My first RCIA class – Introduction

This evening I went to my first RCIA class (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) at the local Catholic church. I’d been contemplating taking this step for a couple of years now, and have been studying Catholicism online and reading many books. I’d hesitated until now for a couple of reasons.

  • I’m shy. Introverted. I’ve always thought I’d make a good hermit… 🙂
  • My dear husband (Jim) is kind of against this move.
  • I’d been practicing Buddhist meditation for some years previous to this, and still enjoy meditating. And Buddhism definitely has some great tools for spiritual development, especially development of compassion.

However, although I’m shy, and in general prefer to have a solitary spiritual practice, I do enjoy having a bit of a support group as well. And this was quite the group tonight – about 20 people! I’d been anticipating it’d be about 6 max. Guess I was thinking of the typical attendance that our Buddhist meditation group used to have.

And although Jim is very anti-religion (though he likes Buddhism, because to his mind that’s a philosophy, not a religion) he knew that I’m the religious type, have been ever since we first met! So he shouldn’t be surprised that I’d take this step.

And although I loved learning and practicing Buddhism for a number of years, the one thing it lacks is God. I certainly believe Saint Augustine was right:

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

so love that quote, because it certainly is true for me. Has been my whole life.

So, tonight the group leader handed out some “reflection questions”, that I’ll answer here:

  1. What brought me here tonight? Why did I come? I guess that quote above sums it up. I was a very religious child, always praying, studying, going to church events, even spiritual retreats (perhaps unusual for a child?) Anyway, that continued throughout my adulthood, even though I wasn’t a Christian for many years. But those years, even though I think I was growing spiritually, I was “restless” till I could return to God. Thankfully, I believe he was waiting this whole time…
  2. What question(s) do I have about tonight or RCIA for either myself or the team? None, as yet.
  3. What do I hope to learn/experience during the RCIA sessions? Well, more about Catholicism.

But why Catholicism? I wasn’t raised Catholic. And if I felt that what was lacking in my recent spiritual practices was “God”, it wouldn’t necessarily have to be Catholicism, or even Christianity that I’d be drawn to. Could be Judaism, Islam, Goddess religion…

Well, throughout my whole life, I’ve always been drawn to Mary. My older sister reminded me earlier this year that when I was a toddler, 3 years old, my parents visited the New York World’s Fair, and while viewing Michelangelo’s Pieta, I ducked under the cordon separating the viewers from the sculpture, and went running toward her. The guards actually shouted at my parents, “Get your kid!”

Michelangelo's Pieta

Michelangelo’s Pieta

And I always prayed to Mary, even though our denomination of Christianity didn’t stress Mary at all, or teach much about her. I had a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe that I loved.

When dh and I visited Mexico years ago, I bought a picture of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad which I hung in the living room of each home we’ve lived in, even though I wasn’t a Christian, and even throughout my Buddhist years.

Anyway, that’s why I chose to return to Christianity, and in particular, Catholicism. ♥

4 thoughts on “My first RCIA class – Introduction

  1. I am a convert as well. Interestingly, I was at an ocean beach several weeks ago and went for a walk on that beach on Thursday morning. Upon initiating a Rosary on the Mysteries of Light (or Luminous Mysteries), I was inspired to pray for a young lady whom I had briefly met a few days before. Before starting each mystery, just before, I found a stone on the beach, picked it up, and prayed the mystery. This happened for each mystery – Baptism in the Jordan, Marriage at Cana, Proclamation of the Gospel, the Transfiguration, and Institution of the Eucharist. I kept each stone, and when done, I took them to her and told her what I had done. As I showed her each stone and explained each mystery to her and how it could positively affect her life, she stopped me at the Transfiguration, when I mentioned the divinity of Jesus Christ, and she then told me that she was a Buddhist living in a convent and did not “go for the god thing.” I was surprised at her deeply religious personality and I said, “Okay, I understand. Would you like to keep the stones anyway?” She said okay and I told her that it would be her homework assignment to figure out the Fifth Luminous Mystery. The stone that I found for that one was shaped like a heart, and Jesus gives us his Most Sacred Heart in the Eucharist. When I saw her later, she smiled at me and was very nice to me. I think that she liked the spontaneity of what happened. Perhaps she is being called to Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beautiful! I love it when I’m inspired to pray for someone but don’t know why. Seems like that must be when God uses us, but on a level we don’t know about. There’s a fairly obvious, tangible level we can help people (monetarily, sharing the Word, praying for their health, etc.) but there’s probably other ways God can use us to help others that we may never understand…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: My Mary altar | Cariña de María

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