Why include this?
I have always believed in running this blog 100% transparent. I will level with you, I debated whether or not to include this section for fear of creating controversy. I was worried that some people may be turned away from anything I would have to say based on assumptions about my religious beliefs. However, the more I thought about it, the more I felt compelled that not only did I need to include this section, I really needed to dive in and commit to it (Go hard or go home, right?). Really, this is not only a part of me. It is me.
It is woven into the fabric that makes me who I am.
My thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and opinions are all influenced by my faith (for the record, everyone has beliefs and values that inadvertently influences them, anyone who tells you differently may need to engage in some self-reflection). No, it is not a set of rules that I live by but rather it is a deeply profound ideological, philosophical, spiritual, and physiological all encompassing belief system that defines who I am, why I am here, and my purpose in it all. For those coming from a non-religious background, you may have just read that as, “I use religion as a way to feel better and fill the gaps in an attempt to answer inherently unanswerable questions.” While I completely understand your perspective (and I can see how religious institutions throughout history may have led you to that conclusion), I would have to respectfully disagree. There is far more evidence that not only challenges that notion, but actually proves it to be misguided (BUT that is for a whole other blog post!). I digress. Having a blog about my life without including the cornerstone of who I am would give you an extremely skewed perception of myself and therefore be, frankly, dishonest (and that is one thing I never want to be!).
Debunking Some Assumptions
So let’s start here. I am Catholic. That statement in and of itself may cause some controversy, but that is okay. I am a practicing Catholic and no, I am not a “Cradle Catholic” (a commonly used term to identify someone who was raised in the Catholic faith). In fact, I am a convert. 🙂 I have been a Catholic for two years this Easter. Normally, as soon as I tell someone this fact, the very next follow up question is, “Is your husband Catholic?” I will be honest, I really despise that question. Why? Because it has a clear underlying assumption based on my answer. If I answer yes, I get a sympathetic nod along with a vague, yet highly presumptuous, response such as, “Ohh okay, that makes sense.” I will tell you that yes, my husband (aka Andy) is Catholic. Yes, he was raised in a practicing Catholic home. Before we go any farther let me go ahead and squash some assumptions before I dive in. 1.) I am a capable, intelligent, free thinking woman. My belief system doesn’t bend on a whim to appease someone else, including my husband. 2.) The assumption that the only possible reason I could choose the Catholic faith is because I wanted to follow my husband, or he pressured me to, is truthfully insulting. Not only to me, but to the Catholic faith and to Andy. Okay, stepping off my soapbox in 3…2…1… 🙂
Seven Truths About my Faith Journey
1.) I was raised in a protestant Christian household.
2.) Throughout my teens I struggled in my faith. I questioned everything, particularly religious institutions and the idea of christian denominations- in fact, I rejected them.
3.) When I met Andy, I was a very outspoken non-denominational Christian and was determined that would never change (he completely accepted that).
4.) When we got engaged, I had NO intentions of becoming Catholic. In fact, I was adamant that I never would (he was completely fine with that as well).
5.) We went through pre-marital counseling under the pre-tenses that we would have a mixed religious household (and we were both completely fine with that).
6.) I went to RCIA for the first time just to try and better understand my then fiance’s beliefs out of respect for our relationship.
7.) I did not even tell Andy I was going to RCIA until about half way through because I didn’t want him to inadvertently influence my opinion (he was SHOCKED when he found out).
I hope this gives you a little insight into my personal journey to Catholicism! I plan to talk much more about my faith as I am passionate about advocating and educating. I am an avid reader of Scott Hahn, Robert Barron, and any other great Catholic theologians or historians (Scott Hahn is my spirit animal!). I consider myself a life-long student of the faith; philosophically, historically, theologically, physiologically, morally, and spiritually. One of my biggest goals with my transparency in this blog is that I hope to dispel much of the incorrect information out there about the church. I hope to encourage those in the faith who need a “catholic-friendly social media refuge” as well as provide information for those with questions. I whole heartedly believe the Catholic Church is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented religions. I consider myself an open book, so please feel free to ask questions! I do not get offended easily and am not afraid to answer the “tough” questions. I am always happy to educate or answer any burning questions you have!