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.”
I 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:
- 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…
- What question(s) do I have about tonight or RCIA for either myself or the team? None, as yet.
- 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!”
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. ♥