Tonight began RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults — the official first step in becoming Catholic. But in truth, I’ve been becoming Catholic for a long time. I’ve been attending Mass for about a year. Looking back over my life, there have been countless harbingers to herald that this is the direction my road would take, signposts to show the way. This step is the culmination of a lifelong journey.
Tonight at RCIA, they passed around a notepad asking us to sign in, giving our names, whether we’d been baptized or confirmed, and our current religion. I am a Christian; I have been most of my life. But I’ve been wandering for a long time, and for the past year, I’ve labeled myself as a “Catholic seeker” or one “pretending to be Catholic.” Offhandedly, I scrawled Catholicus nascens — a nascent Catholic. I didn’t really think about that phrase’s full import until after I’d created this blog and sat down to write this entry. Catholicus nascens is literally a “Catholic being born.”
I wasn’t born a Catholic, a “cradle Catholic,” as many people are. This doesn’t necessarily feel like a rebirth to me; if anything, I feel like I’m finally coming into the faith I was born for. But I guess that’s what this process is, and why the title is apt. I am a Catholic coming into being, a Catholic being born. This time will be a time of the joys of discovery, the heights of exultation, the peace of everything fitting into place; but also the pains of labor, the darkness of doubt, the uncertainty of the unknown. I believe I will emerge into the light.
In these pages I will chart the progress of my journey of faith. Whether you find me randomly or I invite you to join me, you’re welcome to follow along and share your insight. I’ll share what I learn and experience, and reflections on the signs and events that have led me to this point.