My sister left a comment on the myspace version of this blog that she remembers
the craziest thing that happened in Mass one day that started my rebellious catapult out of religion all together.... remember when Fr. Engle said that people who got divorced were going straight to Hell? That was when you and I walked out of Mass. I was in 4th grade, so you would've been in 7th. I think I still get cold chills when I think about that...
The thing that surprised me is that I DON'T REMEMBER THIS! At least, not in detail nor without some prompting. I guess it could be that I was already starting to drift from the church, after all, my initial drift can be dated circa 5th grade. So this got me to thinking, have I made a full recovery?
You see, when I first heard the term “Recovering Catholic” seems a clever title for those who believed they had been scarred in some psychological, physical, or worse, some sexual way by nuns and/or priests. Or one could have just been really annoyed by the precepts of a restrictive dogma and/or structured society. The label was an allusion to the Twelve-Step movements whose adherents are committed to live free of destructive addictions one day at a time.
But the Catholic way of life is not a destructive addiction, well, not for me at least.
The term now strikes me as sort of smug, self-pitying kind of whine that arises from our society's current canonization of self-proclaimed victims. Too many of us too often blame a range of factors, including substances, parents, and/or institutions (in this case the Catholic Church), for our own bad behavior, irresponsibility, and dissatisfaction with life.
Perhaps it's time to declare a moratorium on the excuse of self-anointed victimhood and get on with life, as there is nothing more dangerous than a self-made victim. Let's leave that for those who deserve it. I am not a victim, I made myself one. My soul wasn't crushed, just restricted in unnatural ways; I was constantly reminded that no matter how hard i tried, i never fit perfectly into the Catholic box or the structured society. I was not welcomed, just tolerated. I'm free of this now and transcended my old annoyances and i'm starting to be able to enjoy the highlights of my old faith.
As we’ve seen here, that Catholics are just ONE way of doing things, and we have our own. And in the process, let's withhold judgment of the genuine faith of others, whether such faith is to our own liking or not.
So let us again be the full body of Christ and live out our “c”atholic faith and our UCC motto “That they all may be one”.