i'm thinking this too!

I stole from Alan Creech's blog. He wrote this a couple weeks ago and I've been chewing on it. Then a couple of nights ago, we had dinner with my aunt Kathy (who just went in for brain surgery and has come out again okay--thanks for your prayers). Kathy kind of quizzed me on my decision to apply to Notre Dame. She came at it from a funny angle, "You going to a Catholic school?" "I thought you were a fundamentalist" and "How much do you know about the Jesuits?" and things like that. It was the best conversation I've had with her in my whole life. :) Anyway, here's that blog entry: www.alancreech.com October 24, 2003 >> 1:16 PM curioso > catholikos I don't know why I'm thinking about this today - but I am. Just rummaging around the attic of my mind and heart about Catholicism. This is, as many of you know, the ground of my spiritual planting. I came into the Kingdom through the door of the Catholic Church - really, I did. And, although I am not presently a practicing Catholic (big C), I still draw heavily from that wellspring. My leaving that Church wasn't a matter, at all, of any anger or thinking that it was "evil" or of my finally getting really "saved." I simply felt that God was leading me in another direction at the time. Now, my beliefs have evolved - theology has morphed over the years. I am in a different place now than I was. Aren't you? I also, very interestingly, find myself coming back around to much of what I was taught as a Catholic. I also find many of my "emerging church" friends coming around to them as well - even though they never were Catholic. The collective view of soteriology (theology of salvation) is shifting in that direction - even including a renewed understanding of purgatory. The regathering of ancient practices that keep us connected with the church through the ages. The renewed sacramental understanding of the life of the church. Regaining a value for "sacred tradition" as opposed to "sola scriptura." And of course, the great mystical renewal - moving away from rationality and toward mysticism in our inward spirituality - drawing from the great monastic traditions in the Catholic Church over the ages. That's not an exhaustive list by any means. I mean, I'm seeing these things come around and it makes me think that it will be interesting to see how many of these people end up converting to Catholicism in the next 20 years. Maybe, maybe not. I told a friend of mine not long ago that at this point in my theology and spiritual life, the only thing that keeps me from going back into the Catholic Church is the issue of hierarchy - the strict authority structure. I just don't see it as legitimate. So much positive though. What do you think? Are you a "used to be" Catholic? Why? Do you see these trends? I don't want arguments here - just interested in what people think, especially if you're in this whole emerging scene and/or were Catholic at one time. Peace to all in this house.


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