Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday, and Where I Am.

Today was good for a Friday.

Okay, all joking aside, it actually was a pretty good day. I got to see Kitten, visit with her mother, and eat like a king, for which I am much obliged. I also attended a service for the holiday at their church, a respectable baptist outfit with quite the reputation for their music. All in all, a very enjoyable day, and one that bears repeating.

I don't normally put much thought into Holy Week, largely because, until recently, I wasn't up to speed on it. But today got me thinking about the meaning of the whole thing, which the most of you are familiar with by now, and not being properly equipped for apologetics, I'm going to skip to the latter part of my little thought process, which brings me, as it always does, to the idea of Christian Identity... specifically, mine.

I've never liked to feel confined, and I like labels even less. It's easy enough to answer when a person asks me what religion I am by saying "Christian", and most of the time that answer satisfies. But I get the odd person, usually an overly nosey denizen of the web, for whom that answer is not enough. They want to know a denomination.

I don't like denominations. For one thing, they sort of defeat the point of Christianity. For another, there's far more to unite the disparate Churches than divide them. Throwing a denomination on is sort of like throwing on a political party. I don't like the designation. It invites being painted with a broad brush, and marginalizes the ability to take contrarian positions.

I am, by all rights, a Catholic, and I've learned to recognize that it wasn't exactly a political choice - the Magisterial and I have as many points of contention as agreement when it comes to matters of the mundane world, which is probably a normal post-adolescent reaction to authority, more than anything else. The decision was made on other grounds: apostolic succession, mostly.

I remain a Catholic forever, baptised and confirmed as I am, even while lapsed. But I prefer not to identify. The differing churches do not get along, and I live largely in the middle of that situation. For a while, this has manifested as a sort of refusal to engage in anything that might be considered a Catholic practice.

But then I swung a little closer to the middle of the pendulum, as I usually do. I'm a catholic because I believe in a great majority of moral teachings. Where we differ (largely on the dignity of the person, and on ABC) is not enough to outweigh where we agree. In time, I might even come to change my mind about those, thought I doubt it.

Regardless of whatever church or religion you follow, your spirituality is a personal journey. That's why single life, married life, and religious life are all perfectly valid. When I'm meeting people, I don't pidgeonhole them in by their sexual characteristics or political views. First thing I look for is a mind at work. Then a good person.

I've railed against this before, but the quote is worth repeating. Catholic means universal. United. We are one body in Christ. The divisions between denominations are entirely artificial.

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