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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Belonging

Back in September, I made the decision to start the process of becoming a fully baptized, confirmed, practicing Catholic. I started attending weekly RCIA classes through the Abbey/Campus Ministry at Saint Martin's, and begun attending Mass on Sunday evenings. All of this by myself, for myself, all alone.

And I have loved every single second of it.

I won't discuss my reasoning behind making this decision; just that it has been the right decision for me personally.

I have enjoyed learning about the history of the religion, the Bible, and Jesus Christ. Mass is a beautiful and spiritual event, held in a truly beautiful church that just happens to be on campus.

But the thing that I have enjoyed the most, is the feeling of belonging.

The people in Campus Ministry (Nick, Susan, Father Benedict), have become close friends of mine. I see them in the hallways, or when I stop by Campus Ministry, and in class/Mass on Sundays. They make a conscious effort to get to know me, and stay updated on my life. We joke around, have fun, and make light of certain situations.

But I can also discuss more serious matters with them, including matters of faith. I can be candid with Fr. Benedict as far as my questions regarding the Catholic religion, or rituals of Mass, or a multitude of other topics. He is a very open and caring person, willing to share his stories/struggles if it means helping someone else with some of their own struggles.

Tonight was the Procession of the Carols, Candlelight Mass, and Christmas Tree Blessing. Everyone was in the Christmas Spirit, and celebrating the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Christmas decorations could be found throughout the school and Abbey, and white candles lit every area up with a soft glow. You could feel the warmth and caring-ness practically oozing out of everyone in attendance. (I'll be sure to post pictures tomorrow!)

I had often times before considered embarking on this journey, but it never felt like I was quite ready. Or committed. Or just ready to make that first step. But, now that I have, I am so thankful that God has found his way into my life, and ever so thankful for the new friends I have made as a result.

God bless!

1 comments:

Mandy McMahan said...

This is so cool, Maranda. I'm so excited for you. Not sure if you know, but I was raised Catholic. James and I had a Catholic wedding (without Mass, since James isn't Catholicc). In the past two years we've found an awesome, life-changing church that we attend ... though it's not Catholic. Even so, I love to read about how other people have strengthened their walk with God. The past five years of my life have been SO different in how I have related to God and the work He has done in my life is so unbelievable.

It's so comforting to read here about the Catholic settings and rituals you're experiencing because to me, even if I'm not attending a Catholic church currently, that setting is such a big part of my history.

Keep blogging about this! :) James and I will pray for this journey to continue impacting you in the awesome way it has already. I'd love to talk to you more about Catholicism and what you're learning (you probably know more by now than I remember from my childhood)! :)

We'll see you in a few weeks at Christmas Eve, right?