Really, and figuratively. This Holy Saturday my family will be taking part in two huge sacraments. We are baptizing our daughter, and my husband and I are being Confirmed in the Catholic Church. We ironically both left in our teens, both found Jesus through non-denominational evangelical Churches, and after much study and thought, rejoined the Catholic Church (or will be rejoining this Holy Saturday). It’s been great to have a partner through all of this.
These are busy times for my family, but I expect to feel peace after this weekend. Why? Because my faith is stronger than ever, and I can lead and encourage my children to walk with Jesus in the one, holy, catholic, apostolic church. I believe God has truly led me here, and has blessed the walk back to the Catholic church.
Does this mean the past churches we went to were wrong? Absolutely not! By grace through faith we are saved. This means all Christians who put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and follow Him will be saved.
However, as it was explained to me: We can go through a hot Memphis Summer without an air conditioner, and survive just fine…but isn’t it nicer to have an air conditioner? To elaborate, the Catholic church is the only church that traces its founder to Jesus. Jesus built this church on the rock of Peter the apostle. The Sacraments, the prayers, the creeds…they are there for a purpose–so we can feel closer to God during our walk on earth. Communion is crucial to me. Jesus wanted us to take part in the Eucharist and I believe this is what the Protestant churches are lacking these days. I look forward to this weekend when I can partake in the amazing blessing that is the Eucharist, Jesus Christ, and feel his presence within me. It truly is a beautiful thing. It’s hot out there, and it sure feels nice and cool being back at home in the holy mother Church.
Further, I learned a lot on this journey. I started seeking out answers, and to some extent I still do. But, I incorrectly expected for Jesus to just come to me and show Himself. I expected everyone to have every answer and bring God to me in some form or fashion that I would understand and see fit. I expected fireworks. What I realized is that Jesus was here all along. He was with me. It is my responsibility to seek Him out, and I can do that best by loving and serving others. He will shine on me and bless me as the love I have for Him flows from me. I feel the Catholic church is the best place to worship and walk closely with Jesus. Will I be getting the concert and the hour long sermons on Jesus that I used to get (and by the way, loved)? No. But I can still get that! The church we attend has bible study groups, missions, serving opportunities, and retreats.
I will never forget the Via de Cristo Women’s weekend I had in Pennsylvania last year. It changed me forever and demonstrated Jesus in such a beautiful way. Since that weekend, I have been chasing that “high”, expecting some church to give it to me. I went to several churches after moving to a new state, looking for that high, which in reality was Jesus.
People–he is here. Go talk to him. Go give that homeless man whatever you have in your wallet. Go help that person with their tire on the side of the road. Go pick up that crying baby. Go volunteer at a hospital or hospice. Go spread the gospel. Go love someone you don’t know. That is Jesus. He is here. He is in you, and He is in me. Amen.