I made it to church. We did the obligatory pew aerobics, and I once again became part of that strangely cult like sing along. The homily was actually strangely fitting, the priest talked about cradle catholics who remained with the church, those who left the church, the converts, and the re-verts. He read a list Top 10 reasons to stay Catholic
- We are fed by the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus
- We are the clearest voice of social justice around the globe, and the biggest believers and practitioners of ‘being the change we wish to see in the world’
- We do not believe we are the only ones who are “saved.”
- We have the proven capacity to change and grow
- We put on an excellent funeral
- We totally get the idea of marriage
- We practice the intimacy of confession of sins to another human being
- We follow ancient and time-honored ritual better than anyone.
- We dig the arts. We can boast of centuries of fantastic art and architecture, from cathedrals to chapels, from paintings to sculpture. We understand the need for artistic expression, and the relationship of beauty to worship.
- We have great holidays.
I was mostly able to follow the rituals and say the right words at the right times, but this church said a few things differently than the one I grew up in. It was all very musical, and I found my favorite part was looking at the green and cream stained glass.
You know that mass is almost done when they finally pull out the Eucharist. Everyone files down in a single line to take a chewy, cardboard like round wafer, the body of Christ, and take a sip of the blood of Christ, (wine) from a chalice that gets wiped and turned for the next person. I took my turn and ate and drank, we sang the last hymn and were told the latest community news before being dismissed.
My two minute car ride home, I wasn’t feeling great. I got out of the car, took two steps, and started throwing up in the next empty parking spot. Apparently, church isn’t for me. Maybe it’s demonic possession, perhaps it’s the lack of full faith, or maybe it’s just from taking my medication on an empty stomach. Either way, I don’t think I’ll be chancing it again any time soon.