be and understands our desire to be Moms.

Renovation Girl said...

Congratulations! It's good to tidy things up and I'm glad you found some appreciation throughout it. I'm not only Catholic, but I also teach in a Catholic school...those IVF days were so crazy/scary-I came to school with "tra.ck marks" on my belly and arms from all the drugs and blood draws-I couldn't tell anyone because I would have lost my job, so my plan was to just tell them I was a druggie. In their eyes, that would be better. And your hitchhiker line-hysterical!!

areyoukiddingme said...

The thing I got out of my Jesuit high school is that I should think for myself, make my own decisions, and while God should rule my life, the church should not.

I can't really listen much to ideas about birth control and such from men who live in developed countries and have no experience in reproduction. So, I just try to listen to God on that score.

Chelle said...

Congrats!

Lori said...

Love the idea of thumbing it to Mass.

Congratulations for following your heart/spirit, and for being big enough and curious enough to embrace elements of both traditions.