Sunday, March 9, 2008

REC pt 2: Universal Church Awesome

Previously, on your humble (award-nominated) blog:

REC over, and plenty to say about it. In short:
I do my fair share of complaining about some of the ridiculous things that happen in the Catholic Church, at least in the United States, because God knows there's plenty of ridiculousness to complain about. What gets me going is the epidemic of irreverence for the mass and the huge numbers of people who hear the Church and her officials, who speak from thousands of years of tradition, experience, and study, and wave them off if the teaching is inconvenient or uncomfortable to them (hence my recent rants on pro-choice Catholic politicians and such). We're not just pulling this out of the air, people.

That said, I am always comforted and amazed by the variety of people in our church who are sincere and devoted. Far be it from me to judge anyone, especially those who are earnest in their faith. On the contrary, I find it to be an inspiration, even if some of them might need a little deprogramming. I heard there were 45, 000 attendees at the Religious Education Congress this year, and most of them were there on common purpose: they wanted to leave better able to educate and evangelize the children they work with. They love their faith and their God, and they love their fellow man.

There were more than a few speakers who could benefit from a sound tongue lashing from a bishop more orthodox than Cardinal Mahony. I managed to dodge those bullets, but several of my friends did not, and I cringe to think how many hundreds of people heard that codswallop ("All human love starts with erotic love." I wish I were kidding) but lacked the background to realize it's hooey. Those speakers and the organizers who invited them need to go read a Catechism.

But the faithful who attended were, for the most part, joyful and searching. They were sincere and devout.

And I was glad to see them all there for a few days. Our Church goes so far beyond our local parishes, our own groups. It is, truly, physically, global and universal. Going to mass with thousands and thousands of people, even when the mass includes interpretive dance, is pretty awesome. When the hoards of us all said the Our Father together in one voice, for a little while we were of one accord and one purpose -- to praise God and petition his help -- and it occurred to me Heaven must be a little like that.

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