7 years ago, I returned to the Catholic Church after 35 years away. Most of those years have been wonderful, but there have been a couple distinct times where, due to either hurt, theological confusion or differences, or a combination of the above, that I found myself gravitating to more of an Anglican or Episcopal view.
Episcopal is very, very close to Catholic, but yet with far more lee-way on deciding what one personally believes. Or doesn’t. I think that, more than anything, has been the appeal each time, as it has seemed a “safe” place to land while sorting things out. Yet, at the end, I find myself back to Rome. And in both cases, the situation resolved within a few months and I was back. So with now. And again this is the case.
I will not even attempt at this point to become theological about it–I just know Roman Catholicism is where I need to be, both for now and the future. Friday I went to the sacrament of Reconciliation and have started out this Advent Sunday fully on board with the Roman Catholic Church.
I am not naïve enough to suggest I will never struggle again, but I pray that, next time, I will not react by leaving. After 3 times (counting my original return in 2005) I think I perhaps have at least learned that much. And I therefore do not believe I will (I say that by God’s grace not mine, believe me).
But to all of you who prayed for me, or even criticized me, or some of both, I owe thanks. I am grateful you cared enough to react, even if I did not particularly like your reactions at times.
And I think you will find this webpage again looks far more like “Catholicboyrichard” and not “half-assed/confused/compromising/nearlycatholicboyrichard” (which is far too long to type out each time anyway hehe!). And for that I am humbled and grateful.
At Mass today I was surprised not to hear the most traditional of all Advent carols, so I am placing an absolutely stunning YouTube copy of it (Aled Jones) here for all of us to enjoy. Now indeed the Lord can come for me. If I die tonight it will be in His Grace, and in the Church He has chosen for me.
May that be true for each of us. God bless, and it is good to be back.
- Former rector of nation’s largest Episcopal church becomes a Catholic – Articles (religionnews.com)
- First Sunday of Advent (prepareformass.wordpress.com)
- Advent – The Season of Anticipation and Hope (askmarion.wordpress.com)
- Adventus: Daily Catholic Meditations for Advent and 12 Days of Christmas – Valent Richie (itunes.apple.com)
- Oh, Come, Oh, Come Emmanuel (vineoflife.wordpress.com)