Friday, April 30, 2010

Faith

A while back I made mention of the fact I am in the process of becoming Catholic. My wife is Catholic, she teaches at a private Catholic school. My boys are both baptized Catholic and attend that same school. Most of my friends are Catholic as well so on the surface my decision seems like one born of a need to adapt and fit in.

But anyone who has know me for a while realizes I've never been one to conform to the world around me. I'm more rebellious than that. i root for the underdog. Champion the unpopular, and rebel against the established ideals or things that become mainstream or popular.

And besides all that I am the same guy that swore off ALL organized religion for nearly two decades. I have argued that the Bible is nothing more than a loose guideline of wholesome ideals. I have described religion as a crutch for the feeble bodied and weak minded. I have dared God to prove to me of His existence.

Evolution? Yep. I have argued for years on behalf of it's scientific provability.

Heaven? Yep. I have voiced serious doubts to its existence.

The Anti-Christ. Yes that is what a coworker called me only a few short years ago when I was debating religion with him.

Church? I refused to go for more than twenty years believing it to be nothing more than a building for scam artists to fleece their flocks out of cash.

Now don't get me wrong. I've always believed there were consequences for evil deeds and rewards for love, compassion, and kindness. DO THE RIGHT THING. LET YOUR HEART GUIDE YOU. FOLLOW YOUR CONSCIENCE.

I truly have tried to live by those commandments but I damn sure didn't need some preacher in a cheap suit telling me EXACTLY how to do those things.

So how then have I embarked on a faith journey which leads right to the doors of the most structured and ritualistic of all Christian religions ... Catholicism?

Well, since quite a few of you seemed interested when I mentioned that I was signed on to take 18 months of RCIA (Right of Christian Initiation Adult) classes. I thought I would start talking a bit about my faith journey. How I went from being a young boy forced, yes forced, to attend services and Sunday School at a Southern Baptist Church, to anti establishment agnostic, to now a catechumenate?

Most likely I will not post every Friday, but on the ones I do I will call these post Faithful Fridays. These post will be about my journey and how I have arrived at this point. They are not meant to convince anyone else. Nor do I want to hear from those trying to convince me I am making the wrong decision. I believe there are many roads that lead to the same place and I have chosen my path. You may have chosen another, or you may have decided you don't like to travel at all. That is your decision and one only you can make.

It is highly likely that my readers interest was only fleeting and no one will care or comment on these posts. If that is the case I will stop posting but after one or two but since I still have nearly a year of classes I will keep at it as long as a few of you seem to care.

And yeah a few friends have pointed out that I chose one of the few religions that condones both beer and gambling. That is true enough, but I also reminded them that during Lent Catholics have to give up meat on Fridays and for a carnivore like me that's a pretty damn big sacrifice.

28 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yes, you may have to give up meat on Fridays during Lent but look at the bright side -- the substitute meal is fish. Now you have the perfect faith-sanctioned excuse to go fishing! All right!

Stephen Parrish said...

I, for one, can't wait to read the Faithful Friday posts.

Eric said...

I admire you putting up a post like this. While I may not agree with the Catholic church on a great many things, I find nothing whatsoever wrong with someone who is opening themselves (heart and mind) to examinations of their faith or their religion.

Everyone asks questions (out loud or to themselves), whether they realize it or not. How you find the answers is up to you. I for one will be tuning in every time you post one of these, Travis.

Being Beth said...

I'm looking forward to reading about your journey, and thanks for being willing to share with us.

Beth said...

There is no wrong decision regarding such a matter – it is a very personal thing.
I admire you for taking this step & look forward to further posts.

Old Kitty said...

Hi

Good luck with your spiritual journey!

I hope this course will give you peace of heart, soul and mind.

There is something about faith (and love) of whatever denomination or belief that can give one strength on those times when one feels lost or alone.

p.s. I think you can have fish on lent fridays. I know it's not the same thing as meat but still...!:-)

Take care
x

Ricky Bush said...

