Today marks the day that I have been Catholic for 3 years.
Yes, really, 3 years. That kind of surprises me.
It doesn’t feel right to say that I’ve been Catholic for 3 years. If anything, I was Catholic for about a year and a half, before any investment I had in the religion dropped off. Not that I haven’t been going through the steps (for the most part) and maintaining the ethics (for the most part), but the spirituality upon which I was borne into the Church simply departed some point right in the beginning of my freshman year.
Despite this, I feel it would be wrong to characterize this spiritual negativity as indicative of some deep problem. At least, not essentially. There is a certain sense in which the spirituality propagated by those in the “very Catholic” blogosphere is gaudy and ornamental. I don’t think its wrong, but it doesn’t harmonize with my own spiritual aesthetic. I prefer simple short prayers to long, rote ones (though I will take out the Rosary every once in a while). I prefer good philosophy to poring over the Bible. These things provide a deeper connection for me between the world, my life, and the reality of Christ Risen. A beautiful liturgy certainly has its merits, but reason penetrates my soul in a way that flowery devotions never do. I can see the world laid out before me when I grasp an excellent line of reasoning, whereas a sermon just seems to be, well, preaching to the choir.
Is it barren? Perhaps. My spirituality is rather desert-like, opposed to the bountiful springs of holiness that, if you would believe it, pervades the life of certain spiritual beings. God is an abstract principle, but then, so am I. Or at least, His concrete reality is beyond my own concrete reality, so an ascent can only occur by gathering myself along these abstract lines and moving by them through life.
That said, it is fair to say that I haven’t been behaving nearly Christ-like enough. In my interactions with others I have been haughty, arrogant, and egotistical. I’d like to pretend I haven’t been such, but you have to own who you’ve been to become a new person. My morality, I’m not even going to get into that; this is a blog, not a tabloid.
So here is a new dedication, an attempt to live the baptismal vows I took on 3 years ago.
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.