“Coming out”

I apologize to all of my reader(s) for having fallen off the blogosphere. School and research and paper-writing has swept me away entirely. I have posts burning holes in my head that I have wanted to share, but I’ve been unable to justify taking the time away from work to write them. The second part of the Holy Spirit post is one that’s going to require a good bit of research and thought — because, honestly, I don’t know all that well how to describe the Holy Spirit’s role in Catholic doctrine. The Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us; that’s the summation of what I know. I need to sit down with my Bible and my Catechism and study it out. I also have been thinking a lot lately about assurance of salvation. I also began the next post in my autobiography series, on Pope John Paul II, a few weeks ago, but never finished it.

Today I drove home to my parents’ for Thanksgiving. My aunt and uncle and cousins came over to spend the day with us. It was a good day, but draining, as most prolonged social contact is for me. At the dinner table the topic of religion came up — especially, a fairly heated discussion about grace. My aunt and uncle go to a Presbyterian (PCA) church, but are not themselves hard-core Calvinists. Their new pastor has been emphasizing grace by faith alone, at the expense of other important aspects of Christ’s Gospel — repentance, charity, forgiveness, to name a few. The conversation turned to the role of faith and works in salvation — my dad speaking of salvation by grace through faith apart from works, and I reminding everyone of St. James’ admonition that faith without works is dead. I had been on the verge of “coming out” of the Catholic closet to them, when my aunt said that their pastor is a former Catholic. I never did tell them. I wanted to tell them — I wanted to discuss it with them — but I didn’t really feel like stirring up a heated debate.

My parents and brother have been mostly very supportive of my journey. They have asked questions, but have not discouraged or disparaged. Tonight I explained the Rosary to them. They haven’t, it seems, told anyone else of my conversion. I’m not sure whether to feel grateful for their privacy and discretion or concerned that they are ashamed of me.

I am gradually “coming out” on Facebook. Anyone who pays any attention to me (which should include my grandmother) ought to have noticed that I “like” a lot of what the pope says and does, I “share” more and more Catholic links, and all of the “people who inspire me” are saints and popes. I guess a part of me wants everyone to know. I have striven to be humble and not showy, but I want to share this joy and hope I have found.

I guess, too, a part of me is insecure and needs to feel that my family and friends and loved ones will accept me. If they have questions or concerns or challenges, I want to hear them. I don’t want to feel I am hiding this. I don’t want to feel alone.