Cool! I converted after going to Mass with my wife and raising my children Catholic for about ten years. Most of my fellow parishioners were shocked to find out that I wasn't a cradle Catholic. I mean I had been kneeling when they knelt and standing when they stood. They just never noticed that I didn't eat the wafer when I followed my brood during the eucharistic moment.

Jo Taylor said...

I think it is interesting, for many reasons. Looking forward to reading you on Fridays.

Cloudia said...

I for one am interested.
You tell compelling stories, and your honest path will be very worth reading.



Aloha from Hawaii


Comfort Spiral

Teresa said...

I'm interested.

Rebecca said...

Travis,

thank you for sharing your faith journey. i know it is and will continue to be very personal, and i'm glad you're willing to share. i can't wait to read more, and am proud of you for embarking on this journey!

G said...

Interesting.

Personally, I don't do church.

However, like your family, mine has a major connection with the Catholic church.

Good luck with the conversion and the spiritual journey.

I for one, would be very interested to read about your spiritual journey and your viewpoints as a newbie to the Catholic church, as I'm always on the lookout to learn about other peopl's spiritual beliefs.

Annie said...

First, it's your blog, write what you want.

Second, I'll be interested to see how this plays out.

Third, it takes a big man(woman) to rethink years of living and consider that maybe there is more.

Charles Gramlich said...

Well, as a Catholic myself, you give up meat on Fridays during lent but you can still eat fish and seafood gumbo. Ain't a bad life.

tootie said...

Good post! I enjoyed reading a little bit about your faith journey, and I look forward to your next Faithful Friday.

Erica Orloff said...

I love this, Travis, and can't wait to read one--which I will do "faithfully." :-)

Brian Miller said...

actually, i find peoples faith journeys fascinating so i look forward to hearing more...

Crystal said...

Interesting. Husband and I just had this conversation a couple of weeks ago. We've both, separately, been thinking about this. I am definitely looking forward to these posts.

Crystal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawn said...

I'm Southern Baptist and I'm sorry you felt forced to go as a child. I think the way you come to your beliefs and stay true to them is to question--not just accept what you are told. I've never doubted Heaven, hell, or God, but have tried to explain away miracles by accepting the standard evolutionary explanations. If you think about it, it seems to be more of a miracle that evolution would work out than creationism. I'm interested in hearing of your journey!

the walking man said...

Get to be buddies with the priest they drink the best scotch made.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Heyya Travis,
I'd probably be Catholic except for some foundational disagreements. I'm of British heritage though so I guess it's right I should be Anglican (Episcopal). I'm looking forward to these posts.

Writing Without Periods! said...

I was going to become a catholic because I'd never been baptised. This was right after Columbine and I was sure the world was ending. I went to the local priest and he said I had to get an annulment, my husband had to get an annulment, and it would cost us $3K and take 3 years. I said, "But I could be dead in 3 years." Then I went to the Episcopal church and they baptised me in three weeks.
I still love the Catholic church, though.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have wrestled with these issues my whole life (went to a fundamentalist high school) and it comes down to this for me. I believe that human beings are capable of goodness, capable of a leading a meaningful life, but fear of an afterlife, fear of a vengeful God, is not the best way to achieve this. I yearn to feel part of a movement that seeks to make this life on earth as good for everyone as we can make it--because there is nothing beyond it. If being part of a religion helps us to get there, I can go with that.

Dawn Anon said...

I almost could have written your Evolution? Heaven? Anti-Christ. Church? paragrahs.... and yet i wear my son's cross every time he's deployed. Faith is such an individual thing.

enjoy your RCIA journey and good luck defining your faith.

Frank Baron said...

I share your belief that there are many paths that lead to the same place. And faith itself is a gift to be treasured. I'm glad you're happy with the path you're on. Peace of mind is a wonderful thing. Congratulations. :)

Texanne said...

Travis, you've got guts.

To do this, and to blog about it. It's funny how God sneaks up on you.

Some of the things you fret over are important, but a lot are just side-bets. Your friends and your readers will be fine with it,--and you'll probably have some funny, insightful things to say about it.

Your Other wife said...

I am glad you are making this journey and look forward to your blogs about it!